Having been graded as an “outstanding” school following each of the last 3 Ofsted inspections, the Governors and senior leaders at The Abbey School have taken the time to exhaustively research and carefully consider the various opportunities for converting to academy status and joining a multi-academy trust (MAT); having unanimously decided to accept a very welcome invitation to join the Weydon MAT (WMAT), the conversion officially took place on 1st September.
As Headteacher of The Abbey, David Jackson explained:
“WMAT is among the most highly regarded Trusts and we are delighted to join Weydon, Farnham Heath End, The Ridgeway and Woolmer Hill Schools. All four have strong track records of high performance and/or rapid improvement and share our values. Most, like the Abbey, have been graded as “outstanding” by more than one Ofsted inspection after another, and all aspire to nothing less. We believe that this partnership will add real benefit to The Abbey and that we will also be able share our expertise and knowledge to the benefit of the students in all our schools.”
The Abbey is a school for students with learning and additional needs (LAN), specialising in provision for those with social (ASD) or speech and language communication (SLCN) difficulties. Abbey staff will continue to offer outreach support in these areas of expertise to other schools as well as those in WMAT. At the same time, there will be enhanced opportunities for LAN students to reach higher levels of achievement in those areas in which they excel via access to the higher academic level teaching and learning excellence in the mainstream partner schools. The Ridgeway caters for students with severe and complex learning difficulties, but like The Abbey, with additional expertise and provision for pupils with an additional diagnosis for Autism (ASD). The Abbey and The Ridgeway already work closely together and this will be further enhanced now they are within the same MAT, sharing best practice, experience and access to specialist resources.
Darryl Morgan, Headteacher of The Ridgeway summarised the common goals for all the WMAT schools:
“high expectations are fundamental to our ethos; we focus on teaching and learning being relevant, meaningful and fun”.
David Jackson added:
“Teachers and other practitioners will be able to optimise the impact of their skills and share best practice. The Abbey School mission statement is “together we can…”, with WMAT it really will be a case of “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” The fact that the schools are located just a few minutes from each other means that these aspirations for collaboration can actually be realised in practice to the benefit of all.”
John Winter, The Chief Executive of the Weydon Multi Academy Trust explains the thinking and the opportunity provided by this new partnership:
“The Abbey is an outstanding school and we are delighted to be welcoming the school as part of the Trust, especially after the stunning WMAT GCSE results this summer. The Abbey School has worked closely and very successfully with the existing schools for many years through the TFN network. By bringing together collective expertise in our partnership we can increase capacity to innovate, specialise and inspire both staff and students. The Trust now offers a very inclusive education experience for our community and we are very excited by the prospect of another outstanding school joining our team. Together we are certainly stronger!”
You can find more information about WMAT on the website www.weydonmat.co.uk