School academy trust chairman looking back on 2019 with pride

17 Jan 2020 01:44
Published by: Daniel Almond


A CHAIRMAN of an academy trust is looking back at 2019 with a great deal of pride after describing the last 12 months as being “a year to remember”.

David Harrison is the new Chairman of the Acorn Trust, of which Westleigh and Bedford Hall Methodist primary schools in Leigh are part.

He says both schools have had successes that put them shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the best schools in the country.

Mr Harrison said: “Not a month has gone by without us celebrating the achievements of our staff and pupils.

“At the start of the year we received a letter from Government Ministers saying that the progress that children make at Westleigh is in the top three per cent of schools in the country.

"Then, in the data released just a few weeks ago, Bedford Hall was also listed the highest category nationally for progress in writing and maths.

“Our schools have also been praised by Ofsted, received Excellent SIAMS reports and have even made it to the finals of the Pearson National Teaching Awards, which are seen as the Oscars of the education sector.”

The year ended with Westleigh Methodist Primary School launching their new school mascot, Brian the Lion, into space.

Mr Harrison added: “For two smaller schools in the borough, I hope that we have shown our children that anything is possible if you have the vision and determination to succeed.

“Underpinning all of this success is the ethos and expertise of the Acorn Trust.

"We have challenged ourselves to think differently; giving our school leaders and staff the freedom to innovate and the opportunity to thrive.”

Mr Harrison added that the areas that he was most pleased with was the work being done to support the community and address mental health issues.

“While the accolades are great signposts to show that we are moving in the right direction as a trust, I don’t think outcomes are solely what we should be judged on.

“The pledge that Bedford Hall pupils have devised through the Greater Manchester Mentally Healthy Schools programme, the amazing work done in our Sure Start Centre, the actions taken to improve staff wellbeing and our links to charities are at the heart of the Acorn Trust.

"It is not just about helping our pupils to achieve their academic ambitions, it is about supporting them to be young people our community can be proud of.

“That is why I think 2019 really has been a year to remember. I genuinely can’t wait to see what 2020 will bring.”


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