Over the past year or so, the Governing Body and Senior Leadership team have been exploring ways to further improve our provision. Last month the Governing Body of our school voted unanimously to pursue the process to convert us to academy status. The Governing Body and Senior Leadership Team have been discussing possible academy conversion for a while as we look to support our children towards more improved outcomes. We are in a borough where no secondary school to this point has voluntarily converted. Nationally, over 70% of secondary schools are already academies with more converting every term. In the NW this figure is around 55% and rising. This has been a topic of conversation between Bury Headteachers for a while now and the next few years will no doubt see other local schools convert. As a ‘good’ school we are in a position to choose to convert to an academy on our own terms. Some local schools have been judged ‘inadequate’ and have and will be forced to convert to academy status. We want to make an informed choice before we may experience external pressure to do so. As Governors, we must consider the option to convert as part of our duty to safeguarding and improving the quality of education we can provide for our pupils
We know that we need to build capacity and gain support to enable us to improve outcomes for students. The Governing Body has investigated this process, carefully looking at what it involves for us as a school and have come to the conclusion that this will be a positive step for us in further improving the outcomes for our children. If we go ahead with the conversion we will be joining the Shaw Education Multi Academy Trust. http://www.shaw-education.org.uk/
Within a multi-academy trust (MAT) all schools are governed by one academy trust. Each school retains its own governing body. The schools’ governing bodies operate subject to the control of the trust which has ultimate responsibility for the running of the individual academies. The trust is accountable and responsible for the performance of the each of the academies and may delegate its decision-making powers to the governing bodies of the individual academies. One of the great advantages of a MAT is that schools can achieve strong collaboration and drive up standards by providing a consistent strategy and vision across schools working together.
Before continuing, please bear in mind that conversion has not taken place and will not do so until a period of consultation takes place with relevant stakeholders which of course includes parents and carers. If after that period of consultation the Governors of the school wish to reassess their decision they can of course do so. If conversion does go ahead, it will be somewhere between July and September 2018.
This letter is to briefly outline the reasons for the decision of the Governing Body, in addition to some points above, and to give you details of the consultation session which will take place at school. There are many reasons why the Governing Body has decided to pursue conversion.
• Funding will come directly from central government, not through the local authority. This will give us greater freedom to spend our money where we think it will most benefit our children.
• We will be able to provide greater opportunities for professional development for teachers,
governors and school leaders.
• We will have the opportunity to bid for capital money to further improve our school environment.
• Economies of scale mean that, together with other Trust members, we can negotiate contracts and services that represent better value for money.
• Greater freedom with the curriculum means that we can tailor our teaching provision to meet needs, i.e. in theory we do not have to follow all aspects of the National Curriculum.
• There is a lack of resources available currently from local sources for specifically school improvement.
Reasons for joining the Shaw Education Trust:
• Most importantly, the ethos, mission and value system of The Shaw Education Trust are very much akin to those of the Governing Body of Tottington High School.
• The Trust is committed to developing local partnerships within Bury and across the North West, and is developing a range of mechanisms to support transformational education for young people.
• The Trust has the capacity and experience to support school improvement within Tottington High School. We will have access to specific subject support that is proven to improve outcomes for children.
• They have a comprehensive training and development programme and a strong, very experienced, supernumerary core team.
• There is significant evidence of impact locally and further afield, and the Shaw Education Trust provides a local geographical footprint and network.
The period of consultation will be from 2nd May until 11th May. The Governing Body welcome any comments from parents/carers during this time. Parents/carers can either write to Chair of Governors at school or email via the school email address. An information session will take place at school on Wednesday 9th May from 5.30pm. Present on the evening will be the Governing Body, the school’s senior leadership team, and representatives from the Shaw Education Trust. Any parent/carer who is unable to attend the meeting and would like to comment on the proposed conversion can write or email into school but letters must be in school by end of school day on Friday 11th May. Please address letters/emails to Neville Kenyon, Chair of Governors.
If you would like to do some further reading, the best source of information on academies is the Government’s own website: https://www.gov.uk/become-an-academy-information-for-schools
Neville Kenyon – Chair of Governors
Mr B Duffy – Headteacher
This term, some of our children will be given the opportunity to sign up to National Citizen Service (NCS), a government-funded programme for 15-17 year olds. Working through physical, personal and creative challenges, this once-in-a-lifetime experience empowers young people to build skills and confidence to get ahead in work and life whilst engaging with their local area. Interested? Then read the letter below for more infomation…NCS Challenge March 2018
Operation SCEPTRE – Help Us to Stop Knife Crime and Keep Young People Safe
Bury’s Community Safety Partnership is working with partners across the borough as part of a national campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying knives.
As part of Operation SCEPTRE we are writing to all parents, guardians and carers to ask for your help in keeping our young people safe.
We know that some young people are carrying knives in order to protect themselves, however the reality is that carrying a knife actually increases the chance that you will be seriously injured or killed. It is most often the case that the knife being carried for protection ends up being used against the person carrying it.
We are aware that young people are not necessarily carrying specialist knives, but rather knives which are easily accessible within the kitchen at home.
It is important to understand that even when a person carries a knife for protection, simply having the knife in their possession is a criminal offence, and that on conviction, the offence carries a sentence of up to four years.
We know that most young people do not carry knives and would never consider doing so, however we would ask all parents to talk to their children about the dangers of carrying knives and to be vigilant of knives disappearing from within the home environment.
If you or your child has any information about knife crime, this can be reported to Greater Manchester Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Young people can also report information anonymously and find information, help, advice or support at Fearless.org
Help us to reduce knife crime and to keep our young people safe.
Community Safety Manager
Languages Faculty Trip – Cologne, Germany – December 2018
Dear Parent/ Guardian,
Your child has shown an interest in an educational school trip we are organising to Cologne, Germany in December 2018
The trip will leave on Saturday the 15th December 2018 at 9.30pm. We will be travelling by coach to Dover and then crossing the channel via the ferry. We would hope to arrive in Cologne by 1.00 p.m. on Sunday the 16th December 2018. Our accommodation is going to be a 4* Hotel, which is situated on the city outskirts.
During our educational trip, we will be visiting at least three of the eight Christmas markets in Cologne, as well as having a guided tour of a chocolate museum and an Olympic museum. We will also be enjoying a visit to Phantasialand Theme Park and the Christmas market in Brühl, which is very close to the hotel.
The return journey will commence after breakfast on Wednesday the 19th December 2018. The students may have an opportunity for further shopping at a shopping center in Belgium, before returning to Tottington by coach, via the ferry. It is anticipated that we will arrive back in Tottington at approximately 11.45pm on Wednesday the 19th December 2018. All pupils who attend this trip will be expected to attend school on Thursday the 20th December 2018.
The cost of this educational visit is £390.00 per student. This price includes all travel, insurance, accommodation (half board) in Germany, all trips and a group passport. (Cheques should be made payable to Tottington High School- please ensure the name and form of your child is placed on the reverse of the cheque).
A non-refundable* deposit of £50.00 must be placed in to the black box outside the main office by 16th February 2018. A second non-refundable* deposit of £50.00 must be paid by the 2nd July 2018. The final balance of £290.00 will then be due by 1st October 2018.* Please note that failure to pay a second deposit could mean that your child loses their place to someone on the reserve list. * Please note that deposits will only be refunded on production of a medical certificate, or if the trip is cancelled by the school. All monies are paid directly to a tour operator and not held by school, therefore in the event of cancellation by the student on or after the 1st July, Rhapsody Tours (our tour operator) insist on the following payments;
- On or after 1st July 1st and 2nd Deposit= £100
- On or after 1st September £150
- After 1st October 100% of total cost
Further, please note that the tour operator does not offer the school any option to delay final payment. Thus, the final balance must be paid by 1st October 2018. If the balance is not paid in full by the 1st of October, your child will have to be removed from the trip and the £100 in deposits is retained by the tour operator as a cancellation charge.
If you would like your son/daughter to participate in this educational visit, please sign the attached slip and hand it in with a deposit of £50.00 and place in the black box by the 16th February 2018
Please note that there are only 67 places for this trip. Once the deadline is passed, you will be informed if your child has secured a place by the 1st March and will be issued with a payment card. If your child has not secured a place, the initial deposit will be returned by 1st April 2018 at the latest.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me by email at email@example.com .
Mrs C Catterall
Teacher of MFL
Mrs K Cheetham
I am writing to provide you with some further information regarding the school’s homework system and how your son/daughter will access their homework next half term. If you already have a son/daughter at the school you will already be aware of some of this information. I have also included some of the information from my previous letter for reference.
Homework is an important aspect of your child’s education and helps to reinforce and extend learning from lessons. Homework provides valuable opportunities for students to consolidate their understanding of work from the school day. It also provides further opportunities for them to develop lifelong learning skills to support them in further study and in their careers. To ensure that these benefits are available for all the school has identified the recording and organisation of homework as priorities to focus on with students. Students in years 8 to 11 all currently use Show My Homework (SMHW) to manage their homework and teachers set all homework using it. After half term students in year 7 will also be using SMHW and all homework will be set using it.
SMHW is an online package that allows homework to be set and accessed directly by students on their mobile phones, tablets or through the SMHW website. SMHW is the UK’s most effective package for setting and monitoring homework and hundreds of schools across the country are using it with successful results. As a school we recognise the difficulties experienced by parents/carers in supporting their child’s homework as students may not always record homework as instructed or in a clear manner. SMHW ensures that students are always provided with clear homework instructions and guidance as homework details/requirements/ resources etc can be made available to students directly from the teacher. The calendar facility provided by SMHW also allows students to manage their deadlines effectively by using the reminder and date facilities available. As parents/carers you will also have access to your child’s homework calendar so that you can support them in managing their homework. SMHW has further additional features and as the school develops its use of the SMHW package information on these features will be provided (for further details and information on SMHW please visit showmyhomework.co.uk). We do also recognise that not all students have smart phones or access to the internet at home so we also provide a student diary that can be used instead or in conjunction with SMHW. The school also provides computer and internet access before school, at lunchtimes and after school.
A link to SMHW (and set up instructions) is available in the parents and pupils area on the school website and after half term the homework timetable on SMHW for Year 7 will be populated with homework from your child’s subjects. To access your child’s homework calendar you need to use the access details provided below to log on to the SMHW website (tottington.showmyhomework.co.uk or link on school website). When you have access you will be able to set up alerts and set up a link to your smart phone if you so wish. You can also visit the Apple Store or Google Play to do this. The school will also be providing support for parents/carers in the form of familiarisation sessions. The sessions will help parents/carers log in to SMHW and outline the main features of the package. If you would like to attend one of these sessions please contact the school and arrangements can be made to suit you. Students will also receive instructions and support in setting up their SMHW page and any links to their smart phone.
The school would like to thank you in advance for your support with our homework system.
Mr A. Rashud (Assistant Headteacher)