Introduction: In September 2017 Kingsdown School will become an official partner of the River Learning Trust [RLT]. In doing so, it will be joining a Multi Academy Trust [MAT] comprising 4 Secondary Schools, 7 Primary Schools, a school-centred Initial Teacher Training provider and a New School in its pre-opening phase. Between them these will encompass approximately 6,800 students from schools with a wide range of Ofsted gradings with, therefore, a huge wealth of expertise and best practice to share among its partners. Since October 2016, the RLT has been working with teams, leaders and Governors at Kingsdown and is already making a significant impact on the general confidence across the school, its culture and strategic direction.
So why did we join the RLT ? Ofsted reports are crucial to the success of any school and Kingsdown is no exception. In August 2011 it converted to an Academy having previously been rated "Good with Outstanding features". More recent inspections, however, judged that it 'Requires Improvement'. This unwelcome news coincided with a nationwide reduction in school support offered by Local Education Authorities, from which Swindon was no exemption. Concerned Kingsdown Governors and Senior Leaders, therefore, were left with no alternative but to seek out partners who could fast and effectively turn the situation around. In the process Governors met and listened to several CEOs from numerous different MATs. The RLT emerged as their unanimous choice, based on its proven track record. The principles and vision of the RLT resonated strongly with the vision and values already upheld by Kingsdown School – namely its:
So where do we go from here? What will it mean to be a RLT School ?
As a RLT partner we have a first-class CEO in Paul James, with a dedicated SCP [Support and Challenge Partner] in Kate Curtis. Between these and our new Headteacher, Emma Leigh-Bennett, and Chair of Governors, Lynne Scragg, we are united in the belief that Kingsdown has all the capacity and determination to secure a minimum rating of Good at the next Ofsted inspection. But schools cannot be about inspections and judgements alone. Schools are about learning and the life chances of young people.
So what are the benefits for us and our students? What will it mean to be a RLT school ? The RLT:
Chair of Governors
21st August 2017
Headteacher : Mrs E Leigh-BennettKingsdown School, Hyde Road, Stratton St Margaret, Swindon, SN2 7SH
Tel: 01793 822284
Kingsdown School is an academy which is a part of the River Learning Trust which is an exempt charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with registered company number 7966500 and its registered office is The Cherwell School, Marston Ferry Road, Oxford OX2 7EE.