Update from Leigh Academies Trust

Leigh Academies Trust and Leigh Academy Minster logos

We were delighted with Friday’s announcement from the Department for Education that further communications will follow soon about your child’s school place from September and that this will include information about a new alternative provision on the Island run by the Alternative Learning Trust for children who would benefit. A public consultation began last week about this new alternative provision which is proposed to open in September at the same time as Leigh Academy Minster.

We have been working hard behind the scenes and have been hosting a number of important open events recently where many, many parents have continued to offer us their full support for the approach we will take at Leigh Academy Minster. This will include:

  1. A small school model of education where every child will be well known as an individual and cared for.
  2. A “warm strict” approach to behaviour so that learning is disruption free and bullying is not tolerated. We call this, “The Minster Way”.
  3. A Chromebook laptop for every student at no cost to families so that the curriculum and all of our resources can be accessed seamlessly from school and from home, breaking down barriers of disadvantage and ensuring equality of opportunity.
  4. A grammar stream where one-third of pupils in each year group will become members of “Cody College” using baseline data and further testing where necessary. Our grammar stream entry criteria is now available on our website. Cody College will work with LAT’s Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School, one of the region’s best grammar schools, to ensure a curriculum that is right for our high attaining pupils.
  5. A smart and affordable school uniform, with blazer and tie, provided free of charge for all existing pupils and smart business wear for sixth form students. 

Families on the Island have already had too many false starts and broken promises. That is why Leigh Academies Trust is delivering on every promise we have made so far. You can rely on us to do the same in the future. We do what we say and will never promise you something we cannot deliver.

Leigh Academy Minster will be an average-sized secondary school with a published admissions number of 180 pupils per year group. We are likely to be full in all year groups from the moment we open. As schools are funded on the number of pupils they have in each academic year, this means more resources and more staff at Leigh Academy Minster to invest in your child’s future from the outset.

We will offer a secondary approach to delivering the curriculum from day one that sets high standards and allows your child to mature into their new school. This means specialist teaching by subject experts from year 7, enabling us to recruit the best secondary-trained teachers.

Teachers often want to work in a secondary school with its own sixth form as this allows them to teach across the age range to really engage with the subject they love at a higher level. Leigh Academy Minster will have its own sixth form offering Level 3 A Levels and vocational programmes. This will support us to attract the best teachers to work with your children.

As a mainstream school, we will have high expectations for all students. Our SEN students will be no exception. They will be empowered to achieve equal access to the same high-quality curriculum. This will include all pupils studying at least eight GCSEs at key stage 4. We reject the “soft bigotry” of low expectations for SEN pupils with separate pathways that limit their potential and future life chances. Instead we will encourage pupils’ individual strengths and foster a supportive environment for personal and academic growth. Through tailored support, collaboration with specialists and a commitment to inclusivity, we will inspire confidence, independence and success for all.

Leigh Academies Trust has sixteen years’ experience of running secondary schools successfully. Leigh Academy Minster will be our seventeenth secondary school and will benefit from all of our experience and expertise in this field.

Also, we are a large Trust with an annual income approaching £200m which enables us to invest heavily in our schools and your child’s future. We have plenty of local resources to support Leigh Academy Minster and this will happen from the day we open. Even before September, we will be spending heavily to make sure Leigh Academy Minster’s facilities are the best they can be for your child.

We look forward to working with parents and pupils on the Island and are excited by what the future will bring. Your child’s future success is our priority regardless of their circumstances. Working together, we can and we will make a difference.

Mathieu Stevens

Principal Designate

Leigh Academy Minster