Acting Principal's Update
Welcome, Expectations and Resilience
I am thrilled to be writing my first update to you as Acting Principal at Leeds East Academy. We are now three weeks into this half term and what a half term this is proving to be so far. It is with great pleasure that I take up the post of Acting Principal during this exciting time of Leeds East Academy’s journey to Outstanding. I have worked in this community for 17 years and have always felt privileged to work with such a diverse and vibrant student body. At this exciting time in my career it gives me great pleasure to continue the excellent work Mr. Stokes has commenced at Leeds East. On behalf of the entire school community, I would like to express my thanks to Mr. Stokes who during his time as Principal at East has transformed many aspects of the school, resulting in us receiving the accolade of being the most improved school in Yorkshire and the 4th most improved school nationally.
Please rest assured that this half term I will be working tirelessly with the team of talented staff and Senior Leaders to ensure we continue our journey to Outstanding. We have commenced half term 4 in an extremely strong position due to the excellent feedback we received in our OFSTED Monitoring Inspection the outcome, which we shared with you last week. As a school we were absolutely thrilled to read the report which highlighted the significant progress we have made in recent months. During the inspection our students were phenomenal and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their excellent conduct throughout the visit.
Our monitoring inspection report identified that leadership in the school is strong and I am pleased to report that we have a talented team of Senior Leaders supporting us at this important time. The team consists of; Kash Rafiq - Associate Principal, Helen McMillan - Acting Vice Principal, Chris Reynolds - Acting Vice Principal (deployed from White Rose Academies Trust), along with a dynamic company of Assistant Principals, leading in specific fields whilst driving forward wider programmes for progress across the Academy; Pascoe Gill - Assistant Principal with responsibility for maths, English and science, Nicola Widnall - Assistant Principal, Teaching, Learning and Assessment and EAL and Lynne Batty - Assistant Principal, Student Experience and History, HSC and ICT and Dave Clement – Assistant Principal (deployed from White Rose Academies Trust). The above staff will also be supported, as always, by Mr Andrew Whitaker, Executive Principal of White Rose Academies Trust. Our dedicated team is comprised of highly-skilled teaching professionals and subject specialists who will be advancing the school forward on its journey to Outstanding.
Our key priority moving forward this half term is to ensure that we maintain pace and momentum with regards to our journey to Outstanding. To ensure we achieve this it is absolutely vital that our expectations are high and our standards are exacting. High standards of dress, uniform and behaviour are an extremely important element of our expectations and please support us by checking that your child is dressed in accordance with our school uniform policy.
In addition to this, could I please reinforce the importance of the school planner and how integral this is to the school day. The planner is a key element of the home school partnership and it is crucial that this is checked on a daily basis so you are able to support us with securing good standards of behaviour and attendance from your child. A key academy obsession this half term must be ensuring that all our students achieve our academy attendance target of 97%. At the end of half term 2 the school’s attendance was 95.2% and we finished half term 3 at 94.7%. It is crucial now that we strengthen the home-school partnership and work together over the coming weeks to improve this figure. Your child’s attendance information is recorded in school planners every week; please discuss good attendance with your child on a regular basis and remind them that the academy attendance target is 97%.
Thank you for your support with sending your child to school during this period of unsettled and wintery weather. I was extremely impressed with the number of students who demonstrated our Academy value of resilience last week who, despite poor weather, arrived in school on time and ready to learn. It is very rare that we have to close the school however, the safe guarding of our students is of the utmost importance and it was necessary that we took this action on Wednesday the 28th February. Please be aware for future reference that should the school need to close the following lines of communication will be followed; a message will be displayed on the school website and a text message sent home to inform you of the closure.
Finally, I would just like to say how much I am looking forward to working with you and your child to secure not only an outstanding judgement from Ofsted but also world class school status.