Proud to be part of Staffordshire University Academies Trust - Click here for more information.
A Bright future for SUA
I feel incredibly proud to be the Principal of Staffordshire University Academy. I was appointed to the role in October 2014 by our Multi-Academy Trust Board. With the support of our students and our committed staff, parents and governors our academy is going from strength to strength. We are lucky to be based in a state of the art £10 million building in Hednesford. We have excellent facilities to enhance the learning experience of all of our students.
Having previously been judged by Ofsted in March 2013 as ‘Requires Improvement’ we are justifiably proud of the recognition given by Ofsted in our most recent inspection in March 2015. Ofsted recognised the significant and sustainable improvements that have continued to be made. We are an inclusive community academy making a very positive contribution towards the life chances of our young people. I know the staff at the academy would like to thank the students, parents/carers and governors for their contribution to this achievement; the hard work of the students, teaching staff and the support staff who give such magnificent assistance to the work in all of our classrooms.
These improvements are acknowledged by the recent Ofsted judgement rating leadership in the academy as “Good”. letter recently received from Sir Michael Wilshaw, the Chief Inspector of Schools, he wrote, “Your ambition and strong leadership will be crucial to Staffordshire University Academy making the necessary journey from requires improvement to good.” July 2015
Our goal is to ensure the very best support for every student and we do a lot to strengthen the literacy of all of our students. Every student in Year 7, 8 and 9 follow the Accelerated Reading Programme. We use information gathered from computerised reading quizzes and other reading tests, to support students. An extensive range of clubs, support activities and interventions are also in place to ensure success for all learners. Our academy library is popular and students are eager to win prizes with their improved reading scores. There has been a huge impact with our work supporting the development of reading; students making an average gain in their reading ages of over 2 years in a 12 month period.
2015 saw students of all abilities continue to build upon the successes of previous years. The hard work, perseverance and drive of students coupled with the support of their families and the inspiration and commitment of the staff produced some excellent performances in the Sixth Form. The 2015 summer examinations led to 61% of ‘A’ Level students moving on to study at university. 30% of the Year 13 leavers successfully securing places at our sponsor, Staffordshire University.
GCSEs taken last summer saw some of our students achieving outstanding results. Our key to improvement is sustainable success and we are delighted that more than half of all students in our current Year 11 (2015-2016) achieved at least a C grade in their English Literature GCSE in August 2015. This gave these students the confidence to know they have the ability to achieve great results this year. The year group have been collectively the hardest working and most dedicated to their studies since I joined the academy 3 years ago. We have had record numbers of students attending weekly Saturday study sessions and additional revision lessons held during period 6. Students, families and academy staff will all be looking forward to seeing the results this August.
Improving schools are self-critical and honest in their analysis of their own performance and I recognise our disappointment with the overall achievement of the Year 11 leavers with last summer’s results. This was partly due to all of the changes that the students had been through in their five years at the school. Our most recent Ofsted inspection report recognised significant work has gone on to ensure this will not be the case in the future. The problem is not in the lack of good teachers, we have some really talented teachers at SUA, the problem in the past was securing the progress of the learners in the younger year groups to sustain long term success. Ofsted recognised this in their report when they stated, “more rapid progress is being made and this will lead to year on year improvement.” I am keen for parents to know that our leaders, at every level, have been (as stated in the full report), “relentless in eradicating inadequate teaching and in establishing their high expectations of both staff and students.”
I would like to acknowledge the work of our governors who have supported the improvements by working tirelessly as critical friends over the last few years. Governors and parent supporters are all volunteers and they work hard to support the academy.
These are exciting times at SUA with a massive increase in applications for places, 142 new students joined the academy last September; a 50% increase in the number of applications for two years in a row. We now have strong community links and I am really enthusiastic about our future. I hope as many parents and families as possible come and see what we have to offer at this rapidly improving academy.
If you would like to find out more about our academy please feel free to come and visit us during a normal working day. You will see why we are all so determined to help our students be the best they can be; you will see our students hard at work and see staff whom enjoy working to support these ends.
Mrs Hillier – Principal