Principal’s Blog – End of Module 2: Merry Christmas!

3randon-utcbb2116-8I would like to start this post by welcoming you to a new feature of The Leigh UTC’s website – the Principal’s Blog. I intend to post regular updates and news as well as some pieces on various matters that affect our college and the wider education landscape.

It has been another outstanding module at The Leigh UTC with so many success stories. The Leigh UTC achieved the best Progress 8 score of any UTC in the country, even better than Reading UTC, the only UTC judged outstanding by Ofsted so far. We recently found out that Kent has been ranked 1st out of 150 local authorities for TechBacc performance at Post-16 in 2016. There were 20 entries in Kent altogether for the TechBacc, 13 of which were at The Leigh UTC.

I am delighted to share with you the news of our three external reviews on Safeguarding, Behaviour and SEND. All were extremely positive and highlights the fantastic work that both staff and students are doing here at The Leigh UTC:
“The College provides a safe physical and emotional environment for young people in which success through earning is strongly promoted. The SLT and particularly the college DSL are strongly committed to student welfare. The students themselves would highly recommend their college”
Helen Windiate, Education Safeguarding Consultant, November 2016
“Students are developing highly positive attitudes and they show responsibility. Many confirmed that it is a good place to study and that behaviour is consistently at least good and frequently outstanding.”
Bill Stoneham Bass Educational, November 2016
“The ethos and practice on the school is clearly highly effective on outcomes for SEN pupils”
Anne Massey, e2iconsultancy, November 2016

A number of trips have taken place this term including the Year 11 English trip to the Ambassadors Theatre, London, to see Pigeon English, which proved to be an excellent event. A group of our Year 11 students are returning today from a two-day team building residential visit to Dorking and I look forward to sharing stories and photographs from the visit later this week. We also streamed our Remembrance service live on Facebook and Twitter, a video that can still be accessed here.

img_0059We also held our second annual Awards Dinner in November. It was a special night, giving the staff and I the opportunity to recognise the outstanding work of our students with so many of their parents and our business partners. The event also helped us to raise funds for many extra curricula projects. I am already looking forward to next year’s event which will be even bigger and better!

christmas-jumper-dayThe recent Christmas Jumper Day was a showcase of so many things that makes the UTC such an outstanding place to learn and thrive – an excellent effort of fundraising by the students and staff as well as a number of events, including our first “The UTC’s Got Talent” show – something that we look forward to holding again next year – and our own unique UTC spin on the traditional school nativity display.

We have a number of exciting developments on the horizon with the planned opening, in September 2017, of Inspiration Academy, our feeder school for years 7-9 and plans are well under way. One of the key ingredients for any successful school is a strong team of staff and we will be looking to expand our current team over the coming months to take account of the challenges ahead. The first of these is the appointment of a Head of College to play a key role in overseeing the development of Inspiration Academy and I am pleased to announce that Mrs Lindars, currently Assistant Principal at The Leigh UTC, will undertake this role.

Please do take a look at the Winter 2016 edition of Leigh Academies Trust’s newsletter which is available to view here. As you will see, The Leigh UTC is heavily featured, as an example of one of the very best schools in the Trust.

I look forward to sharing further updates via this blog through the rest of this academic year and would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas.

Steve Leahey