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Harris Academy Chafford Hundred set to support 275 schools across Essex Rss

Harris Academy Chafford Hundred set to support 275 schools across Essex

Posted on: March 13th 2020

Earlier this year, it was announced that Harris Academy Chafford Hundred is to support 275 schools across Essex, as part of the Department of Education’s strategy to boost standards in schools. This comes as part of a wider mission to attract, retain and support teaching talent in schools across the UK. The support given by teaching regional hubs like Harris Academy Chafford Hundred will be part of a three-year programme where struggling schools can access support from exceptional school leaders.  

Former Schools Minister Lord Agnew, had this to say:

“It is vital that we back our best school leaders and help them to support struggling schools so that we can continue to drive forward the high standards we are already seeing in schools across the country.”

“These new Teaching School Hubs will make it easier for the best school leaders to share expert advice and help schools in their local communities, ensuring that those schools facing the greatest challenges are supported as simply and efficiently as possible.”

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Why Harris Academy Chafford Hundred?

As part of the Harris Federation Teaching School Network, Harris Academy Chafford Hundred (HACH) offers a number of courses to teachers including NQTs, middle leaders and senior leaders.

HACH has consistently over the last five years achieved 5 A*-C including Maths and English results between 84% and 94%. This has placed the academy in the top 1% in the country for pupil progress. HACH has real strength in all areas especially English and Maths where teaching and learning, especially for assessment for learning, is very strong. Since 2013, the academy has held Visitor Day Conferences twice a year to share their journey to success and these have proved immensely popular with schools around the country.

In addition, Harris Academy Chafford Hundred offer a variety of Twilight CPD training sessions each term for both Primary and Secondary schools and are always open to suggestions for new courses and bespoke consultations.  This is an exciting time for both Harris Academy Chafford Hundred and the wider Federation as we continue to lead innovative change and share best practice for schools to benefit across the UK.

Developing and transforming together

To us, professional development is one of the most important aspects of working at the Federation. Providing a space for learning and professional development means we can continue making a difference in education with the inclusion of exceptional, highly skilled individuals at the centre. We spoke to the Head of Harris Teaching School last year about the importance of upskilling and collaborating on best practice:

“It’s interesting really, if you’re a good organisation, if you invest in your people, if you’re clear about the way you do things, almost certainly you will grow better leaders than you can find from outside – especially if you’re one of the most successful organisations in the country. It’s almost certain that by training and supporting your internal people. They will be better qualified, better equipped and knowledgeable about facilitating and leading education in the 21st century.

So, it is important to make that obvious and focus on that – so we talent spot every year. We are looking to identify people who we think can be great middle leaders, great senior leaders, potential headteachers – we identify them, we bring them together and we develop them. And there’s two things that are going on there; there’s content – they are learning things that they might not naturally learn at that stage in their career; there’s recognition - they know we think well of them because we’re identifying them and asking them to be a part of cohorts for certain programmes. But, probably most importantly what happens is they are able to access and build professional networks.

They build professional partnerships with many individuals across the Federation and therefore, once they are more comfortable to move to other academies – they know people. They feel a part of this whole network. Additionally, the standards we expect for young people, from our principals and our senior leaders are hard to achieve on your own – they are only achievable with the help of others and so we have a duty to create those networks for people so that they know people from other academies and can ask for help and advice and reach out, benefitting from examples of how best to do certain things. So, talent spotting is part of it but, building those networks is key too, it’s not just about making leaders who are ready to lead, but they now have the network support to be able to lead within the Federation. So, it is important that we do it on an annual basis, we specifically have our own accelerated principal-programme, our future principal programmes – we also have National Professional Qualification cohorts that are made up of a mix of internal and external participants and therefore we are preparing people to be the best Middle LeadersSenior leaders and potential headteachers they can be.”

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