The Aldridge Foundation is celebrating a double win at the Independent Academies Association’s Best Practice Awards this month.
The Foundation won the Baker Tilly sponsored award for Innovative and Effective Governance, which recognises excellence in the support for schools from their Governing Bodies and the way that these are organised.
The Aldridge Foundation has made promoting effective governance central to its improvement and growth strategy for its family of Academies. Each governing body works to agreed pan-academy goals including reach to Outstanding Status; Improve teaching and learning, developing the right curriculum to ensure that all groups of students make equal levels of progress; acquiring the nationally recognised Governance Quality Mark; and making entrepreneurship an integral part of learning at the Academy.
The success of this approach was recognised in several of the Foundation’s Academy Ofsted reports. At Darwen, for example, inspectors stated: “Strong governance sets high expectations of staff and leaders. Governors are well-informed about the data on the performance of the Academy in relation to the national picture and hold the Principal and staff closely to account for students’ performance.”
Tim Campbell MBE, first winner of the Apprentice and CEO of the Bright Ideas Trust presented the award. He cited the judging panel’s comments that: “It is clear that a well-informed, capable and effective group of governors has been created to the benefit of all (the Foundation’s sponsored) schools. Furthermore, because each Academy is established as an independent trust, local autonomy is maintained within a framework of shared values and goals.”
The award was collected on behalf of the Foundation by Peter Kyle, chair of Governors at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy, who is also a governor at Portslade Aldridge Community Academy, and John Tizzard, a governor of the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy.
Darwen Aldridge Community Academy, the first school to be sponsored by the Foundation, also scooped the Partnerships with the Wider Community award, having been named Most Innovative Academy of the Year by the IAA judges last year.
In this category the judges praised the Academy’s emphasis on community regeneration and the development of entrepreneurship. “It was not simply about working with local business partners to give the students business experience but it was more about helping them to create their own businesses. There were an impressive 3000 students who had engaged in the project and the model is clearly sustainable” they commented.
DACA Principal Brendan Loughran accepted the award on behalf of the Academy.