The Park Academies Trust

The Park Academies Trust is a rapidly growing MAT, aiming by 2021 to be educating over 5,000 students. The Park Academies Trust prides themselves on a high quality of teaching enabling students to reach their full potential and to provide a consistent standard throughout their schools.

The MAT is built of like-minded local schools: ambitious schools focused on making a real difference for Swindon children. Overall, the MAT provides a wealth of successful experiences, the support and challenge needed to grow, and the economies of scale that are going to be vital in the tough financial landscape ahead.

Clive Zimmerman in 2016 became Executive Headteacher of Abbey Park School (formerly Isambard Community School). Clive, existing Headteacher at the successful Lydiard Park Academy, subsequently formed the Park Academies Trust. In assuming control Clive implemented many successful processes into Abbey Park and these included introducing SchooliP to positively manage the school appraisal process. The system was well known to Clive as it has been used successfully at Abbey Park since 2012.

One module of SchooliP that had an immediate impact was the radar diagram dedicated to the Teachers’ Standards. This diagram enabled self-reflection and informed training needs throughout the academy and the trust.

In overseeing two schools, Clive recognised that different schools carry out appraisals in different ways owing to the idiosyncratic nature of education. SchooliP is mindful of this and the software can tailor aspects of the system to meet individual school needs. Therefore; Lydiard Park and Abbey Park School have their own lesson observation forms integrated into the system to reflect this.

Whilst SchooliP cannot take the credit for the improvement in academic performance throughout the trust, the protocols involved have created more focus for staff. SchooliP serves as a tool to drive improvement.

Collaboration is now a strength of the trust where staff from the two schools are working together to raise the quality of teaching and learning to enhance the education experience for their students.

Overall, Clive is impressed with the intuitive nature of SchooliP and considers the software to be very easy to use. This means that training demands are not excessive. The SchooliP MAT view gives the trust an overview of teaching and learning across all the academies.

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