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Our Story


Date Development Detail
1958 A brand new school for Netherton Hillcrest School is opened on the current site to replace the old prefabricated school in Halesowen Road.
1986 Hillcrest expands Saltwells School closes and its pupils come to Hillcrest.
July 2017 Launch of Dudley Academies Trust Four Dudley secondary schools are brought together under the sponsorship of Dudley College of Technology to form a new Multi Academy Trust. Hillcrest School and Community College becomes an academy.
September 2017 Our new mission and vision: Working together we will develop inspirational schools which instil ambition and desire in young learners, open their minds, widen their horizons and equip them to succeed in a challenging world.
November 2017 Jo Higgins appointed Chief Executive of Trust Jo Higgins joins from Penistone Grammar School with the aim of transforming the performance and estates of the four schools.
March 2018 Launch of Strategic Plan 2018-20 The Trust explains what it is going to achieve over the next three years and how it will achieve its ambitious targets.
March 2018 Introducing the Trust values Following a student leadership day, learners come up with the Trust values.
  • Dreaming big
  • Rewarding effort
  • Leading together
  • Respecting each other and our world
  • Learning that inspires.
April 2018 SMART curriculum introduced to The Link  
August 2018 Developing our estate Work starts on major improvements to our main block
August 2018 A new identity Hillcrest Academy changes it’s name to The Link Academy, a name suggested by students.
September 2018 All change! Learners start the term with new uniforms (free blazers and ties), a new school day and new teaching methods centred around Collaborative Learning.
September 2018 Introducing Values Driven Expectations A new system of rewards and behaviour management brings a different culture to the schools and a boost to teaching and learning in the classrooms.
November 2018 Upgrade initiative The Academy day is extended for all Year 11s to help them prepare for GCSEs.
Winter 2018/19 Investment in IT Major improvements are made to cabling and wireless networks.
December 2018 Pandas encourage attendance Perfect Attendance – No Days Absent attendance strategy is launched across the Trust.
January 2019 Emma Edwards-Morgan appointed as Principal at The Link Academy As an ex-pupil, Emma becomes a news story when she finds some of her schoolgirl artwork still on display.
March 2019 Learning with Artificial Intelligence Century AI software is introduced to accelerate learners’ progress in English, Mathematics and Science. Year 11 learners get to grips with it during a second extra period at the end of the school day.