Our academy is part of a revolution in secondary schooling that is taking place in Dudley. It started with Dudley College of Technology, a major player in the economic revival of Dudley and the Black Country – and a powerful force for improvement in the education and life prospects of our young people.
The College wanted to ensure that Dudley 16 year-olds have the opportunities that children in other parts of the UK enjoy. That means having the English and Mathematics skills to succeed in sixth form, in College, in apprenticeships, in university and in their careers. It means having a passion for other subjects, such as Science or French or Drama or Sport. And it means growing up with the confidence and ambition to become whatever they set their sights on.
From this idea, Dudley Academies Trust – the DAT – was born. The DAT has one purpose: to turn every academy that joins the Trust into a top-performing school that achieves above-average results and gives every learner every chance to succeed. To achieve this the Trust recruited a Central Team of experienced and highly-effective professionals from school leadership and teaching, as well as many other support professions such as finance and IT. Many members of the team have a proven track record in schools improvement.
Since it started, the Trust has:
- Appointed four new Principals, ten new senior leaders and countless excellent heads of department and teachers. Competition to come and work with us has been intense.
- Set up a team of Outstanding Practitioners – teachers who are experts in their subjects and set the very highest standards for all our academies
- Introduced new teaching methods into every classroom. These ensure that each and every child participates in the lessons
- Worked with learners to produce a new system of rewards and behaviour management that has changed the culture in our schools. Teachers tell us that they can now get on with teaching and children tell us that it makes them want to learn. The rewards for attendance, punctuality, effort, achievement and kindness are particularly popular!
- Created a Careers programme designed to inspire learners of all ages and motivate them to do their best
- Invested £millions in the academies’ buildings, IT and facilities
- Purchased the latest available learning technologies for use in home and classroom
- Transformed the approach to Year 7 – the move from primary school – and Year 11 – the GCSE year.
This is only the beginning of the DAT revolution, but you can be sure that it is the start of a success story for our academies and the children who are learning there.