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Planning for the Future – Haltwhistle

In Haltwhistle by Gary Robinson

WISE Academies is a successful Multi Academy Trust operating throughout the North-East of England including a number of academies within the Northumberland area. We are proud to be the new sponsors of Haltwhistle First and Middle Academies. These academies complement our existing settings in Haydon Bridge, Prudhoe and elsewhere in Northumberland, Sunderland and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Whilst WISE Academies is delighted to be operating in Haltwhistle, our involvement coincides with the Local Authority’s major review of school provision in the area affecting a number of schools and continuing the shift from a three-tier school system to a two-tier strategy for the area. As the new proprietors of the First and Middle Academies we need to deal with these changes and understand how they affect our Haltwhistle settings.

WISE representatives have already taken steps to engage with parents and the local community as part of our commitment to communicate with all stakeholders.

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A consultation exercise will run from 15th October to 3rd December 2018. The consultation document which can be viewed here sets out the background, the proposals and how interested parties can contribute to the consultation process.

We hope that, throughout this document, we are also able to demonstrate our high aspirations for the young people of Haltwhistle. We also hope that you will contribute to our consultation exercise and help us to shape the educational provision that we need in Haltwhistle.

Interested parties can respond to the consultation by e-mailing or by completing the online form which can be found here.


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Education Secretary praises WISE Academies

In WISE Academies by Gary Robinson

On 11th October 2018, Damian Hinds, Education Secretary spoke at the launch of Confederation of School Trusts to praise the diversity and accountability of academies.

In his speech, Mr Hinds made reference to the vision behind Multi Academy Trusts as schools coming together to achieve more than they can on their own. He then gave examples of MATs that have achieved notable success.

We were delighted that the Education Secretary chose to mention WISE Academies in this speech.

An extract from Mr Hinds’ speech is set out below: –

“Take WISE Academies in the North East, which – since 2012 – has taken on nine sponsored academies all of which previously had significant performance concerns.

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This trust has reduced teacher workload through more efficient lesson planning and the creation of shared learning resources they have introduced new ways of teaching such as maths mastery techniques brought over from Singapore.

What is the result? Every school that has been inspected since joining the trust has been judged as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding'”

The full speech can be found here

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Hasting Hill Children are Winners!

In Hasting Hill Academy by Gary Robinson

WISE Academies congratulates the pupils of Hasting Hill Academy on winning the Never Such Innocence song writing contest performing at Westminster Barracks in May. Jane Walton, Headteacher of Hasting Hill Academy, is justifiably proud of her pupils..

The contest marks the centenary of the first world war and the Songs of the Centenary competition inspires children and young people far and wide to use music to mark the centenary. The winners were presented with their awards at the Never Such Innocence Awards Ceremony at the Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks, in London and performed their songs to the guests. You can watch the performance here: –


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A Special Partnership

In WISE Academies by Gary Robinson

WISE Academies is delighted to confirm that it will be joining forces with North View Academy from September 2018. WISE Academies is a Multi Academy Trust (MAT) with schools in Sunderland, Northumberland and Newcastle. MATs are the governments preferred model of schools and have many benefits compared to other school models. MATs are able to achieve important efficiencies and have proven to be the best model of sharing of best practice.

The leaders and governors of North View and WISE Academies feel that there will be real benefits from the expertise that exists across both organisations. There will continue to be skilled and supportive professionals who welcome the opportunity to work together to benefit North View Academy and across WISE Academies. Senior leaders within both organisations will work together to develop practical and effective strategies to transform learning across all of our academies.

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North View Academy will be the first special school to join our MAT. WISE Academies is an inclusive Trust and recognises the significant benefits facilitated by the addition of North View Academy to the family of schools.

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WISE Academies prepares to welcome Haltwhistle

In WISE Academies by Gary Robinson

The Department for Education has approved Haltwhistle Lower School and Haltwhistle Upper School to become part of WISE Academies. We are pleased to announce that they will both join the WISE Academies family of schools from 1st September 2018, subject to all legal processes being completed.

WISE Academies already has a strong presence in West Northumberland through the successful integration of Adderlane Academy, Prudhoe West Academy and more recently Shaftoe Trust Academy into the Trust. These five schools will form a strong partnership within the WISE Academies West Northumberland Hub.

Haltwhistle Lower and Haltwhistle Upper School will benefit from a supportive partnership with WISE Academies and will also benefit from the strength and proven track-record of this local Trust.

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Meetings are being arranged with staff, parents/carers, governors and the local community where the leaders of WISE Academies look forward to engaging with all stakeholders.

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Bob Symonds receives OBE

In WISE Academies by Gary Robinson

Everyone at WISE Academies is delighted that Bob Symonds has been recognised in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. This is a just reward for many years of voluntary public service.

Mr Symonds served as a Company Member and Director of WISE Academies – since the company’s inception at March 2011 until his retirement from the role in summer 2017. However, Mr Symonds’ service as a school governor significantly pre-dates the establishment of WISE Academies. He served as a school governor from the mid 1980s onwards. Mr Symonds devoted a great deal of time and commitment to all of these roles.

Zoe Carr O.B.E. (CEO of WISE Academies) says “Robert Symonds has been 100% committed to the role of providing support to the education system of our region. Mr Symonds has given many years of distinguished public service and WISE Academies is proud that he was such a key part of our governance. We congratulate him on being appropriately recognised for his significant contribution to education and the communities of the North East of England.”

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Hasting Hill welcomes MP

In Hasting Hill Academy by Gary Robinson

Hasting Hill Academy was pleased to welcome MP Bridget Phillipson Academy on Friday 8th June 2018 as part of Democracy Day . Bridget Phillipson, MP for Sunderland South and Houghton, visited Hasting Hill to meet our children and staff.  The MP took part in a Q & A session where the children asked lots of interesting questions.
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You can see more images here

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Hasting Hill Academy awarded Gold!

In Hasting Hill Academy by Gary Robinson

Hasting Hill Academy is celebrating receiving the Gold award for the Great Active Sunderland Schools Charter. The Great Active Sunderland School Charter was developed to be a celebration of schools which are improving the health and well-being of pupils, creating sport and physical activity opportunities and being a great community school.

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We congratulate Hasting Hill Academy on receiving the Gold Award.

Pupil health and well-being are at the heart of everything that we do within WISE Academies. Last year this culminated in The WISE Games where all of our academies competed at Gateshead Stadium.


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Blyth Quays Trust makes WISE move

In WISE Academies by Gary Robinson

We are pleased to announce that the three academies that form The Blyth Quays Trust will be joining with WISE Academies later in 2018.  Trustees and members of The Blyth Quays Trust have been reviewing its capacity to rapidly improve standards and to deliver the very best education for the children in its academies.   Recognising the strength that can be gained from being part of a larger organisation they proposed to seek a partnership with another trust in the North East.

Working in partnership with the Department for Education, the Trust has undertaken an in-depth scoping exercise to ensure that any partnership that was formed was with a trust whose ethos and vision aligned with those of The Blyth Quays Trust.

Chief Executive Officer of WISE Academies is Zoe Carr, a school leader since 2004 with an outstanding track record of supporting schools to achieve the very best for their students.  The Blyth Quays Trust is delighted that the schools within The Blyth Quays Trust will benefit from the expertise and experience of such an outstanding practitioner and school leader.  Alongside the ideal match of ethos and vision, the academies currently within The Blyth Quays Trust’s will be able to access additional expertise and resources through WISE Academies’ Teaching School and the other primary academies within WISE that will support and build up the capacity required in Blyth.  WISE has immediately increased leadership capacity in Blyth Quays through deploying a highly successful Executive Headteacher who will be supported by a wide team of experts who are skilled at rapid school improvement.

WISE Academies is delighted to be expanding its operation into the Blyth area.  WISE demonstrates a proven track record of transforming similar schools with a successful school improvement model, thereby securing a bright future of the three Blyth Quays academies.   WISE Academies is built upon firm foundations and is ready and able to provide effective support to the Blyth schools.

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A Proud Moment for WISE Academies at Buckingham Palace

In WISE Academies by Gary Robinson

Yesterday Zoe Carr, Chief Executive of WISE Academies received the award of Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) at an investiture ceremony performed by Prince Charles in Buckingham Palace.

Zoe was recognised in the New Year Honours List for her services to Education. Zoe has led WISE Academies since 2013. Under her leadership the organisation has grown to include seven academies with more Trust growth due to take place later in 2018. Zoe also contributes significantly to the wider education sector through her work with the Regional Head Teacher Board and has provided support to other schools and academies throughout the region. Zoe has ensured that WISE Academies has become one of the most prominent MATs in the North of England.
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To receive this award at Buckingham Palace is a huge honour for Zoe and for WISE Academies.