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Adding Value to Communities

24 Nov 2017   |   Wellspring Academy Trust

Wellspring Academy Trust is unique in that it has Academies in all sectors of education – Primary, Secondary, Special and Alternative. With 15 Academies, the Trust is amongst the top 5% largest Trusts in England, measured by number of Academies. The Trust is a Social, Emotional and Mental Health specialist… and is a route for NHS adolescent mental health care funding, featuring direct contact with young people via their schools. This provision (called MindSpace) also offers first point of contact mental health support to the families of young people.

The Trust also routes Social Care funding via a Community Interest Company to provide life skills education to young people with Special Educational Needs, post-compulsory education… 19-25.

These initiatives have substantial positive benefits for the young people and their families, supported by impact evaluations of these services, and provide a vision of what MultiAcademy Trusts committed to inclusion and social equality could look like in the future.

Wellspring has six Primary Academies with its’ group. At The Forest Academy, Barnsley, the Trust began a Breakfast Club initiative two years ago. The Academy serves an area of high economic and social deprivation. From being the 32nd Worst Performing Primary School in England, 2013 and 14, Forest was amongst the Top 10 Most Improved Schools in 2015 and amongst the Top 10 schools for Writing and Maths in 2016.

Similar Breakfast Club initiatives have been rolled out across many of the Trusts Academies as a social and learning intervention and as a support for working families like Forest, Littlecoates Academy, Grimsby, is consistently amongst the top performing Primaries in
North East Lincolnshire, despite serving the most challenged community. The Trust shares experiences of effective and impacting practice amongst its Academies without being prescriptive, enabling Academy Principals and leadership teams to make their own context-informed decisions.

North East Lincolnshire is an area that experiences high rates of permanent exclusion and Elective Home Education, particularly amongst its Secondary-aged student population.

Wellspring sponsored the Beacon Academy (Secondary) specifically because of its commitment to inclusion and the important part that the Academy plays in reintegrating students into the mainstream.

Beacon Academy has 77 students on roll who have been reintegrated from Elective Home Education or admitted via the Behaviour and Attendance Collaborative (BAC) that manages the reintegration of students permanently excluded from mainstream. This represents 29%
of the entire school population.

There are 16 students in the current Year 11 cohort who are either In-Years Admissions, reintegrations from Elective Home Education or previously excluded students reintegrated into the mainstream via the BAC. This represents 57% of the Year 11 cohort at Beacon.

The Academy’s 2017 Progress 8 score was +0.29, placing it 3rd Top Performing School in North East Lincolnshire and in the 23rd percentile nationally.

2017 leavers included 2 Looked After Children (LAC) students, one of whom was the Head Girl who achieved 10 A*-C. The other was the only LAC student in North East Lincolnshire to successfully reintegrate into mainstream from Alternative Provision. He achieved 8 GCSE A*-C’s.

Wellspring counts four Special Academies and four Alternative Academies spread across five Local Authority regions amongst its number. These Academies are not only doing exceptional work with the young people and families they serve, all are also making a substantial contribution to the wider system as champions of the inclusion and social equality agendas.

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