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Curwen Primary School

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FAQ's

What happens during formal consultation period?

The governing board has decided to consult on the proposal that the school converts to academy and joins The Tapscott Learning Trust. We are entering a period of formal consultation so that we can listen to the views of staff, parents and the community. During this period we will hold a public meeting on xx, carry out a survey to gather opinion, hold drop-in sessions  and keep the list of frequently asked questions on our website up to date

The formal consultation period will run for six weeks from 15th October 25th November 2018.

How will the school decide whether to convert to an academy and join The Tapscott Learning Trust?

The governing board will receive a report on all the responses to consultation and consider these against its judgement of the benefits for the school of converting to academy and join The Tapscott Learning Trust

Is there an alternative to joining The Tapscott Learning Trust?

The school has received two consecutive Ofsted judgements of “Requires Improvement”. Newham Council brokered a partnership with The Tapscott Learning Trust to support the school and the Trust has put its resources to improving outcomes for the pupils. If the school did not join the Trust it would withdraw its resources and move away from the school and we would need to find a new partner. 

Will the school leadership and governance arrangements change?

If the school joins the Trust Ms Helm would remain as headteacher and the governing board would become a local advisory board. It would have similar responsibilities for running the schools and hold senior leaders and the Trust Board to account for the performance of staff and pupils

What will change if the school joins The Tapscott Learning Trust?

On a day to day basis the school will be run as it is now. The curriculum will remain the same and things like school uniform would not change unless governors and parents agreed. The Trust’s support for the school will become permanent and we think this will continue to benefit the pupils and the staff.

What is a multi-academy trust?

A multi-academy trust (MAT) is a group of schools working in collaboration to improve and maintain high educational standards across the trust.  The multi-academy trust is governed through a single set of members and trustees.

Who are Tapscott Learning Trust company members and trustees?

Andi Smith - Member and Chair of Trustees

Andi Smith is a very experienced educator, having been a successful Head Teacher for 12 years.  In 2004 he was appointed to the London Borough of Newham’s Chief Officer for School Improvement Services and also a member of the boroughs regional advisory group to Training Development Agency. Andi has also worked for the Department of Education and in 2014 became a badged National Leader of Governance, being accredited by the National College for Teaching and Learning to undertake external Reviews of Governance.   He has also been a Chair of Governors and governor at many local schools and has lived in Newham for many years.

Rezza Choudhury – Member
A Newham resident, Rezza is a practicing barrister specialising in all aspects of commercial and civil litigation and also part time Chair of Education Appeals, hearing school admission and exclusion cases.                

Joy Laguda – Member

Joy has been a labour councillor for more than 20 years, serving on the Education Committee.  She has also been a governor at Curwen Primary School and is a Newham resident.

Catherine Brown – Member

Catherine has over 32 years’ senior Board experience in corporate advisory and finance, working with a wide variety of organisations from SMEs to companies in the FTSE 100. She is FCA registered with comprehensive understanding of regulatory, governance and compliance issues facing highly regulated industries, including Financial Services. Another resident of Newham, Catherine is a past governor of Curwen Primary School, having served a four year term.

Rashmi Makwana – Member

Rashmi is now retired from the Metropolitan Police where he was a Senior Manager in the IT Dept.  He is a parent governor at Kensington Primary with many years experienced and also the schools safeguarding link to the Governing Body. As a child, Rashmi also attended Kensington Primary School.

Margaret Cameron-Ratchford - Trustee

An experienced school governor, currently Chair at Kensington Primary School, Maggie has worked for the Every Child a Musician Programme within her home borough of Newham.  She is committed to ensuring that all children receive a broad and balanced curriculum, which places value on sport and the arts, alongside core subjects. Maggie is Chair of the TTLT Finance, Operations and Resource Sub Committee.

Jacque Robertin – Trustee

Jacque is a parent at Curwen Primary, a past governor and Chair of the Finance Committee at Kensington Primary and currently Chairs the TTLT Audit and Risk Sub Committee.  Jaque is a CIMA Qualified Accountant.

Diana Higgins - Trustee

Another parent at Curwen Primary school and past governor, Diana is an HR business partner for a global energy company, based in Canary Wharf.

Kate Shurety – Trustee

Kate is Director of Communications at Westminster University.  She is a past parent governor at Curwen Primary, where her own daughter went to school and still resides in Newham.  Kate Chairs the Trusts Safeguarding & Standards Sub Committee.

Amanda Gill – Trustee

Amanda works in the Finance Crime Prevention Team of a global bank, based in the City. She is a parent at Curwen Primary School and a member of the Trust’s Audit & Risk Committee.

George Spentzos – Trustee

George is currently working as a director at LNG Capital and a Board Member for the CFA Institute Investment Committee in which he monitors and evaluates investment performance and oversees implementation of the Investment Policy Statement.

Paul Harris – Trustee and CEO

Paul became one of the youngest Head Teachers in the country in 2006 when he took the reins at Curwen Primary, taking the schools from its then Ofsted rating of Satisfactory to Outstanding, within a few years and then becoming Executive Head Teacher.  In 2014, Paul also became Executive Head Teacher at Kensington Primary, during which time the fortunes of the school also turned with it seeing an Outstanding Ofsted rating in 2016. In 2016, after the death of his colleague Angela Tapscott, Head Teacher of Ranelagh Primary, Paul was asked to become Acting Executive Head Teacher to help the school during a very difficult time and in 2017, the London Borough of Newham, asked Paul for his help to reverse the fortunes at North Beckton Primary, after their second Requires Improvement Ofsted Rating.  Paul is also an Ofsted Inspector and has worked many times within the Department of Education, most notably on the Rochford Review. He is passionate about school improvement and also the SEND provision, particularly within the London Borough of Newham.

Will the school be less inclusive if it joins The Tapscott Learning Trust?

The Trust is very passionate about providing for the needs of children with SEND.  Mr Harris is a respected expert in the field, having worked with the Department for Education as an advisor.  The Trust also provides specialist training for staff and other schools in Autism Education Training and in Speech and Language training with Elklan. Since working with North Beckton, the Trust has repeatedly pushed Newham Council for more support for children with SEND needs. In addition, all the Trust schools currently hold Inclusion Quality Mark’s for their SEND provision.

Will the terms and conditions of staff remain the same?

The staff will retain their current terms and conditions of service. This will apply to all existing and new staff and they will also have access to the same additional employment benefits enjoyed by Trust staff.