Devon primary academy trust is one of the best in the country

First Federation’s Executive Headteacher and Chief Executive, Paul Jones

Posted on: 13 July 2016

A highly successful Devon primary academy trust has been rated as one of the best in the country for school improvement.

The First Federation Trust is based at Blackpool Primary at Liverton and incorporates eight other primary schools across Devon.

A new table shows the First Federation as the second highest performer for school improvement in the country.

The respected education think tank, the Education Policy Institute, looked at the Trust’s current value added statistics and its figures for the past three years.

Out of more than 220 local authorities and primary multi-academy trusts across the country, the First Federation was rated second.

The London-based Harris Federation was top, making the First Federation the highest performer in the South West for school improvement.

The table does not include single academies but only multi-academy trusts with five schools or more.

The First Federation Trust consists of the primary schools at Blackpool, Chudleigh Knighton, Salcombe, Newton Ferrers, Aveton Gifford, Lady Seward’s at Clyst St George, together with St Leonard’s in Exeter, Westcliff in Dawlish and Brixington in Exmouth, which joined this academic year.

Over half of the pupils in the Trust are taught at schools judged outstanding by Ofsted.

The First Federation’s executive headteacher and chief executive, Paul Jones, said they were delighted with the findings which were achieved through a relentless focus on teaching and learning.

“The Trust deals with the business of running schools centrally and that reduces the bureaucracy and administrative burden on the leaders in our individual schools,” he said.

“That means school leaders can focus relentlessly on improving the quality of teaching and learning for all our children and every teacher knows exactly what they need to do to help every child improve.

“Our Trust is dedicated to creating outstanding schools for children. It is a testament to the quality, talent and dedication of everyone who works in our Trust that we are the second highest performer in the country.”

For some years, the First Federation Trust has been training its own teachers and it aims to promote from within so that it is now ‘growing its own’ school leaders.

The First Federation’s vice chair of directors, Alex Walmsley, said they were thrilled with the national recognition.

“Our success is built on the dedication and hard work of all the staff and children in the First Federation,” he said.

“Paul is an outstanding and visionary leader who continually drives the Trust to improve.

“This report has given richly deserved external validation to the truly remarkable things that he and his talented staff achieve.”

Posted in: Education