St Luke’s to join successful Exeter academy trust

Photo of entrance of St Luke's School

Posted on: 9 September 2019

St Luke’s School in Exeter is set to join the city’s successful Ted Wragg Multi Academy Trust.

The Trust already runs three of Exeter’s secondary schools – St James, Isca and West Exe – as well as eight other schools.

The governors of St Luke’s Church of England School agreed unanimously to the move last September after consulting with parents and the wider community. It will be finalised within the next two months.

Ted Wragg Trust chief executive Moira Marder said: “We are incredibly proud of the impact our Multi-Academy Trust has had.

“Since joining the Trust, all of our schools have identified significant improvements in terms of Ofsted, progress, attainment and attendance.

“More and more of our students are achieving their very best and making aspirational life choices, which is allowing them to flourish in a whole range of contexts.”

Last month St Luke’s announced significant improvements in its GCSE results.

The percentage of students achieving five or more grades at the standard pass of Grade 4 or above, including English and maths, shot up to 53 per cent from 43 per cent in 2018.

The percentage of students achieving a Grade 5 in English and maths went up from 29 per cent last year to 37 per cent.

And students at St Luke’s achieved 149 grades at grade 7 or above, including 31 at grade 9 – the highest grade possible at GCSE.

Despite these significant improvements in performance, St Luke’s has been placed in special measures by Ofsted following a two-day inspection of the school in June – too early to take account of this year’s results.

Lead inspector Kathy Maddocks, who headed a team of four, said: “Teaching is not good enough. Pupils receive a varied experience in their learning which is hindering their progress.

“Leaders have failed to tackle the significant weaknesses in pupils’ progress and the standards they attain.”

Acting headteacher Kealey Sherwood said: “The report highlights the school’s strength in safeguarding, behaviour and attendance but we know we need to focus on improving the quality of teaching and learning throughout the school and on student outcomes.

“We have been working with specialists from the Ted Wragg Trust over the past year and that help and support has been demonstrated in the significant improvement in this year’s GCSE results.

“As a school community we are obviously hugely disappointed with the report’s findings.

“However we will be working tirelessly to move the school forward. Everyone involved in the school is absolutely committed to providing the best possible education for our pupils and we will be doing all we can to improve the academic standards of this school rapidly.

“We take great confidence from the fact that we will be joining the highly successful Ted Wragg Trust which has a proven track record of supporting local schools.

“With the support we have, we will turn this around very quickly.”

Chair of governors, Adrian Harding, said: “The inspectors were unable to take account of the most recent exam results or our commitment to becoming part of the Ted Wragg Trust.

“Governors believed this would be the best route to securing rapid and sustained progress.

“I’m delighted that our most recent exam results showed significant improvement across all headline measures and many subjects.”

The Diocesan Director of Education, John Searson, said: “I am disappointed that the school has not provided the standard of education that the students and their families deserve.

“I am reassured however that as the school will join the Ted Wragg Trust shortly, they will receive the support that they need.

“The Ted Wragg Trust has a very strong track record of improving schools. St Luke’s Church of England School will benefit enormously from this collaborative working and the larger family of Trust and Church Schools will all ensure that the school will better serve its community of learners into the future.”

Posted in: Education