A collaborative School Improvement Strategy
Athena Schools Trust and GEP Academies
Athena Schools Trust and Guildford Education Partnership (GEP) Academies have taken the exciting decision to combine their school improvement services to provide a more wide-ranging, improved and robust service to schools, and school leaders, for the academic years 2019-2021.
GEP, along with Athena, is also a local cross-phase trust and both have been keen to collaborate, not compete, in order to provide the best for our local communities. We are ambitious for our pupils and for our staff and we believe in school to school and peer to peer support. We believe that all our schools are unique but that alignment of curriculum and systems where appropriate can be a major benefit to the educational offer and reduce teacher workload.
Investing in staff expertise and professional development, while also holding each other to account and delivering collectively for the children in our region, is our uniting purpose as we enter this stage of our development. Through trust collaboration, all schools and Headteachers receive enhanced school improvement support, review, training and development.
Athena’s five and GEP’s seven schools, and our additional associate member schools and organisations, all within South West Surrey, present the exciting prospect of developing and improving schools together.
The opportunities for enhanced professional dialogue, support capacity, expertise and school-to-school learning make this an exciting time to be part of both trusts. Our objective is to enable teachers and leaders to be challenged and supported to work together to provide an even richer educational offer than an individual school or small trust would be able to provide alone; and the George Abbot Teaching School and SCITT are important vehicles to provide capacity for improvement across all schools in both Trusts.
Our Collaborative School Improvement Strategy has four phases; diagnostic, planning, delivery and review. We have brought together a great team to support school leaders and teachers to identify priorities and build programmes to focus on improvement in all our schools.
Both trusts committed initially to a two-year programme and will take part in a completed trust merger which will begin as 'Athena-GEP' on September 1st 2021.
Jack Mayhew, Executive Headteacher Athena Schools Trust, CEO of Athena-GEP