The department has continued to work closely with the University of Chester Academies Trust to support improvements at University of Chester CE Academy (UCEA). The Cheshire Vale Teaching School Alliance (CVTSA) and their secondary school, Tarporley High School (rated Outstanding by Ofsted), are providing additional support which has been funded through an emergency Strategic School Improvement Funding grant.
Specialist leaders of education from CVTSA are working with middle and senior leaders in the school, supporting them to improve their knowledge, skills and confidence in order to improve standards. The recent Ofsted monitoring inspection in March 2018 was positive about the impact of this additional support:
“The scope and intensity of the school’s work with staff from CVTSA has increased dramatically over the course of this term. In January 2018, the acting principal and vice-principal were made permanent in their roles. Senior leaders feel that they now have the freedom, authority and support to increase the intensity of their efforts to improve the school.”
The report recognises that it is too early to assess the full impact of the additional support. In order to release capacity in the trust and to enable it to support UCEA better, the West Midlands Regional Schools Commissioner has agreed with the trust to initially rebroker four schools (University Primary Academy Weaverham, University Primary Academy Kidsgrove, University Academy Kidsgrove and University of Chester Academy Northwich).