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Walthamstow Academy is Trailblazer for School Award

Academy's professional development programmes praised

Walthamstow Academy’s staff training and development programmes have been given further external recognition after achieving the CPLD (Continuing Professional Learning and Development) Silver Award. This follows the Investors in People Gold Award which the academy received last year.

The CPLD Award recognises the quality of the training and professional development opportunities that the academy offers all staff and how this has led to improvements in the standard of education students receive. The Award is the only national externally assessed Quality Mark specifically for continuous professional development (CPD) in schools and Walthamstow Academy is the first school in the country to achieve the Silver Award.

The Award comes after an assessor spent three days at the academy in April where he examined the structures the academy has in place for staff development. Whilst at the academy, the assessor conducted interviews with staff and the CPD link governor. During their interviews, staff spoke highly of the professional development opportunities available to them – particularly the academy’s focus on developing their leadership skills.

The assessor marked the academy against 125 different criteria. The academy achieved 100% compliance with the criteria set for the Bronze Award and 92% compliance with those set for the Silver Award – more than the academy needed to secure in order to achieve the Award.

During his visit, the assessor found:

  • The academy’s senior leadership ‘provide powerful role models of effective leadership’;
  • There is a ‘strong climate of achievement and strong culture of commitment and enthusiasm amongst the whole staff team’;
  • There is a ‘strong culture of delegation and empowerment’ throughout the academy with staff saying that they find the opportunities to ‘take a lead on developing practice very motivating and supportive of their career development aspirations’;
  • The academy has a ‘well-defined and visible coaching and mentoring strategy’ to support staff progress and take on more responsibilities.

Walthamstow Academy Principal Emma Skae said:

“This Award is another seal of approval that the approach we are taking at Walthamstow Academy is the right one. I am delighted that the assessor recognised the quality of the professional development opportunities we offer staff and how this is having a positive impact on the achievement of our students.

“The success of our professional development programmes, however, is down to our amazing staff. For these programmes to be successful, we have needed staff to want to engage in them and apply what they are learning on a daily basis. As the assessor found, the staff are incredibly motivated and have thrown themselves into the opportunities we offer which is best demonstrated by our year-on-year improvement in student attainment.

“We are greatly encouraged by the assessor’s complimentary report and have now set our sights on achieving the Gold Award.”

Bob Haywood, Principal Consultant at The CPLD Quality Mark Partnership, said:

“The academy’s ambition, vision and values shone through during the assessment and we saw a clear commitment to staff working collaboratively to develop each other professionally and improve outcomes for students.

“It was a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding assessment. On behalf of The CPLD Quality Mark, it gives me great pleasure to offer the academy my congratulations on becoming the first secondary school to obtain accreditation at Silver. It has set the benchmark for other schools to aspire to!”

Andy Buck, Managing Director – Academies at United Learning of which Walthamstow Academy is a part, said:

“This award is testament to the hard work and commitment of all the academy’s staff who work tirelessly to provide young people in Waltham Forest with a high-quality and stimulating education.”

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Posted: May 28, 2013,
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