I wanted to take this is opportunity to update you all on some of the decisions that have been taken during this difficult period to ensure our schools have the right support in place.
I am pleased to be able to tell you that Neil Winn has been appointed interim principal of Murrayfield Primary Academy and his appointment will run until December 2018.
Bill Holledge will continue to provide continuity and support but he has been promoted to the new role of Chief Operating Officer for Paradigm Trust. Bill has worked as a key part of the trust’s senior team since 2015, helping in many aspects of its management. His knowledge and experience will be of tremendous value during this time of transition.
This is the first time that the trust has had a chief operating officer. The creation of the role was something Amanda, Bill and I were working towards and, following Amanda’s tragic death, the board decided to accelerate this process.
Working closely with the board and the principals, Bill will assume responsibility for much of the trust’s day-to-day management while we go through the process of appointing a new CEO.
A number of Paradigm colleagues have also agreed to take on new/broader roles:
- Claire Brunning, systems and data support across the Trust
- Emma Vehit, interim company secretary
- Ian Arnold, premises support across the Trust
- Polly Jones, finance management across both Murrayfield and Ipswich Academy.
The Paradigm Board has also reflected carefully on the plans for Piper’s Vale Community Primary (Ipswich) to join the Trust as an academy. Paradigm’s strategy in Ipswich is to build a cluster of primary schools which will feed into Ipswich Academy. The regional schools commissioner/Department for Education asked Paradigm to take on Piper’s Vale some time ago and, since then, we have been working through the legal and other steps to enable Piper’s Vale Primary Academy to join Paradigm on 1 September 2017. The Board met last week and has agreed to proceed, notwithstanding Amanda passing away, in the light of a clear recommendation from Bill and the principals. We anticipate that Piper’s Vale will have its current headteacher, Paul Arch, in post when it joins the trust. The Board has asked Ben Carter to take on the role of executive principal over Piper’s Vale, working alongside Paul to ensure rapid improvements in outcomes and the quality of teaching. Ben will continue in his role as principal at Culloden, with members of his leadership team providing operational management on days when he is at Piper’s Vale.
Please join me in welcoming all the above staff to their new roles.
Chair, Paradigm Trust
Amanda will be buried at a private, family only ceremony in the next few weeks. Before that, Paradigm Trust will compile all the messages of condolences that it has received and present them to her family.
We will also be organising events to remember Amanda and celebrate her life and achievements for the children and adults across all the schools. We will be able to update you further as these plans make progress.
As of Monday 5 June, there will be books of condolences in each of the Paradigm schools. It is also possible to send messages of condolences via email – email@example.com. All messages will be read and then collated to be passed back to Amanda’s family.
The directors of Paradigm Trust have decided that Bill Holledge will be in charge of Murrayfield Primary on an interim basis until further notice. Bill is an experienced primary headteacher with a strong track record of school improvement who has worked closely with Amanda for more than ten years. He has the full support of the Board. Bill will work closely with the existing senior team at Murrayfield, including experienced leaders from across Paradigm Trust.
The Board is very aware that there is a need for stability and consistency at Murrayfield and is working to ensure that this is delivered.
It is with tremendous sadness that I have to tell you that Amanda died yesterday. While on holiday in France earlier this week, Amanda suffered a fall incurring serious head injuries which proved fatal. I know I speak for us all when I say that our thoughts and prayers are with her husband and family.
Amanda’s death is a dreadful tragedy. She led Paradigm Trust with enormous energy, tremendous skill and most of all an enduring passion to give every child an outstanding education.
She will be missed so much by everyone and we understand you will have questions – many of which we will not be able to answer yet. We are working on contingency plans and further news will be published in the Paradigm Trust website as it is available.
Train to teach with Paradigm Trust – Ipswich information event – 24 January 2017 – Ipswich Town Hall
Are you thinking about kick-starting an exciting new career in teaching? If so, the Ipswich Train to Teach roadshow is the perfect opportunity for you to learn all you need to know about teacher training and how to apply.
Who is this event for?
The event is designed for anyone who has a degree and is interested in teaching – particularly those who are considering starting their initial teacher training in September 2017. It offers a great opportunity to get all your questions about teaching and teacher training answered.
What to expect
If you attend the event you’ll be able to:
- discuss the different teacher training options available, to help you decide which would best suit you
- meet representatives from our own and other schools/universities that deliver teacher training in this area, and find out about their courses and entry requirements
- receive advice on submitting a successful UCAS application
- talk to practising teachers, including those who have changed career to teach, about what a career as a teacher is really like
- find out about bursaries, scholarships and funding available for teacher training.
A downloadable/printable leaflet is available here.
How to register
We look forward to meeting you.
The Board of Paradigm Trust has approved an updated behaviour policy, which is available from here. The main amendments relate to the arrangements around permanent exclusions – the policy now explicitly references the prevailing guidance from the Department for Education.
Murrayfield Community Primary School in Ipswich is the latest school to be transferred to the management of Paradigm Trust. The transfer is effective as of 1 January 2017.
Murrayfield, which has been in special measures since September 2015, is being transferred at the order of the Department for Education. Paradigm Trust was chosen as Murrayfield’s sponsoring trust because of its local connections and strong track record in improving failing schools. Paradigm Trust already runs Ipswich Academy, which has just achieved its best-ever GCSE results, and three primary schools in London (two of which are rated outstanding by Ofsted and the other good with three outstanding features).
The school’s new name is Murrayfield Primary Academy.
Amanda Phillips CBE, Chief Executive Officer of Paradigm Trust, will be principal of Murrayfield. She said:
“Paradigm Trust’s aim is to give children the educational opportunities they deserve. We are working hard to do that with our existing schools and I am confident we shall be able to do the same for the children at Murrayfield.
“I have met many Murrayfield parents and we understand that change is unsettling. We are keen that they know that we are not interested in change for change’s sake. Everything that is good for the children will continue, but we will take immediate steps to raise the quality of teaching and educational standards.
“The key to improving standards is great teaching. There will be changes as we improve the teaching in the school but we will keep them informed about those. One of our main objectives is that the school is staffed in a way that allows us to deliver the outstanding education that we believe every child deserves.”
All staff currently at Murrayfield will transfer to Paradigm Trust under TUPE legislation.
At Ipswich Academy, Amanda will be replaced by Helen Winn, formerly associate principal, who takes on the role of interim principal.
For further enquiries, please contact the Paradigm Trust media team on 020 7618 9194, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to Editor
Paradigm Trust is a multi academy trust, formed in September 2013, when the two founding schools, Old Ford Primary Academy (OFPA) and Culloden Primary Academy (CPA), converted to Academy status. In September 2014, Solebay Primary Academy (previously called CET Primary School Tower Hamlets) transferred to Paradigm Trust and Ipswich Academy (previously run by the Learning Schools Trust) transferred in September 2015.
Vicki joined the board of directors of Paradigm Trust in December 2016.
Vicki’s term of office is four years. She was appointed as a co-opted director by the Trust Board on 14 December 2016.
Val joined the board of directors of Paradigm Trust in December 2016.
After starting out as a secondary English specialist, she worked as a freelance proof-reader and editor and held a full time editorial post with a small specialist publishing company for several years, before moving into the City to take up the position of Deputy Director-General at the Business Services Association, working in London and Brussels.
She currently enjoys a freelance career, working with a number of smaller charities, and is a Liveryman and Court Assistant of the Worshipful Company of Educators.
Val’s term of office is four years. She was appointed as a co-opted director by the Trust Board on 14 December 2016.
Following the recent open meeting at Murrayfield Community Primary School, which was attended by representatives of Paradigm Trust at the invitation of the Murrayfield Interim Executive Board (IEB), we have produced a document which summarises the questions asked, and the answers provided.