CORE Education Trust is short-listed for ‘turnaround’ award

A TRUST which runs two schools that have undergone a phenomenal transformation has been short-listed for an award.

CORE Education Trust was established in March 2015 and runs Nansen Primary School and Rockwood Academy in Alum Rock, Birmingham.

In March 2016 both schools were removed from special measures and rated as ‘Good’ by education watchdog Ofsted. For Nansen it was its best rating in its entire 90-year history.

The turnaround has seen the Trust and school win praise from political and education chiefs, including National Schools Commissioner Sir David Carter and Chief Inspector of Schools Sir Michael Wilshaw.

It has now been short-listed in the Institute For Turnaround (IFT) Annual Awards 2016. IFT is the leading professional body for accredited experts who drive step change in organisations of all types and the awards celebrate ‘exceptional performance’.

CORE Education Trust prides itself on its innovative and pioneering partnerships with high profile external organisations in the arts, culture and sports sectors.

The Lawn Tennis Association, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, and Maverick TV are among the organisations it has developed partnerships with. These partnerships were described by Ofsted as “pioneering” when the schools were inspected in March.

Sir Michael Fallon with new recruits at Rockwood Academy’s Combined Cadet Force Unit

Earlier this month, launching Rockwood Academy’s new Combined Cadet Force Unit, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon described the school as a “phoenix from the ashes”.

The Trust, also based in Alum Rock, is led by CEO Adrian Packer, a proven and exceptional leader in the field of education whose expertise is valued nation-wide.

Mr Packer said: “We are delighted to be short-listed for this IFT award.

“The last 20 months have been an incredibly challenging time and the new Trust, Nansen Primary School and Rockwood Academy have worked relentlessly to address the issues left by our predecessors.

“Now both run by new head teachers, a new Trust and new governing bodies, we are thoroughly proud of the fact that the hard work done by all involved has led to our schools both being rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted in March 2016.

“For both schools the turnaround in under two years is undoubtedly a rare and outstanding achievement.

“Through a very tough, but clear, Ofsted monitoring inspection process, we have established key ingredients to transform our schools.

“The first was to attract the best teachers and the best leaders. Secondly, we promoted a relentless focus on standards and compliance. Thirdly, we rooted out underperformance and unsafe practices.

“The schools, because of what happened, had become increasingly introspective and isolated.

“It was clear the schools had to look outwards and look for partnerships and opportunities in other organisations which would provide experiences that would give our pupils a better sense of the world that they live in.

“The arts, culture and sport partnerships that we now have in place have been clear drivers in facilitating the dramatic improvements in our schools.

“And we have, in turn, seen these partnerships enrich community cohesion and support the authentic promotion of British values.

“There is still important work to do and we are more than happy to share what we have learned with other schools and to be part of a network working together to improve education for all children in Birmingham.”

Cathie Sabin, President of the Lawn Tennis Association, joins staff and pupils from CORE Education Trust, Rockwood Academy and Nansen Primary

Cathie Sabin, President of the Lawn Tennis Association, joins staff and pupils from CORE Education Trust, Rockwood Academy and Nansen Primary

Graham Rusling, Executive Chairman of IFT, said: “The IFT Awards seek to identify and celebrate exceptional performance, a strong moral compass and innovation.

“Turnarounds and transformations are exciting, challenging and performed by highly skilled people and organisations whose work is to live, breathe and make a positive difference”

The awards take place on November 24th at The Landmark London, where guest speaker will be Professor of Psychology at University College London and the Norwegian School of Management Adrian Furnham.