Dudley Academy Trust brand new start

Dudley Academy Trust is embarking on a new era of its development with an ambitious new Strategic Plan and a new image for its schools. Starting from September 2018 High Arcal Academy will be known as Beacon Hill Academy, Holly Hall Academy is becoming Pegasus Academy, Hillcrest Academy is changing to The Link Academy and Castle Academy is to be named St James Academy The names have been developed by students and mark a new exiting time for the four schools.

Symbol of change

Commenting on the change Lowell Williams Chief Executive Officer, Dudley College of Technology and Chair of the Board of Dudley Academies Trust said:

“It’s been almost a year since the four Dudley schools came together as part of Dudley Academy Trust and began working together to drive up standards and expectations. The rebranding work has taken a while to complete as we wanted our young people to be involved and the new names have been chosen to keep a sense of place but act as a symbol of change, reflecting what is going on in our schools.”

A new look

The name change means that all learners in the school will wear a new school uniform, part of which will be paid for by the Trust. The parents of all learners are being issued with a voucher entitling them to a new school blazer and tie – free of charge. The rest of the uniform will be items obtainable from supermarket chains and the usual school uniform retailers.

Jo Higgs, Chief Executive Dudley Academy Trust very much sees the new uniform as part of the emphasis on high standards that the schools are driving: “We are creating an aspirational culture in our schools and we want that to be reflected in the personal pride our learners have in wearing their uniform and belonging to their school.”

Talking about the high standards culture Jo says: “We are determined to constantly improve all aspects of teaching and learning and everything that impacts on these. We have introduced a new behaviour policy – that sets out our high expectations, we have recruited new teaching staff to support key areas such as English and mathematics and we are investing heavily in improving our estate.”

A strong sponsor

Picking up on the theme of advancement and enhancement Lowell Williams is keen to see even greater connections between the individual academies and Dudley College of Technology, the Trust’s sponsor: “This year has seen lots of learners from amongst the Trust’s schools accessing the facilities the college has to offer, to enhance their learning experience. We have superb resources and we are keen to share them with the Trust so young people can experience a rich curriculum and explore many more career options.

“The college and the Trust are planning on working together to provide better careers guidance that empowers young people to make good decisions about their futures.”

The Trust’s schools may have a new identify and a new uniform but some things are staying the same such as the dedication of the teaching staff and the passion of the Trust’s Principals to make a real difference to the lives of Dudley’s young people.