Struggling Voyager Academy has been taken over by the Thomas Deacon Academy Education Trust.
Only 23 per cent of youngsters at The Voyager Academy scored A*-C grades in English and maths last year. The academy had been run by the Cam Academy Trust (formerly known as Comberton Academy Trust), before the Thomas Deacon Academy Education Trust (TDAET) took it over this week.
The school had previously been places in special measures, but is currently rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ by Ofsted.
Both Voyager, located in Mountsteven Avenue and Thomas Deacon Academy, in Queen’s Gardens, have been working together in partnership for a number of months in an effort to improve standards at Voyager.
Scott Hudson, Principal of The Voyager Academy, added: “The Voyager Academy has made significant progress in recent months and the local partnership model has really demonstrated the advantages of neighbouring schools working together, sharing resources and experience.
“We, along with our existing sponsors – Cam Academy Trust – have been exploring a number of options for strengthening this relationship to ensure continued improvement for our pupils. After careful consideration, we have decided that it is now in the best long-term interests of the Academy to formalise this working partnership and transfer our sponsorship to the Thomas Deacon Academy Education Trust (TDAET) from January 2017.”
Julie Taylor, Chief Executive of Thomas Deacon Academy Education Trust, said: “We are delighted to cement our relationship with The Voyager Academy. We have been very impressed by the improvements that have been made, particularly under the leadership of Scott Hudson who will continue as Principal.
“We are very clear that this will be a mutually beneficial partnership. We can share our experience to support The Voyager Academy in its journey to becoming a Good school, but we can also learn from the good practice at The Voyager Academy, notably the highly successful sixth form. The partnership will help to improve outcomes for all pupils.”
The decision to transfer sponsorship to the Thomas Deacon Academy Education Trust was a voluntary decision made by Cam Academy Trust based on the evidence of this initial period of partnership working and a combined commitment to delivering the best possible learning experience for all pupils.
Stephen Munday, Chief Executive of Cam Academy Trust, added: “We are pleased to see that the changes we have implemented and partnerships we have formed have brought about long-term improvements at The Voyager Academy as demonstrated in the last Ofsted monitoring inspection. The partnership with Thomas Deacon Academy has had a positive impact in a short space of time and formalising this partnership will help continue to improve outcomes for all pupils.”
Thomas Deacon Academy Education Trust was established in January 2016 to allow Thomas Deacon Academy and their Junior College to work in a formal partnership with other schools in the Peterborough area.
Both principals at the two schools will remain in post, and TDAET will consult with staff, pupils and the community of The Voyager Academy to rename and rebrand the school over the next term.
Mrs Taylor added: “Thomas Deacon Academy has been on a journey of transformation and improvement itself. As a Trust, we believe that we are well-placed to use our experience across both primary and secondary education to support other schools in Peterborough in their ambitions to improve outcomes for pupils.
“This will be achieved through working closely with neighbouring schools to maximise the opportunities for all pupils, all of which will be underpinned by a clear set of shared values – trust, discipline and aspiration.”
Councillor John Holdich, leader of the council and cabinet member for education, skills and university, said: “I welcome the transfer of the sponsorship of The Voyager Academy to Thomas Deacon Academy Education Trust, a move enabled with the support of the Government and the MP for Peterborough, Stewart Jackson.
“Thomas Deacon Academy Education Trust has already proven to have made significant progress at The Voyager Academy since a partnership was first formed in summer 2016.
“The school is on the right path to reach the stage of being rated good by Ofsted and I look forward to continued improvement under this new leadership.
“Peterborough is one of the best areas of the country for the number of schools judged good or outstanding by Ofsted and we will continue to work closely with all schools and academy trusts to ensure this standard is maintained.”
Parents will have the opportunity to find out more about the Trust, its ambitions and its values at drop-in sessions during the next few weeks.