South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust

School celebrates record first year

An historic Barrow school is celebrating its first year as part of the South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust with its strongest pupil roll since opening as a free school in 2014.

Chetwynde School was the founding member of the Furness College-led SCMAT when it launched in September 2021.

Speaking about the first year, Headteacher Steve Jefferson said the school was now moving forward with its highest pupil numbers and a positive outlook for the future.

“We have more than 500 pupils, a very healthy intake for the autumn and are close to capacity with just a few places left across our year groups,” he said.

“We now also have the kindergarten so we can offer a unique ‘all through’ education from nursery and primary to Year 11, with the sixth form just across the road for post-16 academic college courses and all the technical expertise at Channelside down the road.

“Building improvements to the tune of nearly £3million have also been carried out and I think parents now have more confidence in the future of the school and the strength and quality of our provision.”

Mr Jefferson praised his senior team, his staff, parents, governors and supporters who had worked tirelessly to safeguard its future.

The school, on Rating Lane, moved out of special financial measures for the first time in five years last year and joined SCMAT.

Over the past year, staff in the primary school have been working with education expert Caroline Vernon, director of Northstar Education Consultancy, to implement an innovative new curriculum, which has been well-received by the teachers and is already having an impact on pupil learning in the classroom.

The school also led the MegaMAT Games, sponsored by SCMAT, with a series of sporting events from cross country and hockey, to swimming, basketball and tennis open to all primary schools across the area.

It will also be working with employer partner Forge Europa, based in Ulverston, on a series of curriculum activities in the next academic year designed to enhance students’ learning experience in design and technology and support the careers programme.

Chair of Governors John Burgess said he felt that under the Trust the school was thriving once more.

“The smiles and happiness of the children, of all year groups, including kindergarten children, expressed when interacting with ‘Mr Jefferson’ is quite special to see. This is a great example of the general feel and ethos of the school, with and a strong positive behavioural attitude instilled right throughout all the students,” he said.

“Steve’s selfless approach and steadfast determination to take the school to new heights is an inspiration to staff, students, parents and governors. He leads from the front with passion, commitment and courage.”

Furness College Principal and Chief Executive Professor Andrew Wren said the continued success of schools like Chetwynde with their unique offer of education right through from nursery to GCSEs was so important to the Furness and South Cumbria community.

“We are proud of what Steve, his staff, governors, parents and pupils have achieved over the past year. Change is not always easy but the commitment of the school to move forward and the willingness of Steve as head to make positive improvements we are confident the school will continue to grow.”

SCMAT will welcome Vickerstown School and Ormsgill School and Nursery as new members in the next academic year.

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South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust
South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust
South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust
c/o Furness College
Channelside, Barrow-in-Furness
Cumbria LA14 2PJ
Tel: 01229 825 017
Email: info@furness.ac.uk
South Cumbria Multi-Academy Trust