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Who we are
Founded in 2012, REAch2 Academy Trust is the largest primary-only academy trust in the country. We are a growing charitable organisation currently supporting 52 primary academies across England.
We are a family that delivers school to school improvement, going the extra mile for all our children. We are passionate about dispelling the myth that only certain children are able to achieve.
The REAch2 Academy Trust originated from the successful school improvement and partnership work led by Hillyfield Primary Academy in Waltham Forest in East London.
Our approach is based on the National Support School model, and within the Trust there is significant expertise and a strong track record in supporting and working with schools in a variety of contexts. This support has included a range of strategies and models for school improvement. These typically include fixed term federations, executive headships, acting headships, leadership coaching and school-to-school support at every level.
With extensive school reform and proven educational excellence in our core staff, REAch2 set a mission: to help struggling schools to improve their provision and to offer outstanding education to our pupils, from disadvantaged or deprived communities. The drive was not to grow an empire of schools, but rather the compulsion to share our proven approach to sustained school improvement for the benefit of children and their communities.
“It is our moral obligation as an outstanding school to help other primaries that we can. We work in the toughest areas and show that success is possible: if it can be done here, it can be done anywhere.” Steve Lancashire, CEO, REAch2 Academy Trust
For a young organisation, we have a significant, and growing, footprint: currently 51 schools, soon to increase. From two schools in September 2012 (Hillyfield in Waltham Forest and Garden City Academy in Hertfordshire) to 51 open academies across the country. This pace of growth has been considered and responsible, focusing on growing families of schools that are each self-supporting. Ultimately, we believe that big is just big, small is just small, and great is great.
Enriched learning experience
Delivering the changes needed to secure excellent achievement is a given in each of our Academies – our schools improve, on average, around four times the national average. Our pupils who come from more disadvantaged communities achieve significantly higher than the national average, outperforming at both Level 4 and even Level 5. The gap or REAch2 pupils between those who receive the pupil premium and those who do not is less than half that of the national gap.
But REAch2 is about so much more, offering a richness of experience that gives real colour throughout the time our children spend with us.
We believe in providing exceptional educational experiences, and Try 5 is how we provide this. Each REAch2 child will benefit from five seminal experiences that will help them to have before they move on to secondary school. These range from visiting a foreign country and climbing a mountain through to learning to play an instrument and cooking a family meal with food that they have grown themselves.
At REAch2 we are passionate about system-led change – our Trust is built upon the principle of primary schools supporting primary schools. We are very open in our approach and readily share our resources and thinking both within the family and with our neighbouring schools.
REAch2 is committed to leading by example and lives by its unswerving commitment to integrity, transparency and excellence.
Setting this example to children will enable them to flourish and get the most from the school experience, as this is key to their success we will always be accountable, we will never make excuses, and will openly answer for all our actions. The Trust proactively engages with our parents and the local communities and is continually seeking ways to improve and enhance our education and support service capabilities.
What is REACH2’s model for school improvement?
The REAch2 Academy Trust originated from the successful school improvement and partnership work led by Hillyfield Primary Academy in Waltham Forest in East London. Since its inception in 2012, the Trust has grown from one London-based Primary academy to more than fifty schools across the country at the present time.
The Trust’s approach is based on the National Support School model, and within the Trust there is significant expertise and a strong track record in supporting and working with schools in a variety of contexts. This support has included a range of strategies and models for school improvement. These typically include fixed term federations, executive headships, acting headships, leadership coaching and school-to-school support at every level.
REAch2 is seeking to further develop this approach as it expands. Through the regional model, the Trust is always striving to generate the necessary capacity and expertise across the four teams in order to sustain and develop the performance of all its academies. At the same time all schools, staff and children within the Trust benefit from a strong ethos of support and collaboration across the national REAch2 family – including opportunities for enhanced continuous professional development for staff, access to a range of central support services, informed peer-to-peer accountability and review, and the sharing of expertise and joint practice development.
How much autonomy do schools within REAch2 retain?
REAch2 academies are each at the centre of their own local communities. It is very important that each school has the opportunity and the freedom to respond to the needs of parents and children and create their own local solutions. As a family of academies, we celebrate diversity and individuality. We understand that no school or community is the same; however we have the same high expectations of everyone in the trust and believe that, with the support of the REAch2 family, every academy must provide a great learning experience for the children.
How is the trust ensuring it is growing sustainably?
An essential principle of the Trust is sustainable growth and ensuring that the necessary capacity and expertise is in place to deliver continual educational improvements. To deliver capacity, operational integrity and best value for public money, the Trust has developed a clear model of organisational structure and function for the fully formed organisation.