Burnt Mill Academy Trust

Harlow secondary joins BMAT

The Burnt Mill Academy Trust (BMAT) is welcoming another Harlow secondary school to its family.

Sir Charles Kao UTC will join the west Essex hub of the growing Trust in the near future.

The school will continue to specialise in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects with a view to preparing students for the world of work in these industries which have a shortage of recruits within the town.

State-of-the-art facilities offer students high level training out of reach of the majority of secondary schools.

Since September, a gradual transition of ownership has been under way with Lisa Tooley put at the helm.

The new head of school, a former assistant headteacher within BMAT, has already brought about rapid improvements in behaviour, attendance and attainment which the Department for Education has confirmed in a recent monitoring report.

A high calibre of senior leaders has joined the school, having been instrumental in turning around the fortunes of other BMAT schools.

A new curriculum has been introduced with resources shared from BMAT and 100-minute lessons brought in after improving outcomes at other schools within the Trust.

Mrs Tooley, who worked at Burnt Mill for ten years and will continue to teach maths at Sir Charles Kao, said: “I am over the moon to be working in such a fantastic environment with phenomenal facilities.

“The opportunity for development is outstanding and I have no doubt the school will be classified as outstanding in the future. This will become the school of choice for the academic elite and STEM students.

“Our rapid improvement plan is already in place based on our team’s extensive experience of turning Burnt Mill Academy and Epping St John’s School around in recent years.

“This will be a completely new school. We are treating it as a brand new era which Harlow will benefit from.”

Sir Charles Kao was graded as Requires Improvement by Ofsted at its last inspection in April and has just 59 students on its register.

From September, the school will enroll Year 10 students with a strong interest in STEM subjects with a view to carving out a career within those industries.

Allan Osborne, executive principal of the BMAT west Essex hub, said: “We have an exceptionally experienced leader in Lisa Tooley as head of school. The school is under completely new leadership with Lisa, myself and the rest of the Trust.

“On top of that, we are overwhelmed with support from industry partners including Pearson Training, Princess Alexandra Hospital, GSK and Raytheon who will work closely with us to ensure we are producing a talented workforce for the future, with internships, apprenticeships and funded university places on offer.”

Helena Mills CBE, BMAT CEO, said: “This provision is going to provide the young people of BMAT and west Essex an exciting opportunity to get top GCSEs in STEM subjects and access to some of the most highly sought after university and higher level apprenticeships.

“I am overwhelmed by the opportunities our business sponsors like Raytheon and Glaxo Kline are providing for our students; work placements, internships, mentoring, to name just a few. It means our students will have an advantage over their peers because they will have all these practical experiences. We also know our sponsors are constantly talent-spotting and so our young people will get noticed for those highly competitive apprenticeship positions. To me, this is a way of ensuring our students get the best jobs on offer in our area, working for great companies, without having to rack up huge tuition fees.

“I am delighted by the massive improvements we have already been able to implement for both current and future students. This is a very exciting development and we look forward to working with the community further to explore the endless opportunities.”

Robert Halfon MP said: “I wish Sir Charles Kao UTC every possible success under its new headship and leadership. It is great news that the UTC will have an exciting future of strong and quality technical education for Harlow students.

“Harlow is having a rebirth as a place of advance manufacturing, technology and health science. The success of our UTC will help ensure Harlow's young people are equipped with the skills and know how so they can climb the ladder of opportunity to ensure job security and prosperity for their and Harlow's future.

“Good luck to BMAT and all involved in making our UTC another Harlow success story.”