Ark Boulton Academy

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Ark Boulton Academy's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Ark Boulton Academy is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.arkboulton.org

15ARK BOULTON ACADEMY |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
Principal Herminder K Channa JP
Students giving back to the
community on our half-termly
Rights & Responsibilities Day
When Herminder Channa was recruited to become
Principal of Ark Boulton Academy she knew that she
had bought into a very tough job indeed. The school
previously known as Golden Hillock School had known crisis
after crisis. From a stand-alone academy it became part of the
Parkview Academy Chain. Concerns raised by Ofsted meant
the Department of Education put an interim executive board
in place to search for a new sponsor. In 2014 the academy
had been judged by Ofsted as inadequate. In September 2015
it became part of Ark – a network of 38 schools, 18 of them
secondaries. Herminder Channa took over at that point. She
came to Ark Boulton from Nishkam High School in the centre of
Birmingham. In 2014 under her leadership Ofsted had rated the
school to be outstanding across the board. Her first task at Ark
Boulton was to deal with a situation where suspensions and a
dependence on supply staff had added to the sense of crisis.
I firmly believe that education is the most powerful weapon for changing the
world. This academy, however, did not just have to address the current poor
educational provision and staffing crisis: there was a bigger challenge in how we
were to win back the trust of our parents and teacher communities.
Upon taking over the academy it was paramount that all stakeholders subscribed to
a shared vision. If the academy and community were going to progress, as leaders
we needed to acknowledge and confront the challenges of the past, understand
REPORT CARD
ARK BOULTON ACADEMY
»Principal: HerminderK Channa
JP
»Founded in 2015
»Based in Sparkbrook,
Birmingham
»Type of school: Secondary
academy for students aged11-
16
»No. of students: 905
»No. of teachers: 72
»No. of operational staff: 53
»Pupil premium: 60 per cent
Ark Boulton Academy
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
16 | ARK BOULTON ACADEMY
more deeply the cultural barriers faced
by communities in moving forward,
while building trust and creating
a shared vision all stakeholders
believedin.
My vision was to lead an academy
where pupils truly believed they
were part of something bigger and
understood their moral and social
responsibilities; their actions or
inactions had a direct positive or
negative impact on the society in
which they lived. For academy staff it
was crucial to create a culture where
they felt they were able to make a
difference beyond academic standards.
Put into practice it was an opportunity
to create a real climate of service
within our community, supporting
those who were less fortunate and
developing an understanding of
current challenges which needed to be
overcome one action at a time. From
this thinking the academy vision was
formed, embodied by our belief that
“it takes a whole community to bring
up a child”.
All pupils who attend Ark Boulton
Academy will go on to university or
leave equipped to pursue a high-
quality apprenticeship and/or career
of their choosing. Consequently our
pupils are able to look after parents,
become role models for younger
siblings and help their community learn
new skills.
The clear vision was well received by
all. However, I was fully aware that
although parents felt optimistic, they
were also cautious and mistrustful of
the new management. Teachers were
hopeful of change but pessimistic as
they had heard it all before. However,
our pupils took another change in
academy name, a new principal, new
teachers and a new uniform all in
theirstride.
The strength of being part of a multi-
academy meant that very quickly the
academy was able to provide training
for staff, implement tested curriculum
models, set up accurate data systems,
introduce robust testing materials and
provide a network of peers across
18 secondary academies that could
provide support and experiences via
learning communities, phone, email
and video link. The impact of the MAT
and the speed in which systems and
processes had been implemented,
embedded and consistently used
and applied by academy staff had to
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Acting with bravery in
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Acting with fairness towards
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Estimating oneself within
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Ark Boulton Academy
Virtues Curriculum
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17ARK BOULTON ACADEMY |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
be seen to be believed. Our Ofsted
report from October 2015 noted that
almost all of our staff said that they
know what the academy is trying to
achieve and that they are proud to be
workingthere.
The changes noted were seen as
clearly planned and intentional where
all involved were clear about their role
and responsibilities. They had also
been given the tools and confidence
to execute these roles to the best of
their ability. The academy was getting
stronger, outcomes were rapidly
improving, first-choice applications
had tripled, and the academy was fully
staffed. By term four the academy
had come out of special measures
and was judged to be good in every
Ofstedcategory.
I know some feel that as a principal in
a large MAT, autonomy can be lost. I
strongly disagree. None of the above
would have been possible without
Ark. Each step change had been well
organised and rehearsed by Ark to
ensure the sequence of events was
the right one for maximum impact.
Some events may have taken longer to
perfect than others, but we knew what
needed to be practised and supported
by Ark network leads until we got it
right. I believe autonomy is about how
leaders in education role-model the
traits we would want to see in future
generations, ensure communities feel
listened to and valued, and ensure
staff feel loved and appreciated.
Trust was now building between all
stakeholders and teachers becoming
more confident in their classroom
craft. But this was only half the job
done. To see our academy vision in
action, we launched the “Ark Boulton
Virtues Curriculum” in September
2016. We supported our teachers to
develop their skills beyond teaching
and learning – as leaders it was our
responsibility to create the conditions
which allowed our staff to role-model
and practise the virtues we wanted
to see in our pupils. Teachers at Ark
Boulton care with compassion, listen
with love and help with humility.
These qualities are now visible in
ourpupils.
Our academy has evolved past just
being an educational establishment
and has changed beyond recognition.
Teachers are responsible for shaping
the minds and attitudes of the
next generation. These are young
people who are strong in character
and resilient, who are humble,
compassionate and understand they
have a responsibility to give back,
upskill and leave their communities
in a stronger place for the generation
thatfollows.
Teachers at
Ark Boulton
care with
compassion,
listen with
love and help
with humility.
These qualities
are now
visible in our
pupils
Music matters
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENT A TIVE 2018

www.arkboulton.org

The Parliamentary Review Publication, in which this article originally appeared, contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister