Fatfield Academy

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Fatfield 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 Fatfield 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
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Reception children love to learn
in our forest school
Headteacher Tracey Pizl
with the school council
Fatfield School dates back to 1876. There have been many
changes throughout the years, most recently in July 2016
when the school joined Inspire Multi Academy Trust. It now
belongs to a family of five Sunderland primary schools. The trust
provides strong levels of support and challenge and a sense of
security at a time of continuing change. The school is committed
to providing their students with a voice and the school
council won the 2018 Sunderland Young Achievers Award.
Headteacher Tracey Pizl tells
I was first involved with the school in 2015 through a local authority secondment
to provide short-term support and strategic leadership in a turbulent time. This
required working with all stakeholders to identify an accurate evidence base for
self-evaluation, identifying and actioning key priorities while developing distributed
leadership. Whole-school behaviour systems were introduced, alongside an
effective, robust data-tracking system. Inadequate teaching was swiftly eradicated
while improving the quality of teaching through effective coaching and vigorous
performance management.
After being appointed lead headteacher within Inspire Multi Academy Trust in
September 2016, I was asked to return to lead Fatfield in September 2017. My first
priority was to provide clear direction and re-establish the vision and values core
to the school ethos. Staff were committed to ensuring the best possible outcomes
for all pupils but needed stability at leadership level to move forward. Giving staff a
voice and active listening were key. There is now a perceptible sense of teamwork
among all of our staff, who are proud to work at our school and enjoy being part
of the team.
»Headteacher: Tracey Pizl
»Founded in 2016 as an
»Located in Washington, Tyne
and Wear
»Type: Primary school
»No. of pupils: 226
»Ofsted rating: “Good”
»Part of Inspire Multi Academy
»The school council won the
2018 Sunderland Young
Achievers Award
Fatfield Academy
Highlighting best practice
Currently, there is a good balance of
recently qualified and experienced
staff, along with an extensive
programme for identifying and
meeting training needs. Staff
development at school and trust
level enables strong succession
planning. Trust staff, at all levels,
work in partnership, facilitating the
strengthening of knowledge and skills
and building accelerated capacity for
improvement in the drive for excellence
and outstanding outcomes.
Teachers plan creative lessons based
on accurate knowledge of pupils’
needs, ensuring appropriate challenge
and support. Effective target setting
supports a rigorous and robust
tracking system to help pupils to
reach their predicted targets. End of
Key Stage 2 attainment for 2018 was
above the national average for the
expected standard in all subjects, and
in KS1 all subjects were in line with or
above the national average. In 2018,
our KS2 progress measures met the
national average.
Children at the heart
At Fatfield, our motto is “Learning
for life”, and our vision is for a school
where everyone prides themselves on
being at the heart of the community.
We inspire children to achieve
their dreams, to be successful and
to develop a passion for life-long
learning. The commitment to providing
a nurturing, inspirational environment
where each child feels happy and safe
and is able to flourish is central to all
we do. Strengthening of the pupil
voice, through new teams of quality
assurers, anti-bullying measures and
class councils, has had a very positive
impact on establishing consistently
excellent attitudes to learning.
Children are at the core of everything
we do; behaviour is excellent, and
a strong pupil voice is an integral
part of school improvement from
the earliest age through the school
council. They are proud of their
achievements and enjoy developing
the school environment and improving
Nissan engineers support
learning and talk to
our pupils about future
We inspire
children to
achieve their
dreams, to be
successful and
to develop
a passion for
opportunities and experiences to
enhance learning for all pupils. Our
school council develop their own
improvement plan; as a result, a forest
school was introduced in 2018. This
has enhanced our curriculum further
and has provided exciting outdoor
opportunities for the whole school.
Making a contribution to the
community is a strong feature of our
pupils’ work. They are enthusiastic
fundraisers and enjoy taking
responsibility for arranging events
throughout the year to raise money
for a range of causes. In recognition
of the strong pupil voice, our school
council received the Sunderland
Young Achievers of the Year Award in
Preparation for the future
We recognise the need to prepare
our children for a world of work
steeped with new technology through
welcoming a range of visitors to
enhance opportunities. We promote
Engineers Week and invite engineers
from local company Nissan to talk to
our pupils about future opportunities.
In 2018, our children entered a
regional competition to design
products and were awarded Young
Engineer Awards. The introduction
of 3D printing has enabled pupils to
design and make products, taking the
process to a new level. Having seen the
learning potential of using 3D printers
from a professional visit to schools in
China, I was keen to implement this
In March 2018, we signed a
partnership agreement with a school
in Harbin, China. I visited the school
and met staff and pupils, and we
agreed to work collaboratively to learn
together on a global scale. This year,
we hope to welcome the headteacher
to our school, with plans for student
exchanges in the near future.
We aim to provide the very best for
our pupils, but, at times, uncertainty
with budget cuts can put a strain on
future plans. With the support of the
academy trust, however, we are able
to provide opportunities to enable
life-long learning to be developed,
empowering pupils to achieve,
regardless of their social or economic
backgrounds. Every child deserves
the right to a better future, and our
vision is that our aspirations for all our
children can be fully realised. We see
Fatfield as being at the heart of a great
community, and we are relentless and
tenacious in our drive for excellence.
Together, we look forward to a
positive future.
Every child
deserves the
right to a
better future,
and our vision
is that our
aspirations for
all our children
can be fully
Head boy and head girl
welcome our local MP


This article was sponsored by Fatfield Academy. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development