Telford Langley and Telford Park Schools

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Telford Langley and Telford Park Schools'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 Telford Langley and Telford Park Schools 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

Highlighting best practice
In September 2015, Telford Park and Telford Langley opened
their doors as rebranded and remodelled schools with a new
sponsor and a degree of collaboration rarely seen in secondary
education. Both schools, however, would retain their own
unique identities; shared leadership, shared values and shared
systems would underpin the rapid school improvement that
was to follow. The legacy of the predecessor schools included
Ofsted judgments of “special measures”, falling rolls and a
declining trend for GCSE results. Three years on, however, both
schools can celebrate the removal of special measures, with a
judgement of “good” for leadership, transformed cultures and
record results for year 11. Executive head teacher Steve Carter
explains how this has been attained.
This transformation has been achieved as the result of an incredibly hard-working
and committed staff, extremely supportive school communities and sponsorship
from an academy trust with genuine expertise in securing rapid school improvement.
The new sponsor
Sometime before the relaunch of our two schools, the DfE’s preferred new sponsor,
the Community Academies Trust (CAT), was introduced to existing leadership teams.
The CAT quickly began to build a relationship with school leaders and offered
professional support and advice prior to the predecessor schools formally joining
the trust. As this relationship grew, the schools began to benefit from the expertise
within the trust to help ensure a smooth transition to our new sponsor.
»Executive head teacher:
»Head of school: Holly Rigby
atTelford Park
»Founded in 2015 as Telford
Park and Telford Langley Schools
»Based in Telford, Shropshire
»Type of school: Sponsored
academy for students aged
»No. of pupils: 704 at Telford
Langley, 451 at Telford Park
»No. of staff: 85 at Telford
Langley, 65 at Telford Park
»Pupil premium: 53.5 per cent
Telford Langley and
Telford Park Schools
Holly Rigby, head of school, and
Steve Carter, executive head
teacher, pictured with the head boys
and head girls from each house
Restructure for success
The outgoing Telford Cooperative
Multi Academy Trust (TCMAT) had
already begun a complete staff
restructure. With the growing
relationship with our new sponsor
in hand, however, the CAT was
able to take over the lead role in
this transformation, coining the
phrase “restructure for success”. For
our schools, this facilitated a new
leadership and staffing structure
and a selection process that put the
right people into the right roles.
Fourschoolswere to become three,
and staff from across the trust
were invited to apply for posts in
the new structure. Two of the new
schools, Park and Langley, adopted
a model of shared leadership that
would be instrumental in our shared
improvement journey.
I was appointed as executive head
teacher, overseeing strategy and
progress across both schools while
retaining responsibility for operational
leadership at Langley. A talented
team of senior and middle leaders
were recruited to operate across both
schools, remaining equally accountable
for both. Another key appointment
was Holly Rigby as the head of school
at Park, who would be a vital part of
the wider strategic leadership team;
she would, however, also be the
figurehead and key leader when it
came to the day-to-day operational
responsibility at Telford Park School.
Shared leadership – best in
one to be best in both
Prior to the opening of our schools we
established a commitment: whatever
was best in one school would become
best in both. There have been many
factors that have contributed to
our school’s improvements, but this
principle has appeared to accelerate
our progress as each school benefited
from lessons learnt at the other.
Acrucial aspect was to agree a shared
vision and set of values with key
leaders across the new trust.
We adopted the motto “Ensuring
Excellence”; this phrase was to
underpin every aspect of our work.
A collaboratively produced “Ensuring
Excellence” document described
every detail of what our schools
would look like when excellence in
all areas of school life was achieved.
Central to our ethos has been
the development of positive and
productive relationships at all levels
to secure a communal purpose across
both school communities. It is this Students have embraced
a culture of hard work
and achievement
We adopted the
motto “Ensuring
Excellence”; this
phrase was to
underpin every
aspect of our
Our approach is based on a fundamental belief that all young people
have talent and the potential to achieve more than they ever thought
possible.Achievement in three main areas:
»Academic: Excellent standards and outstanding progress are a
prerequisite for success in life equipping young people with the
skills and knowledge they will need to be successful, happy and
productive citizens.
»Social: Excellent relationships for learning are a prerequisite for all
other achievements. Relationships that engender mutual respect
between young people, and all other members of our academies’
communities will ensure learning can be fun in a disciplined and
caring environment where the highest expectations are the norm.
»Personal: All young people achieve things they can be proud of every
day in addition to academic success and outside our school’s planned
curriculum. We have a vital role in ensuring individuals develop
their own talents and interests and have a responsibility to instil in
them a sense of pride in who they are and what they achieve.
Highlighting best practice
“Ensuring Excellence” document that
we continue to measure ourselves by.
In September 2015, underpinned by
these values, our schools launched
with a shared:
»School day
»Reward system
»Behaviour management system
»Staff performance management
»Curriculum model
»Teaching & learning model
»House system
Extensive continuous professional
development (CPD) co-ordinated
across both of our schools ensures that
leaders at all levels are fully equipped
to deliver the agreed systems and
strategies. Our CPD provision has also
been designed to provide all staff with
specialised programmes to facilitate
individual development, supporting
our organisational goals. A team of
reflective practitioners has emerged,
practitioners who strive for professional
development and improvement.
Our shared leadership extends to
governance. The CAT education
advisory board has facilitated the
establishment of a single local
governing body across both schools,
which is now held to account regularly
by a “hub” body representing thetrust.
An excellent example of the impact of
our collaborative practices has been
seen in our work to raise literacy levels.
Leaders have worked together, for
example, to devise a programme of
corrective and accelerated reading. As
each school subsequently found ways
to refine and improve the programme,
the information was shared, discussed
and then transformed into a consistent
strategy across both schools, with
stunning results. 83 per cent of
students in Key Stage 3 across both
schools averaged increases in their
reading age of at least 19 months
within a single school year, and these
improvements have clearly supported
pupil engagement and achievement
across the full range of subject areas
we offer.
World-class basics
As our schools have developed,
“Ensuring Excellence” has translated
into a relentless commitment to
achieve world-class basics. We have a
passion to ensure that every student
has the best possible education,
day-in, day-out, lesson-in, lesson-out.
Along the way, our schools have seen
the removal of “special measures”,
judgements of “good” for leadership,
nationally recognised improvements in
student’s literacy and outcomes that
continue to improve year-on-year.
Our “Ensuring Excellence”
document details the highest
possible expectations and most
exacting standards for any school.
We will be relentless in our efforts
to move our schools ever closer
to this measure and look forward
to every student achieving more
than they ever dreamed possible in
terms of their academic, social and
We have a
passion to
ensure that
every student
has the best
day-in, day-out,
Our schools have the
highest expectations for
academic, social and
personal achievement

This article was sponsored by Telford Langley and Telford Park Schools. 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 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