Mark Hall Academy’s road to further improvement

Ian Beckett, Chair of Governor's at the Mark Hall Academy

GOVERNORS at Mark Hall Academy, Harlow are making plans to improve the school.

The school joined the BMAT Academy in January with the intention of improving choices for young people in Harlow.

Ian Beckett, chair of governors, said: “The school had identified its weaknesses and made plans to improve, but not quickly enough for Ofsted as the school had been graded inadequate by the authority.”

As a former local councillor, he hopes to offer more help to the community.

He added:  “I know I can make a difference to people’s lives, and I am determined to do that, one way or another.

“Students are the future citizens who will make a difference to the town. I want to make sure everything we do as an academy ensures they make a positive difference and that students can evidence that during their time at Mark Hall.”

Mr Beckett has been pleased to learn more about the Trust since joining the BMAT Academy and how it has achieved success across the town.

He explained that before the transfer to BMAT, the communication levels went up significantly and there was an immediate understanding that the Trust not only understood the educational requirements but the importance of what needed attention the most.

Mr Beckett also mentioned how he had been given greater awareness of the curriculum, SEND and safeguarding.

He said: “My new focus is on understanding the detail behind the reports we receive, being able to communicate them and get straight to the point of what needs doing. I am looking to up-skill to have that working knowledge and understanding, not only of what is happening at Mark Hall, but the layers underneath it and the basics of the curriculum.

“I want to do structured visits to find out from staff what they are doing and why they are doing it and the impact it is having, so I can understand our strengths and weaknesses. I need to hear that from our young people, as well.  

MHA governor Jemma Mindham

Jemma Mindham, Chief Executive of Rainbow Services and governor at the Mark Hall Academy

“That is the difference I am already seeing with BMAT. It is about having strong foundations to build on.”

Jemma Mindham, chief executive of Rainbow Services, said: “I was interested in becoming a governor at Mark Hall Academy because it was clear it was a school servicing a community of students which was becoming more and more diverse, and it had to rise to the challenge of providing the right support to students with a range of needs.

“My impression since joining the board a few weeks ago is that being part of BMAT has provided Mark Hall with an experienced network of schools from which it can learn, develop solutions and build partnerships to help it enhance its offer to its own student family.

“The training and learning opportunities which have been offered to me as a new governor are robust. There is definitely a feeling that all of us are part of the BMAT family – learning from each other with each other.”


Featured photo: Mark Hall Academy’s chair of governors Ian Beckett

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Clare Eggenton

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