Robert Halfon MP praises “wonderful improvements” made at alternative provision by The Beckmead Trust
Education / Fri 3rd Feb 2023 am28 07:28am
MP Robert Halfon has praised The Beckmead Trust for the “wonderful improvements” it has made to a former failing school in Harlow.
Mr Halfon saw first-hand the progress made when he visited students and staff at Beckmead Moundwood Academy to see the school’s transformation since it joined The Beckmead Trust in 2020. Under its previous sponsor, the academy – then known as TBAP Aspire AP Academy – was rated Inadequate by Ofsted. But since joining The Beckmead Trust at the request of the Government, it has achieved rapid improvements in all areas.
The Beckmead Trust has a track record of offering world-class education to young people aged five to 19 with SEMH (Social, Emotional and Mental Health) needs, autism and challenging behaviour across eight schools in Croydon and Brent in London, in Essex and in East Sussex. As well as Moundwood, Beckmead is due to open a second school in Harlow, Greenwell Academy, in 2025 to further support students with special educational needs in the local community.
On his visit to Moundwood, Mr Halfon met with Dr Jonty Clark, the Chief Executive Officer of The Beckmead Trust, and Adrian Applewhite, the Principal of Beckmead Moundwood Academy. They discussed how the Trust has supported the school to transform and provide excellent care for its students with special educational needs.
During his visit, Mr Halfon heard how the academy has embedded a new behavioural monitoring system and introduced a new curriculum which has seen students’ attendance, behaviour and engagement significantly improve. The academy has also launched a range of extra-curricular activities to help students develop their skills outside the classroom.
Mr Halfon also saw the recent improvements to the academy’s building, including a new roof, windows, food technology classroom and IT suite. Leaders talked to Mr Halfon about how this has supported students’ learning and outcomes.
Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow, said:
“I was delighted to visit Beckmead Trust’s Moundwood Academy to witness the wonderful improvements that have occurred in the school in this past year alone, with 90% of their students now leaving with good outcomes.
“I was lucky enough to talk to some of Beckmead’s inspirational young people, speaking to them about the House of Commons and Harlow’s very own links to Winston Churchill, our former MP. I also thoroughly enjoyed cooking pancakes and watching football with the students in their newly refurbished site.
“I’d like to say a massive thank you to Beckmead Trust for all they are doing and will continue to do to improve the lives and outcomes of these young people in and around Harlow.”
Mr Halfon’s tour of the academy included visiting primary classes learning about the Chinese new year and making pancakes, respectively. He spoke with both classes, asking the children about their learning and talking about his work in parliament.
To end his tour, Mr Halfon then met with five of the academy’s secondary students. They asked him questions about being an MP and his role as Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education. Mr Halfon described his responsibilities and the importance of lobbying for support when something needs to be discussed.
Dr Jonty Clark OBE, Chief Executive Officer of The Beckmead Trust, said:
“We were very pleased to welcome Mr Halfon to Moundwood Academy. We discussed the transformation of the academy and how we have worked with staff at the school to ensure an excellent standard of education for all our students.
“It was a great opportunity to show Mr Halfon how Beckmead’s vision and values are brought to life and how we ensure not only high-quality learning for our students but how we support them to develop the skills needed so they can go on to have successful careers and fulfilling lives.”
Adrian Applewhite, Principal of Beckmead Moundwood Academy, said:
“It was fantastic to show Mr Halfon around the academy and discuss how our team of staff, alongside the Trust, are working together to provide the best possible start in life for our young people. We pride ourselves on our holistic education that equips students with the skills, knowledge and confidence to thrive in the modern world.
“We were pleased that Mr Halfon was able to meet so many of our students and hear about their experiences at the academy.”
In my days at school the "behavioural monitoring system" consisted of a long stick, a board rubber and a size 11 pump which was regularly applied
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