As we enter our fourth year as Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust, it is appropriate to reflect on our journey to-date.
Looking back, we can say with confidence that much has been achieved in the past three years. At the heart of all that we strive to achieve is our determination to deliver the Bishop of Middlesbrough’s vision for education, to make Christ known and loved through the provision of excellent Catholic education and school’s intent on finding Christ in their daily lives and sharing that encounter with others. This vision has guided our work from day one and informs all that we do. The daily life of our schools bears witness to this through worship, charitable activities, high quality teaching and learning, inspiring leadership and the forging of strong bonds with families, parishes and local communities. We have put in place a well-resourced School Improvement Framework and our Directors of Standards and Directors of Learning work closely with staff in school to ensure that our children and young people achieve the highest standards possible. We are investing significantly in our school estate to provide top-quality learning environments with a number of exciting projects currently nearing completion.
Communication is another area where we have made gratifying progress through traditional means such as a regular cycle of meetings, bulletins and visits as well as utilising more modern methods of electronic communication and social media. Recruitment of both pupils and staff is a further key aspect of our work. I can report that pupil applications are rising while staff recruitment is similarly seeing a marked rise in applicants for vacant posts.
A recent letter from the DfE reminded us that “If you are not financially stable you are not educationally stable”. Again, I can report that we are financially in very good shape. This is down to the expertise and hard work of our Finance Team.
So far, I have made no reference to the pandemic and it would be remiss of me if I did not do so. All of the progress outlined above has been achieved despite the second half of our three-year period being conducted in the context of the world-wide Coronavirus Pandemic. I will conclude by paying tribute to all NPCAT staff who have given so much in the face of such difficulties. They have ensured that we have not simply kept things ticking along but have cared for our children and families and helped to fashion our Trust into a strong family of twenty-seven schools providing high-quality Catholic education across the northern area of the Diocese.
Finally, we are not complacent and have set ourselves challenging targets over the next year or two. I am very confident that working together these will be realised.