Pupils at Salfords Primary School in Redhill have become used to regular changes over the last 12 months, but it is hoped the latest alteration to school life will be one of the most effective and far-reaching yet seen after the school became a member of the GLF Academy chain.
Just 12 months on from being put in special measures by Ofsted, the school is now overseen by a new highly effective governing body, with an experienced head teacher at the helm of a radically overhauled teaching staff, and is part of the rapidly-expanding chain which already manages and runs more than a dozen schools across Surrey and Berkshire.
Head teacher Martin Beard, who joined the school at the start of its period of almost complete transformation, said joining the GLF family was the culmination of a year’s worth of hard work by everyone associated with the school, to turn it round and get it on an upward trajectory.
“At the end of the academic year, all schools tend to look back at what they’ve achieved in the last 12 months, but I think what we’ve managed here at Salfords is something pretty special,” said Mr Beard. “Having faced a very challenging situation a year ago, the staff, governors, parents and pupils have all put in huge efforts to make this school somewhere we can all be proud to be part of, and to huge effect. We’ve had three inspectors’ visits in that time, all of which have made very positive comments, and since GLF was identified as the group to run our school, we’ve been working hard with them too to get ourselves into the position we’re in now. From the outset, it was clear that we were all thinking along the same lines, so finally being part of their family is something that deserves to be celebrated.”
GLF have helped smooth the transition process by having representatives pay regular visits to Salfords to explain to staff and parents what the change would mean, resulting in a genuine sense of anticipation and excitement throughout the school at the start of its new era.
“Physically and psychologically, Salfords as it is now is a very different place from how it was 12 months ago,” said Mr Beard. “It’s been quite a journey to get here, but it’s by no means at an end. Being part of the GLF family, and being able to benefit from all they have to offer, means you could describe the real adventure as only starting now.”
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