Leigh Academies Trust Parent Survey

Three students talking and smiling while walking towards the camera.

Dear Parents/Carers,

Firstly, thank you for your continued support. Since joining the academy as Principal in April 2023, both parents, pupils, staff and the wider community have made me feel extremely welcome. Thank you.

Later this week Mr Simon Beamish our Chief Executive for Leigh Academies Trust will be writing to you, this is in regard to the annual Trust parent/carer survey. The annual survey will be published to parents on Monday 29th January 2024.

At Strood Academy we take feedback as a gift and have worked extensively with parents/carers to ensure we listen and then take relevant actions to improve the academy for all. Examples have been our parents voice forum, our regular parent surveys as well as regular suggestions parents make when they visit us for meetings.

Within my letter, I wish to share with you the changes that we have implemented, with many based upon your feedback. Thank you for being so forthcoming and sharing your thoughts and areas of how we can improve the academy for your child.


A key aspect of improvement has been communication between home and school. When I first joined, many parents informed me that this wasn’t good enough. Following consultation and discussion with many parents the following has been implemented to support:

  • one full time admin member of staff allocated to each college.
  • phone lines mapped so parents can access college offices.
  • college email addresses introduced so parents can email directly to college teams.
  • introduction of parent voice forum which takes place each module.
  • daily parent drop in sessions created for parents, a 15 minute session for parents to book online to come into the academy to discuss their concerns. We know the power of face to face conversation.
  • request a call back function, so parents can request a call back at a convenient time for them
  • contact us button on the website with all details for parents to access easily. Please see here.
  • A weekly parent bulletin distributed each Friday sharing key information and an update each week.
  • A daily stream of information shared on social media platforms for parents and the wider community.
  • A weekly meeting with the facebook administrators of the ‘Strood Academy parents group’ to answer any questions and queries from parents.

Should parents have other suggestions of how we can further improve our communications please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.

Changes to support our pupils at Strood Academy since Easter 2023

Modules 5 and 6 of academic year 2022/23

  • From Module 5 we have re-launched our college structures whilst heavily investing in larger pastoral teams to ensure our pupils can receive the very best care and support. Within each college the following staff are dedicated to enabling your child excellent pastoral care, this includes a Vice Principal, 2 Assistant Principals, Head of Pastoral, Deputy Head of Pastoral, Senior Student Support Manager, 2 Student Support Managers, College Admin and a Safeguarding Officer. This large team is on hand throughout the day including before and after school should your child need them. Your child also has a designated form tutor which they see each morning from 8:35am – 9:20am.
  • We have implemented a morning line to ensure all pupils receive a well-being check and are recognised as part of their college community. Pupils also have a uniform and equipment check to ensure they are set for the day ahead.
  • Implemented weekly college assemblies to ensure all pupils feel part of the college community and embrace the opportunity to spend this time together as one.
  • Implementation of our Lodge provision, providing pupils with a multi-layered approach within our behaviour systems but also re-integration processes with bespoke and differentiated support provided. Our Lodge provision runs from 8:15 – 4:00 to ensure the contact with the mainstream academy is limited.

Modules 1 and 2 of academic year 2023/24

  • We launched a brand new academy vision. ‘Vision 2028’ was implemented to give us the strategic direction required to achieve excellence. Vision 2028 can be found here.
  • We have implemented a longer period 1 (tutor time) to enable form tutors to build strong relationships with their tutees and ensure all pupils are fully focused and ready to start the school day without any distractions. This enables all pupils to raise any concerns and worries at this time.
  • We have implemented college internal engagement rooms, to improve our behaviour systems and provide a personalised approach.
  • We have introduced tension barriers in our larger corridors areas to ensure pupils stay left/right, this creates a calm, safe and orderly environment to enable a smooth transition on lesson change over.
  • We have introduced an ‘up only’ staircase to ensure pupils can move calmly on the stairwells, this has helped the flow and allowed for a natural flow around the academy.
  • We have increased capacity within our SEND leadership team with the appointment of a new Assistant Principal and a Head of Specialist Resource Provision as well as five additional teaching assistants. This will ensure our pupils are best supported.
  • All pupils with SEND have a one page profile which teachers use to ensure they are implementing strategies to support specific pupils within the classroom.
  • This academic year we have launched further training for our staff on how to best support individual pupils with SEND, this occurs weekly.
  • We have rehearsed a fire drill in Module 6, Module 1 and Module 2 to ensure all pupils are clear of the expectations should we need to evacuate the academy in an emergency.
  • We practised a lockdown procedure on 04/10/23 and have created a video of this for pupils to reduce any worries they might have. This an expectation for all Leigh Academies Trust schools during Module 1.
  • We have welcomed 16 new highly qualified and experienced teachers this academic year, they have settled in very well with our pupils being extremely complimentary in the improvement in the quality of teaching and learning being delivered.
  • We have reviewed our behaviour and uniform policies and our pupils have continued to improve their engagement within all aspects of the academy.
  • We have implemented a ‘worry box’ outside each college office, this enables pupils to report any concerns or worries they might have in a confidential manner.
  • This academic year we will report to you twice to ensure you are aware of your child’s progress at key milestones throughout the year including the opportunity to attend an in person parents evening at the academy. Our reporting system has also been streamlined so that the information presented to you is clear and concise with an explanation of the grades in the accompanying letter.
  • We have re-launched lunchtime and afterschool clubs and encourage pupils to attend and enjoy these activities outside the normal curriculum time. The participation rates to date have been very positive.
  • Face-to-face events
  • We have implemented a Personal Development lesson for all pupils within the academy which takes place every Wednesday during Period 5. This enables your child’s form tutor to deliver the PSHE and R.E. curriculum.
  • Our open evening and open morning events were hugely successful and due to demand we have had to create three additional open morning sessions.
  • If a pupil requires the toilet during a lesson time they are now taken by a member of our pastoral teams to ensure our toilets are safe spaces for all pupils. We are working on a longer term plan to refurbish our toilets to ensure they are the very best for our pupils.
  • Our Trafalgar toilets now have external doors fitted and the refurbishment of these toilets is currently being reviewed. We will keep you posted on further developments.
  • We have increased the opportunity to loan chromebooks to support learning.
  • We have ensured all lessons are on Google Classroom for pupils and parents to view.
  • We have implemented a new homework policy for Years 7-9 which gives clear expectations on homework via a specific year group and college homework timetable. The policy focuses on support over sanction by providing students with the opportunity of a homework lunch club and after school support from their subject teacher or a highly qualified lead practitioner.

I hope the above information provides you with a clear understanding of what we have already implemented. Our work is certainly not done, and we recognise that we continuously need to improve each and every day.

Please do provide further feedback once you receive the letter from Mr Simon Beamish.

Thank you once again for your continued support as we work together for the benefit of all.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Jon Richardson