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Widnes primary school joins Warrington Primary Academy Trust

Ditton Primary School in Widnes has joined Warrington Primary Academy Trust.

Dr Denise Lee, Chair of Governors at Ditton Primary School, said: “The Board of Governors are really excited to join WPAT. The aim is to provide and support the children to reach their full potential and we look forward to working closely and collaboratively with the Trust to achieve the best educational environment possible.”

The move, which expands WPAT to six primary schools, was finalised this week.

Ditton Primary was inspected by Ofsted in autumn 2018, when inspectors said the school required “significant improvement”. WPAT was identified by the Regional Schools Commissioner – responsible for improving underperforming schools by matching them with support from a strong sponsor - as best placed to help raise standards at Ditton Primary.

Louise Smith, WPAT Chief Executive, added: “I’ve already met staff, parents and governors and they are really positive about becoming part of the WPAT family. They see it as a fresh start and a way to move forward. They are really positive and upbeat about this new chapter and they are very keen to work with us - as we are with them. We are all stronger together.”

As part of the WPAT family, staff at Ditton Primary School will receive additional training and support from WPAT colleagues in a range of areas including the quality of teaching. Teachers will also be helped to adopt new, efficient ways of evaluating the children’s learning.

Louise Smith added: “We’ll be working really closely with the team of Ditton to raise standards in the areas that have been identified as needing development, as well as building on the strengths of staff. Everything we do will be focused on the outcomes for children.”

From left: Denise Lee (Chair of Governors at Ditton Primary School), Louise Smith (CEO of WPAT) and Emma Fenton (Interim Headteacher at Ditton Primary School)

WPAT is a community of over 1,900 children aged 2 to 11 in six primary schools and a teaching school, employing the equivalent of 202 full time staff. The trust was formed in 2016 and quickly developed a national reputation for excellent standards. One of the trust’s schools – Bruche Primary School in Warrington – has recently been awarded a national award for being in the top 10 per cent of primary schools nationally for pupil attainment, just four years after it was declared one of the lowest performing schools in the country.

WPAT provides its schools with a range of benefits – schools get the support, expertise and professional development from staff from across the trust so that they can provide the very best education standards for their children. Trust schools also make their budgets go further by using WPAT’s ‘back office’ functions such as payroll, procurement and the management of school buildings and facilities.


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