Welcome from Dr Jamie Clarke
Chief Executive Officer, Tove Learning Trust
Thank you for your interest in this key role. The successful applicant will be pivotal in taking the lead as Headteacher of Sponne School. This is an excellent opportunity to take on a new role and play a key part in helping this great school and trust to develop even further.
Sponne is a remarkable school. It has a long history since its inception in 1430. It is the oldest secondary school in Northamptonshire and one of the oldest in the country. It is a very successful, hugely over-subscribed community comprehensive school with 1490 students aged 11-18 on roll with 170 staff. The school is part of Tove Learning Trust, comprising fourteen schools and includes a training school and the Grand Union Teacher Training Partnership on site.
The school serves the local community of Towcester which is a market town south of Northampton and northwest of Milton Keynes. Many students come from the surrounding villages. This is a relatively prosperous area although there are pockets of significant deprivation. The school has many strengths including its exceptionally strong provision in music and science. The commitment to students’ personal development is palpable.
Sponne was judged to be outstanding by Ofsted in 2012 and will be inspected by the end of 2024. There have been several framework changes during this time and it will be very demanding for this outcome to be achieved again given the national changes. Parents were very supportive during the pandemic and students continued to ‘attend’ lessons well. However, like most other schools, there has been a lasting impact on the mental health of many students. Leaders at Sponne have met this new challenge well.
Following the retirement of the current postholder, we are looking for a Headteacher who is highly passionate about delivering the highest quality possible learning experiences for all students. It is very achievable for Sponne to be in the top 10% of schools nationally for outcomes in the future. Students consistently achieve significantly well at the end of KS4. The colleague appointed will have great charisma and work in partnership with our parents to ensure all students achieve well. They will be great at leading a dedicated and skilled team of staff to even higher standards. The school’s motto of Dream, Believe, Achieve sums this up well.
At TLT, there is a mixture of secondary, primary and alternative provision schools spread across six local authority areas – from Walsall to Milton Keynes. We work in two main hub areas – Northamptonshire/Milton Keynes and the West Midlands.
Being part of the Tove Learning Trust, you will also have support from the Trust’s family of schools, a network of specialist school improvement directors and the guidance of an experienced CEO with a deep understanding of school leadership. Our Trust vision is simple: to ensure that all students in the Trust academies are provided with inspiring educational experiences that lead to outstanding outcomes. This includes all aspects of school life with students achieving to the very best of their ability. Of course, in practice this is complex, but is achievable here.
We are keen to foster a culture of using strong research-led improvements explored in high calibre literature. If we want the best for our children, then we need to immerse ourselves in the best literature and practice. Tove Learning Trust promotes excellent professional development across the multi-academy trust and has a pragmatic approach to curriculum design and its effective implementation. We strive to lead and inspire a high expectation culture where all staff and students are valued and they are equipped to meet the challenges associated with high quality teaching and learning. Trustees are committed to maintaining the unique nature and character of each school and academy within the Trust whilst embracing the shared values in all we do. We really do want our leaders to be inspirational, so that our students achieve really well. There is a strong moral purpose of ensuring all children get a great education, regardless of background or previous experience.
Sponne School promotes excellent professional development across the school community, a pragmatic approach to curriculum design, the recruitment of first-rate staff and a keen eye for great learning, with a focus on driving up progress and attainment. We are seeking a dynamic and motivated Headteacher to capitalise on the huge amount of good practice in place already and lead the school in its next phase of growth and development.
We wish you luck in your application.
Dr Jamie Clarke
CEO Tove Learning Trust