Schools looking to the future to raise standards

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A partnership between eight schools in Luton is seeing standards rise in the borough.

Luton Futures, formed in 2010, has seen its first group set up who will become locally trained English teachers.

It’s the latest success for the secondary schools who each retain their own individuality but work together to build on each other’s strengths.

“We’re working together with common aims and a shared ethos and approach and shared values, “ said John Burridge, headteacher of Lealands High School.

Strength in numbers means the group can work together, achieve cost savings by buying goods and services in bulk, and share ideas and practices that have a proven success.

“Ultimately it’s about our students , giving them access to better resources and experiences they would not otherwise have,” said Mr Burridge.

Monica Austin, head of Ashcroft High School, said there was a lack of egos between the eight schools.

“It’s about raising standards in our own schools but having a collective responsibility for all children across Luton,” she said.

“It’s about building relationships and building trusts.”

Literacy has been one of the main focuses for Luton Futures, and Mr Burridge said the group is already starting to see successes. Lea Manor High School has been working with Lealands and has seen a significant rise in its English results, he said.

Lealands High School was satisfactory in a recent Ofsted inspection but has now been deemed good in its latest report, with comments about outstanding behaviour.

“We don’t think that would have happened without collaboration,” said Mr Burridge.

”There is a large focus on literacy because it has such an impact on other subjects,” said Ms Austin.

“We are developing character and rounded young people giving them skills for life.”

The eight schools also include Cardinal Newman, Challney High School, Icknield High School, Stopsley High School and Woodlands Secondary School.