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Academy Improvement

Joe’s Journey through Jubilee Academy

Joe’s journey began when she was a pupil herself at the school, which has now become Jubilee Academy Mossley with Academy Transformation Trust.

Joe Westwood, teacher and senior leader at ATT’s Jubilee Academy Mossley, developed a passion for education when she became a parent helper at her daughter’s school, which was then Mossley Primary School, almost fifteen years ago.

Since then Joe has been supported by inspirational leaders on an unbelievable journey through education. She began her employed career as a one to one Special Educational Needs (SEN) teaching assistant, supporting children with very specific needs. During this time she completed her level 3 teaching assistant course in special needs to help support her with the role. This then led to her becoming a class-based TA in year six class, working alongside the assistant head. Having been bitten by the education bug, she then put herself forward to become a higher level teaching assistant (HLTA) with the support of the head teacher. This enabled Joe to teach whole classes, something that she loved to do.

Professional development did not stop there, Joe became employed as an unqualified teacher in January 2006, to enable her to complete a registered teacher programme (RTP) and degree at the same time. Having qualified in 2008, Joe trained as a mentor for other teachers, wanting to give something back to the profession. She then went on to qualify as a specialist teacher for Dylexia in 2012, reigniting her passion for SEND.

September 2013 saw Joe take on the role of acting SENCO and in 2014 she became the SENCO and part of the academy’s senior leadership team.

Joe credits the Academy Transformation Trust (ATT) with further empowering staff with their professional development and encouraging them to go on and do even more since becoming an academy.

Joe explains how she first became involved in teaching, “I really enjoyed being a parent helper in my daughter’s class, so I enrolled on a teaching assistant course initially to enable me to support my own girls and then to further develop my role within school. I loved it and wanted to do even more, so I worked on my teaching qualification part time while my children were younger.”

Joe is now part of Jubilee Academy’s senior leadership team as well as being their Key Stage 2 phase leader, overseeing all Year 3 to Year 6 pupils’ teaching and learning, behaviour and monitoring progress.

A great deal of change has taken place and Joe has commented on the many positives since becoming an academy. Joe shares her views, “We have definitely changed and grown as an academy. Everything about the school has changed – the ethos, the way we do things, staff attitudes and pupil engagement. ATT has helped us to create an amazing team. “

“Staff feel empowered to want to achieve more and to go on and do more as professionals. The professional development opportunities offered by ATT for staff are brilliant. All of the different ATT forums are an excellent source of support and advice and continue to make a difference to us as education professionals.”

“We have found that since becoming an academy, staff actually come to us as school leaders asking us if they can do more training and wanting to find out what else they can do to develop as professionals. That isn’t something that happened before we became an academy.

“We are still changing and I am so proud to be a part of such a wonderful place. We give pupils a safe haven and we make a real difference in their lives. I hope that we will continue to change for the better and to make Jubilee Academy an even more wonderful place for our pupils.”

“We are also really proud of our training for student teachers as they go through university and will continue to make a difference to both new professionals and pupils alike.”

Senior Improvement Director (SEND), Pat Hunt, explained the ATT approach to CPD, particularly for SENCOs, “We are working hard to give our SENCOs and all teaching staff the support they need to drive their careers forward.

“We hold regular SEN forums for SENCOs throughout The Trust where we aim to upskill them and support them on their own learning journey.

“Through the forums we are able to focus on specific skills or issues that the SENCOs want to develop as well as giving them the opportunity to network with one another both formally and informally.

“We know that in order for us to provide each child with the very best education, we must provide our staff with the right support and opportunities to develop because a happy, fulfilled workforce is crucial in ensuring pupil success.”

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