Thomas Deacon Education Trust is a company limited by guarantee and a charitable trust. Responsibility for the academies that make up TDET and for the funds granted by Parliament for providing education in those academies is entrusted to the Board of Trustees.
These Trustees are also the Directors of the company. Much of the work of the Board is delegated to committees; at TDET Level we have the Education Committee and the Finance Committee; locally there is a separate committee for each of the academies which works as an Academy Committee.
As an Academy, we are governed by an Academy Committee. This group of people is made up of a non-executive Chairman, a range of local business people, councillors, community representatives, sponsor representatives and parent representatives. The Academy Committee meets every half term and minutes of the meetings are readily available.
The core functions of the Academy Committee are:
Holding the Principal and other senior leadership to account for the educational performance of the Academy and its students;
Ensure clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction;
Overseeing financial performance of the Academy by making sure its money is well spent.
I joined the Academy Committee in early 2011 as one of the 2 Caterpillar/Perkins members required at that time. My experience of education apart from my own and my children’s was limited to the fact that both my parents had been history teachers, and I had therefore resolved never to become a teacher!
I was keen to understand how running an Academy both differed and was the same as running a business and I particularly wanted to be able to help improve the educational outcomes for the young people in the school.
My professional background was first in IT Project Management and then HR but I am at heart a linguist having studied Oriental Studies at University and speaking fluent French. I most enjoy being able to use my range of skills from outside the education arena to offer possible solutions to problems inside the Academy, providing support and encouragement to all the staff of the Academy, and seeing the amazing things young people can achieve.
To me, TDA is an extraordinary and unique place. Its sheer size sets it apart from other schools, as does its amazing design. The astonishing diversity of languages and cultures of the young people and staff who work and play alongside each other every day never ceases to bring a smile to my face. It is proof that boundaries only exist in our imaginations.
I firmly believe that in 10 years’ time, TDA will be regularly classed as an Outstanding school. But more importantly, I think that some of the great work currently being done in the field of literacy and numeracy will become the benchmark for other schools, both locally and nationally, as the Academy becomes a trail-blazer for excellence.
I joined the Academy Committee eight years ago in 2009, re-entering the world of education for the first time since I left it behind when I finished my ‘O’ levels!
My aim when I joined the committee was to contribute whatever I could to the life of the Academy, and what I find I have gained from my time on the committee is a far greater understanding of current education issues and how an academy works.
During my time as a committee member I have thoroughly enjoyed working as part of a team, sharing ideas and working with staff as well as other members to influence strategy and make decisions that benefit staff and pupils alike.
To me, TDA’s openness and ability to embrace, so fully, all pupils, irrespective of their background, culture or ability sets it apart from other schools. Its ethos and aims are about supporting and guiding every child, from 7 to 18, to be the best they can, to achieve their goals and to push beyond them.
I would like to see TDA become the “go to” school for the city of Peterborough; every parents’ first choice of school on their application for their child’s secondary education.
I became an Academy Committee member at Thomas Deacon Academy in September 2014 with very little prior experience of education other than as parent - I had enjoyed a successful career building a global management consultancy.
I wanted to stay closer to home and give something back to society. I wanted to learn about education and how it works and then see if I could make a contribution. I have a lot of experience in running organisations and a knowledge of workers both from a finance and operations as well as a technical perspective. I also have a lot of experience in strategy formulation and leadership. I was confident that these skills would be valuable in the role of Governor.
Being a Governor, the thing I enjoy most is working with the teachers and being inspired by their dedication and commitment to doing the best for every student, no matter what their starting point.
The future is bright for TDA because in Richard Barnes and Julie Taylor (TDET), Geoff Walls and Jane Wilson we have exceptional leaders and their combined capabilities mean that we can become one of the highest performing Trusts not just in OFSTED terms but in terms that are validated and supported by our local community.
I find I have always been connected with the school, via family contacts, and I first started serving as a Governor on the Board of Deacons School - over 30 years ago! The Headmaster at the time always liked to have someone from the council on the board of governors although at the time I had little experience of education apart being not long out of school myself.
I can't say I had actively wanted to be a governor but had always lived in the Deacons School area, my late father and his father both went to Deacons school and some Peach's are listed as former pupils who were killed after they left school and joined the Army. So it seemed like a natural opportunity to take up.
The part of the job I most enjoy is meeting and talking to both staff and pupils. It is always good when you feel you can give someone advice if they ask a question be it about a school or community matter.
I guess everyone will say that what sets TDA apart is its size. When TDA was formed from the former Deacons School, John Mansfield and Hereward, it was said to be the largest school in Europe.
I want to see TDA get better and better to become both a UK and world leading school. To make more of its specialism in Maths and Science and to take full advantage of all its links with other schools and businesses.
I joined the Academy Committee back in September 2016 after having been made deputy chairman of the Thomas Deacon Foundation. Whilst I didn’t have any direct experience of education other than my own and my children’s, I am a professional youth worker so dealing with young people is a big part of my life.
I joined, in part, because of this, but also because I had benefited from the school myself in one of its previous incarnations as an Old Deaconian, so this felt like a great way to be able to give back, as well as the support I could give from my day job experience. I regard it as real privilege to be able to support the school that played a key part in developing the skills, standards and principles I have today.
I really enjoy interacting and working with the staff and being able to contribute a different perspective on approaches to the work and progress of the school.
I think what makes TDA different from the other schools I have connections with is the leadership. It’s very clear that the leadership team really do want TDA and its pupils to be the best it can be. I find they set inspirational and impactful goals, which always seek to benefit the lives of our young people.
I genuinely believe that in 10 years’ time, TDA will have achieved an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted status and will be setting new ‘best practice’ standards for secondary schools across the country.
I joined the Academy Committee at the end of July 2017, after being elected as Thomas Deacon Foundation representative to the Academy. I have also been a governor at Gladstone Primary Academy since it joined TDET in February 2017 so I do have a little experience in the education sector, although not a great deal!
I wanted to join the Academy Committee to be able to share my experiences of working within the charity sector for over 10 years in a variety of roles. I have worked in the tourism, health and social care sectors and that work has included involvement in working with an area-based curriculum as well as leading learning workshops.
I enjoy the opportunities that being a Governor gives me, working as part of a team and learning how my previous experiences can be relevant and adapted to support the work of the Academy Committee and offer a different perspective to the staff and leadership team of the Academy.
TDA has such a great heritage within Peterborough – dating back to 1722 thanks to the remarkable Thomas Deacon and his vision for education for the children of the City. It is also full of a variety of achievements thanks to its amazing students and staff, all of which come together to make it different from other schools.
In 10 years, I want to see TDA become an outstanding Academy with every individual achieving their best.
I joined the TDA Academy Committee around a year ago after seeing an advert in the Junior Academy’s newsletter. I have a 10 year old daughter currently in the Junior Academy and a 20 year old son who is at Sheffield Hallam University, after attending TDA from the age of 11. I am a Community Assistant Practitioner for the District Nursing Service, and have worked in this field for 17 years.
I was interested in joining the committee because, although I have no background in education, I am a parent and I was curious as to what happens behind the scenes of a busy, thriving local academy. Because I have two children who have been and are currently part of the academy, I felt that I could also give input on a whole range of issues from the parents’ perspective.
I thoroughly enjoy seeing the different opinions and rationales behind the decisions made by the committee and the Senior Leadership Team in relation to the running of the academy. I also love the chance of working with so many different professionals who contribute to maintaining the high standards which Thomas Deacon Academy expects of both its staff and students.
I believe that the Unique Selling Point for TDA is that it is a huge part of the local community and it should be something that we are proud of. The students are our future and they are entitled to the best we can offer and if I can in some way, no matter how small the contribution, help them to achieve their potential then I have made a difference not only for my children but the whole community.
Over the next 10 years, I believe that TDA can only continue to grow and develop, and that can only benefit the children of our future.
I am currently the Principal at Iqra Academy, Peterborough, an independent Muslim Faith Girls Secondary School. I am Chair of the Education Group of the Muslim Council of Peterborough and Chair of the Association of Muslim Schools for the East Midlands, UK. I also sit on the Head Teachers group of the Peterborough Partnership of Secondary Schools and on the Schools of Tomorrow Fellowship.
I am passionate about education and believe that as an Academy Committee member at TDA, I can provide support, expertise and a wealth of experience to the school and to the Trust. I have a full understanding of Ofsted and have led Teacher Training Departments and inspection teams across the UK, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Greece. I was also an Education Advisor for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.
I have been a school Governor at a local Primary School in the City and enjoyed the team work and collaboration, as well as contributing to providing every child with the best life chances and high aspirations.
I believe TDA is different from other schools as it caters for the needs of so many diverse pupils from so many different communities around the city. This presents its own unique set of challenges for us all working for TDA.
I am excited about the opportunity in the future and I am sure that in ten years’ time TDA will be a centre of excellence. We will be united by values and purpose, but free to innovate and adapt to meet the needs of all our pupils and local community.
I joined TDA as an Academy Committee member in January 2018. I am a community Imam and prison chaplain with a keen interest in the education and upbringing of the next generations. As a trustee of PMET (Peterborough Muslim Education Trust) and CEO of Iqra Academy, I have some experience of education. Also with my role as Head of Education at the Darassalaam Mosque and the Principal of the evening extra-curricular classes, I have a certain amount of experience of education outside the normal school environment and curriculum.
Being the Imam and Head of Education at the closest Mosque to TDA, I come into contact with a lot of TDA students. Many of the students at our evening classes also attend TDA. I would like to be part of the education of today’s young generation, helping TDA to equip them with the tools needed to be upright and valuable members of society.
I most enjoy seeing young people grow into valued members of society, and working as a team to make TDA an institute of educational excellence.
For me, the forward thinking approach of TDA makes the academy stand out from other schools. The inclusive approach that TDA takes to the different communities it serves and the way TDA brings the communities together to shape the city of Peterborough is also a strength of TDA.
I hope that in ten years’ time TDA will be an outstanding school, a centre of excellence where young adults are able to thrive as individuals and achieve their potential.