Academy Consultation Feedback

Contribution to the consultation on the MAT:

I have worked at Linden Lodge since 2000 and during that time I have seen many changes, developments and have worked with amazing   young people who are an inspiration to us all.  It is a special place to work and a everyone is dedicated to working with the children who come every day to learn and thrive.  

​I have visited Southfields Academy on several occasions and have always found the visits helpful and valuable to my own professional development.   I have visited the Literacy Coordinator in the Rowan Centre and was able to explore the resources and talk about the options for Literacy at Linden Lodge School and how they make it work for the young people at their school and how we can make it work for ours.  I  have worked with  the Senior  Exams Officer  about the developing an inclusion link to provide opportunities for young people at Linden Lodge to work in partnership  with young people at Southfields Academy to undertaken Edexcel Functional Skills. Southfields Academy have an established Accreditation Department and the information provided was extremely helpful at looking at the way forward.   I have always found the teachers to be approachable and willing to offer ideas and help with questions that i have needed answering.  I have come away feeling inspired but the opportunities 

As my role as a Middle Leader I  found the work I did with The Headteacher Jackie Valin from Southfields Academy and Deborah Rix  valuable as it prepared me for the OFSTED inspection, it did this by giving more confidence in my ability as a teacher and during the Middle Leader Working Group we were given a forum to talk about our roles and get clarification on any our questions. I found Jackie Valin to be approachable and friendly who was positive in her approach and she worked in an effective partnership with Deborah Rix having a shared ethos about aspirations, goals and outcomes. 

Staff


Dear Governors

I fully support the schools proposal to join Southfields Academy Trust as they are a specialist HI provision that reflects our ethos and commitment to our students. By joining with Southfields we will be protecting the VI and HI expertise of both provisions for students with VI and HI impairments.  There is a very strong and long standing link between the provisions.  There is a need to safeguard our national specialist status which would be achieved if we joined Southfields.  By considering other non specialist options would have a detrimental effect on the funding stream for the school which would impact on the services, curriculum and resources available for our students. 

I established a working link with Southfields Academy when I first took over the co-ordinators role of Linden lodge sixth form.  This entailed going to Southfields and looking at their curriculum offer to draw a comparison between our two provisions. 

Southfields gave guidance on accreditation routes and discussions centred on us joining them where appropriate for our more able students attend Southfields students for numeracy and literacy accreditation.

I have attended training designed for middle managers (TLR post holders) facilitated by Jacqui Vallen of Southfields in preparation for the recent Ofsted inspection which resulted in the school moving from RI to a good with outstanding features.  Other training has been through lesson observation of teaching and learning and during teacher’s meetings on the school development plan.  Jacqui Vallen and Southfields Academy have an invested interest in the future development and progression of LL and have a commitment in moving the school back to outstanding.

Before any final decision is made about the schools future will there be an opportunity for a staff consultation to gain a more comprehensive overview of staff views? 

Regards

Staff


Southfields Academy have been a fantastic school improvement partner for Linden Lodge over recent months and years and have been a vital help for the school in many ways to develop and move from Requires Improvement judgement to a Good.

As a teacher, I have benefitted from collaboration and guidance from Southfields in the following ways:

  • training to become a coach, which has benefitted my classroom and people management skills, problem solving and ability to support colleagues wellbeing and development
  • extending professional network and experiences
  • observations and guidance from Jacqui about teaching practice

As the curriculum lead, I have valued:

  • advice and guidance when developing the RISE curriculum, including regular meetings as a working group chaired by Jacqui V that have ensured we have now got an appropriate, challenging and effective curriculum in place that is in line with developments in assessment and curriculum guidance
  • appropriate and timely challenge that has developed my skillset, knowledge and understanding and helped me to create a clear curriculum offer
  • help finding appropriate accreditation and curricular to challenge higher level learners
  • guidance and reflective practice in developing data processes and systems, analysing data and presenting it effectively
  • specific specialist subject support including Maths and RE

 

As Deputy Headteacher:

  • Support to develop my skills and knowledge to enable me to grow as a leader
  • Encouragement and advice about sharing information, people management, presentation style
  • Development of a clear management style
  • Improved confidence in my own ability to lead, learning from an excellent leader

As a school, we have much to be grateful to Southfields Academy for, but also we have plans for the future that would rely on us developing a strong MAT. These plans include:

  • curriculum development, moderation opportunities, ongoing advice from specialist teachers
  • extended inclusion links
  • The potential of combined placements which would enable us to accept a wider cohort, particularly more able learners who would benefit from our specialism but need access to accreditation opportunities such as GCSEs that we do not have the capacity to offer at Linden Lodge, using the Residential offer to widen our catchment offer (I am particularly passionate about this and enabling mainstream level pupils who are struggling in mainstream education the access to and support of our VI specialism whilst also offering them the breadth and level of learning that would enable them to have a personalised offer and support for success through building on the strengths of the two schools together). This would build on the excellent foundation of the Rowan Centre.
  • Extended opportunities for staff recruitment, development and training to improve recruitment, retention and the skills levels of our staff. This would enable us to create pathways for career progression.
  • Opportunities for combined training
  • Opportunities to develop highly specialist, differentiated curricula that would be the "gold standard" for our pupils and may become marketable, using the subject specialism of teachers at Southfields Academy and the SEN and VI/MSI knowledge and skills of teachers at Linden Lodge to create a highly innovative specialist offer
  • Opportunities for improved administrative support, freeing up teacher and manager time to focus on teaching and learning improvements
  • The possibility of development of intervention programmes and outreach
  • Improved financial management, enabling us to develop the site, improve our resources and save money

We also have much to offer Southfields Academy, including:

  • The specialist SEN and VI/MSI knowledge and skills we hold in our teaching, support and residential staff
  • A growing and developing workforce and the opportunity for career progression within the MAT for both Linden Lodge and Southfields staff
  • A high profile in the SEN community, which works well with the Southfields Academy cohort and community
  • A shared ethos and shared values
  • As a MAT, we would be able to offer support for pupils at all levels of the spectrum of need, from MLD to PMLD
  • The support of the family centre to provide extended schools opportunities including parent workshops, training and forums
  • Work experience opportunities for pupils within the school and family centre, potentially leading to an improved recruitment pool in time

I am passionate about Linden Lodge School and ensuring the best possible future for the pupils, families and staff. I strongly believe that a MAT partnership with Southfields Academy would offer us improved outcomes for pupils, extended opportunities for families and would enable us to recruit, develop and retain a more effective, skilled and dedicated workforce. I believe that we subscribe to a complimentary ethos of inclusion and opportunities for all and that this underpins and forms the foundation of becoming an outstanding, leading and unique provision.

Staff


I spent 1 month on placement at the Rowan Hearing Support Centre in Southfields Academy in March 2016 as part of my training to become a Teacher of the Deaf.  I worked mainly within the Hearing Support Centre but also supported some of the Rowan students in mainstream lessons throughout the school.  My over-riding feeling of being placed there was that Southfields Academy was a very well-run school with an inclusive, caring and supportive atmosphere which I feel complements the ethos we have in the sensory support service.  

Staff, WSSS


As a peripatetic teacher of the deaf I am in the privileged position of working with many professionals and  I visit a broad breadth of provisions, including Southfields Academy . As the Hearing Support Service has a well established Resource Base at the school there have been many opportunities over the past eleven years to work with the school  either as teacher supporting pupils who attend the Rowan resource base or, as a visiting teacher when the school has kindly allowed us to host events such as primary /secondary transition mornings or educational events and activities.

The school has a positive, ethos which cascades down from the principal Jacqui Vallin that is very much in keeping with what Deborah Rix and the  Wandsworth Sensory Support Service promote; a belief and commitment that 'every child matters' . In order to achieve the best for every child, a strong partnership  has been encouraged. The school , like the support service , embraces a diverse population and so it is ideally placed to understand the needs of pupils with sensory difficulties. 

The pupils who attend the Resource Base and their families,  value the care and thought that has gone into providing  State of the Art provision.  Pupils are  very well integrated and  pupils feel safe and nurtured. They are encouraged and  take advantage of the many opportunities attending a large academy has been able to afford.

The proposal for the school and service to join forces with Southfields as a MAT seems like it would be a natural, enriching  and mutually beneficial forward thinking partnership. 

Staff, WSSS


As a VI specialist teacher, part of the peripatetic team,  I have been working with Southfields Academy for a year and a half providing support for three students with vision impairment.

According to my experience, Southfields Academy is a school  that values the support received from the VI service as all the strategies have been put into place to make sure their students are successfully included in the mainstream environment and they can reach their potential. My communication with the Senco and other members of staff  has always been consistent and our cooperation has worked very well.

Staff, WSSS


 

I am writing to share with you, my strong view about Linden Lodge School converting to an Academy to join a Multi Academy Trust with Southfields Academy.

I can see many positives outcomes coming as a result of this, such as:

  • Linden Lodge and the service maintaining the school and service's sensory specialism as both have expertise in SEN
  • Continuity in providing support to children and families in a holistic way, maintaining our ethos and values.
  • Could open the opportunity to support staff in their Continuous Professional Development.
  • Continuing demonstrating through inclusive practices a strong commitment to inclusion.

From the above, you can see how the shared values and vision into providing excellent support for Children and Families is at the heart of what Linden Lodge, the Service and Southfields do. Therefore, please take my opinion into account when considering as I agree it would be very beneficial for all parties involved.

Regards,

Staff, WSSS


Dear Governors

Following the governors’ meeting on Monday evening I feel I have to write to you as a matter of urgency. The staff of the school including myself are deeply concerned that after a period of agreed consultation regarding a decision to join a MAT, in particular a partnership with Southfield academy there appears to be a change to the process. Staff here at Linden are working under extremely stressful conditions and our concern is always to make sure they are supported and engaged in the decisions that affect them.

 I am sure you are aware of the long standing history of Linden Lodge and Southfields working together for many years where we have had our hearing impaired unit. Staff and run through Linden Lodge the Unit in Southfields is highly regarded locally and regionally. Additionally I hope you are aware of the immense amount of work that has been undertaken since February 2015 when Linden Lodge required improvement following an Ofsted inspection. Jacky Valin and her team have been incredibly supportive working alongside Deborah Rix and the new leadership team. It has been a true partnership and Southfields are characterised by inclusion, entitlement and equal opportunity.

Southfields as we do pride themselves on maximising children and young peoples’ opportunities. We are a specialist provider for sensory impairment and complex SEN, in particular Children with complex health needs. We have worked so hard on safeguarding, medication and processes to embrace safe practice. Southfields has given great support to us all to improve safeguarding.

I have been part of the School and residential task force that was set up by Debbie Rix and Jackie Valin and worked with Debbie Holmes to bring Linden Lodge back to good with outstanding in education health and care. I have been privileged to be part of a team that have a deep knowledge, understanding and empathy where children who are extremely valued and the staff group who need much advice, support and specialist training are now feeling confident again in management.  That has not been easy but we have done it. We have made real progress and we can continue to do that with the MAT with Southfields. Please give as a chance to demonstrate what we can do together.

The staff group, and I speak for many are deeply concerned that the pathway to academisation with Southfield has been through consultation and it is the right way forward. We now hear the governess are considering another option with a possible further partner who we do not have a working partnership with. It seems very late in the day to be considering an action when the consultation has finished Deborah Rix and Jacky Valin have worked tirelessly to support the process and achieve the best possible outcome for the children, parents and carriers, staff  and professionals on the field. I strongly request the Governors to consider carefully the implication of now looking at another school. We have confidence in the Southfields, Linden Lodge partnership through a MAT.

I sincerely hope all the hard work will not be in vain and that we can achieve a smooth transition to multi academy states. We welcome the Governors to come and speak to staff and listen to what we say we are part of the process

Thank you

Staff  member

 


I am writing to express my support for the proposal for Linden Lodge School to join a multi-academy trust with Southfields Academy.

As a member of the Wandsworth Sensory Support Service (the wider Linden Lodge team) based in the Rowan Hearing Support Centre (HSC) within Southfields Academy,  I have seen, through my work, the significant benefits for young people with SEND that have come as a result of partnership with the academy. The deaf young people at the resource base thrive and make outstanding progress as members of a community that celebrates diversity and has a supportive culture of understanding SEND.

Teachers of the deaf have been working on site in Southfields for well over 40 years and because of this there is a well-established culture of deaf awareness where having a hearing loss, and the use of audiological equipment, is viewed as a normal part of day-to-day life and deafness is viewed as just another difference in a community that celebrates diversity and difference.  The leadership team ensure that opportunities for Deaf Awareness training take place regularly for all staff and the whole school takes part in Deaf Awareness week annually. Mainstream staff are familiar with teaching strategies for supporting deaf learners including strategies to facilitate the development of social skills. Mainstream staff have been involved in our 'smiLE' therapy social skills programme which has helped deaf students to generalise the social skills they have learned through role-play in the HSC and use them in mainstream lessons.

The deaf young people at Southfields also benefit from the wider opportunities made available through the academy such as extra-curricular activities, access to sports events (both SEN and mainstream), use of facilities.

Inclusion and diversity are at the heart of Southfields Academy's ethos and for this reason the school is not selective but instead welcomes any student no matter their postcode or prior attainment. It is a source of personal pride to me that I work in a school that is willing to not only provide an education for any student who would like to attend, but welcomes them into a community that is nurturing and caring, with pastoral systems designed to support children and young people who face the greatest challenges in life. This was made clear when the school welcomed the entire cohort of young people who arrived in Wandsworth as refugees from the camps in Calais; the full allocation for the borough, because they were having difficulty finding placements at other school. With this in mind, it makes perfect sense to me that Linden Lodge would join a multi-academy trust with Southfields as the values and beliefs of both institutions are aligned.

In addition to having an inclusive ethos, behaviour at Southfields is Outstanding (Ofsted), which contributes to a learning environment in which deaf learners feel safe and develop the confidence to manage their own school routines independently.

The leadership team are extremely supportive of the Rowan HSC and promote it as an asset to the school. The teacher in charge of the HSC is part of the school’s SEN forum and middle leaders group.  The teacher in charge is on the school middle management team and the Centre is represented by a nominated member of the senior leadership team

Staff from the HSC also benefit from access to training and CPD opportunities made available through the academy's INSET programme.

I would welcome the opportunities presented to both students and staff at Linden Lodge through joining the Southfields MAT. I could also see considerable benefit to the community at Southfields through access to the considerable specialist knowledge and expertise, and resources, which the team at Linden have to offer.

Staff, WSSS


Dear Governors

I would like to express my support for the MAT Linden Lodge with Southfields Academy.

As interim Head of Residential Care, Southfield Academy has been part of the residential and School Board supporting and helping to develop the provision, not only for our pupils, parents and carers but have helped tremendously with staff development.

The Residential Board has assisted in reviewing the last residential Ofsted report and helping to put systems in place, improving on monitoring and outcomes for pupils, staff training and development and looking to the future expansion of what we offer. 

From September 2017, the Residential Department has changed drastically i.e. building works creating another bedroom and a new Duty Room The board has visited the residential department frequently, meeting pupils and staff, this has been enormously appreciated and well received by the staff team and myself included.

My personal opinion is that the Residential Board has helped enormously to develop and to make improvements for the benefit of the pupils parents, carers and staff. The opportunities and benefits of working with Southfields will help in a variety of ways with:

  • What we offer pupils and staff development – greater choice; and staff progression.
  • Teaching links for current and future pupils
  • Opportunities for our pupils
  • Resources
  • Training
  • Innovation for the future
  • Support and guidance
  •  Working in partnership

I have regular support and input from the Deputy Head of Southfields, regarding my supervision and advice on how to improve security, health and safety and outcomes for our pupils and staff.

The MAT will give the school and the staff a wider direction in terms of accessing grants and staff development, all of which will help to improve our specialist provision for our pupils and the next generation.

Since September 2017, the staff team have worked solidly to improve the provision, with the assistance of the Residential Board, Deborah Rix Head Teacher and the Senior Management Team within Linden Lodge. I am pleased to be the interim Head of Residential Care and Extended Services and to see the changes that have taken place in such a short time.  Our regular Standard 20 visitor Mr Lance Miles who visits regularly commented in his October report:  

In my professional opinion, the young people who come to stay at Richley House receive an excellent care experience, which supports their learning both at the home and within the school environment.

The changes within Richley House have been carefully considered and will enhance the living and learning opportunities within the home.

The increased privacy on the ground floor is a positive improvement. The planned creation of a sensory room and teaching and independent learning opportunities on the top floor, will again enhance the facilities available for each young person within Richley House.”

Linden Lodge would benefit immensely with the MAT with Southfields Academy, and I fully support such a move.  However, I do hope the Linden Lodge governors, take on board what the staff at Linden Lodge are conveying and support the MAT with Southfields Academy. Deborah Rix, Head Teacher, is managing the school extremely well with the support from the Senior Management Team and staff alike. I have confidence that you will contemplate prudently i.e. listening to staff who has worked in the special needs schools sector for many years, making sure that the right decision is made that will benefit and complement our pupils and staff.

Lastly, it is extremely important that governors are visible i.e. meeting staff, parents and carers and simply having an understanding of how the school mechanism works as a whole. Southfields Academy for our school is the right choice.  The right choice for Linden Lodge is Southfields Academy.  

Regards

Staff, Linden Lodge

 


Following on from the Full Governors meeting this week I have been very concerned about the sudden shift in direction with the academisation process. With the consultation closing last week on Friday, to find we were now being asked to consider another school in the process was a complete surprise as I was not aware this could happen.

I very strongly support the view, and know I can represent Wandsworth Sensory Support Services' position, that Southfields Academy would most definitely be the preferred option. With Southfields we have a strong partnership and a long history of shared values of which there are many but in particular inclusion and SEND. The outreach service is valued by Southfields and there is a deep understanding of the importance of early intervention and specialist support. Due to the strong links, and through the Rowan HSC, Southfields has significant awareness of sensory impairment and  are committed to sensory specialism. The Academy recognises the expertise of  both Linden Lodge and the Service and share their values especially in terms of SEN, inclusion, diversity and developing the school workforce.

The continuity of provision is well established between the outreach service, the primary HSC leading into the secondary HSC at Southfields. There are shared values and understanding of the use of technology and the positive impact this has for children and young people with sensory impairments. Southfields understands the flexibility of the Service and recognises the importance of this as they have outreach elements in their school. There are well established partnerships and working relationships across Southfields, Linden Lodge and the Hearing Support Service. The Rowan students are embedded in the life of the Academy.

Southfields also values training and development not least as it’s a training school. This is extremely important in the field of sensory impairment in order to ensure the mandatory qualification is required of teaching staff in the Service and Linden Lodge to ensure the highest quality teaching and best possible outcomes for children who are deaf, visually impaired and multi-sensory impaired. Southfields has a complex population so will be able to benefit from specialism and expertise across the Service and Linden Lodge. The national picture of support for children with sensory impairment is currently vulnerable, particular in terms of recruitment. There is a proven track record of the Service and having a partnership with Southfields would add strength. The Academy also has expertise in areas which the Service can draw on, for example EAL and Autism. 

The sports links between the Academy, School and Service are strong and long standing. There are regular opportunities for the children from all three parts to come together for inclusive sporting opportunities. The students from Southfields Academy and the Rowan HSC have been sports leaders working with the students at Linden Lodge.

I strongly support Southfields Academy as the preferred option for becoming a MAT.

Staff, WSSS

 


I understand that Linden Lodge would like to join with Southfields Academy to form a MAT.  I wish to add my support of this partnership as this is what it would be.  I have worked for Deborah Rix for 10 years both in the Service and now at Linden Lodge and I trust her judgement implicitly.  During that time she has nurtured the Service  and it staff and always looked to the future to do the right thing to secure its future.  I believe that what she is doing now is securing the future of Linden Lodge.

She cares passionately about the pupils and their families and has worked round the clock , both as Interim Head and now as its Head to secure good outcomes for the pupils.  It is clearly evident that under her tenure she has managed to put improvements in place and has successfully come through a Ofsted in Residential and an Audit.

Linden Lodge and the Services have had a successful partnership with Southfields  for many years.  The Service has a Hearing Support Centre within the School which has been allowed to flourish under Jackie Valin. I understand that residential have also had long ties with Southfields whereby both their students and Linden Lodge  students have benefited  from this interaction.

More recently I am aware that Jackie Valin has worked tirelessly alongside Deborah Rix on the Residential Ofsted Plan to bring Residential up to meet minimum standards.  Jackie Valin has also been very generous with her staff and allowed them to come and offer their experience & expertise.. e.g.  Ranging from sporting activities to expertise from their  HR Department.  Southfields is a training school and Linden Lodge staff would benefit from having access to this facility.

Southfields Academy has a similar ethos to Linden Lodge school and whereas our pupils have special educational needs the majority of pupils at Southfields have EAL with their own challenges.

I strongly support the option of joining  the Southfields MAT.  I am not sure where the option to join Graveney has come from at this late stage of the consultation process and feel that governors should be supporting the Head rather than causing distraction.  Deborah Rix has started Linden on a journey; Southfields are best placed to continue that journey with us and should not be side tracked down a dead end route.

Staff, Linden Lodge


I am not particularly interested in whether the school becomes an academy or not, though I do deplore the upheaval this will cause.  What is needed is more stable TA's and more therapeutic staff.

Parent


I am the Chair of the Linden Lodge Charitable Trust and this email is to  provide our views in  response to  the consultation document. We discussed the matter at our meeting last week.

We do  not feel able to comment on the educational reasoning behind the proposal. However we want to  emphasise that we remain committed to  supporting the school and would very much welcome being kept informed about developments following the consultation.

I should mention that our constitution does not permit us to  support other schools, so  we will need to  be satisfied that our funding will be for the benefit of Linden Lodge School only and not other school(s) in the MAT.

Finally I should mention that at least one of the grants  for the recent construction of the Family Centre on the site requires notification to  grant-givers of any proposed disposal of the Family Centre and reserves the right to  require a refund of the grant in the event of a disposal. No  doubt this is something which will be dealt with by the School/ Wandsworth Borough Council if it is decided to  join the MAT.

Trustee

 


Thanks for all your emails and updates and clarifications re Linden Lodge joining a Multi Academy Trust, and giving us as parents a chance to add our views.

Nigel and I were unable to join the meetings, so have based our views on the emails shared by you, and the Q&A on the school website, as well as conversations between us.

We feel clear on the benefit of joining a MAT, in particular the financial control you mention, and what that will protect for the school’s identity and expertise at a time of general educational cuts. It also sounds a real positive to have the vision of a MAT be to ensure that Linden Lodge can become even more of a specialists centre.

We trust the new management and your aim to do what is in the best interest for the school and pupils, and not just what is in the best interest for Wandsworth council/ gov. With that trust in mind, these are the areas that are of paramount importance to ust:

  • That the staff is included and listened to as part of the process to ensure that they feel part of the transition and to ensure no more staff expertise is lost to the schools and its pupils.
  • That Linden Lodge’s interest and pupil interest is always at the forefront of any decision making
  •  That you stay steadfast in what you belief in for Linden Lodge as part of committing to this new ‘marriage’
  • That we don’t lose Linden Lodge’s autonomy, which would have detrimental impact on the pupils there.

Parent


Supporting statement in favour of Linden Lodge joining the Southfields Academy MAT

For a number of years now I have had the pleasure of working closely with Southfields Academy and their team. For me, the prospect of joining their Multi Academy Trust is a very exciting one, as we would be joining a school that shares our own educational philosophies, the most important one being, placing the children and young people at the heart of everything we stand for.

In the past, as a visiting professional, I have been able to witness first-hand, Southfields Academy’s aspirations for the children and young people that they teach. Their outstanding commitment ensures that each and every pupil is given the same opportunities within their educational development, which in turn ensures that a comprehensive education is delivered across the school. The staff team were very accommodating and took on board the advice and recommendations which we offered and that ensured the students we were supporting made good progress and were supported effectively within school. These experiences clearly indicate that we have had a very effective working partnership for many years and one that has had a very positive impact on the pupils. This partnership continues today across many different aspects including the HSC, Vision support for VI pupils in school, sporting opportunities and vital support from Jacqueline Valin and her team in the run up to and during Ofsted inspections as well as offering support for Linden Lodge’s continual school development.

More recently, I have been working closely with Deborah Rix and Jacqueline Valin on an exciting new unit for Linden Lodge and Southfields Academy that will open up GCSE and A-Level pathways along with higher level accreditations for Linden Lodge students. This is a wonderful opportunity and one that will strengthen links and enable us to work hand in hand in order to provide our students with the opportunities to obtain these higher level qualifications which is something that is not currently on offer at Linden Lodge.

For us to join the Southfields MAT would ensure that this “Inclusion Link” goes ahead and is able to run seamlessly, it also allows Linden Lodge the opportunity for continued development in order to offer a comprehensive educational package to every child and young person with a visual impairment which in turn will, I believe, make us an even more desirable educational provision for VI children and young people not just within the South East but nationally. 

I truly believe that teaming up with Southfields Academy will secure our future within an educational world that currently is undergoing continual change and one that is facing uncertainties across so many aspects, especially funding, which is so vitally important for us in order to maintain our current levels of support to the children and young people we work with. The coming together of schools will safeguard Linden Lodge’s future and ensure that it will continue to offer our students a board balanced education and that it is also able to provide higher level accreditations thus being able to meet a visually impaired pupil’s learning needs across an entire educational spectrum.

This opportunity is an opportunity too good to pass up on, in my humble opinion.   

Staff, Linden Lodge

 


I am writing to support the linking of Linden Lodge with Southfields as an academy.

I believe that Southfields and Linden Lodge School have a mutual outlook about individual student development and progress. All students are supported and encouraged to achieve their best personal to themselves. The diversity of our students’ abilities is celebrated and is fully inclusive enabling progress at small steps with appropriate resourcing and staffing. Linden Lodge has previously and is currently planning to enable some of our more able students to take lessons at Southfields as part of an inclusion link which will greatly benefit our students academically and personally.

Over a number of years Southfields has generously supported Linden Lodge by training and supporting staff, for example, teachers have been trained with performance management by Tonie Greig from Southfields. Tonie has also been supportive to staff for careers advice and training opportunities for their professional growth.

During the previous 12 months Linden Lodge has benefitted greatly by support from Southfields which helped Linden Lodge secure a judgement of ‘good with outstanding features’ from OFSTED in January 2017. Examples of support are: staff offered to update Linden Lodge School’s single central register, advice to the Senior Leadership Team.

I have been supported by Jackie Vallen from Southfields through professional advice, coaching and mentoring, enabling me to grow as a school leader [being one of the Deputy Head Teachers at Linden Lodge School]. This has been to the ultimate benefit of our staff, students and their families. Jackie has greatly helped with curriculum development, data, moderation, staff observation. I have found her to be a positive and encouraging colleague. Additionally, myself and another teacher from Linden Lodge School had fire warden training at Southfields earlier this academic year.

I am also a Cultural Ambassador for A New Direction (Arts Council) and as part of that role this year I am planning to develop creative links between Linden Lodge School and Southfields Academy. This link will also be a part of Linden Lodge School’s cultural action plan for our Artsmark application at platinum level.

I feel that the joining of Linden Lodge and Southfields through the academisation process will be mutually favourable to both schools due to a shared outlook which will be of great benefit to our students, their families as well as our staff.

Staff, Linden Lodge


I have been fortunate to have been involved with Southfields for a long period of time. I have a lot of  photographic evidence of links, and our students using Southfields facilities.

We have had many successful links in the past with such a positive impact on both sets of students and staff. We just have to try and remember them all!

Staff, Linden Lodge