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A Barnstaple school that was rated inadequate by Ofsted last March has begun a positive journey of improvement following direction by the Department for Education that it should be sponsored by an Academy Trust.

 Yeo Valley Primary School became an Academy, as part of the Cornerstone Academy Trust (TCAT), on 1 January 2019.

As a result of the sponsorship by TCAT over the past year, there has been considerable investment in improving the school’s facilities, through refurbishment and new resources to raise standards in teaching and learning. In addition, a significant number of new teachers joined at the start of the 2018/19 academic year and TCAT has continued to recruit new staff to build a team committed to improving the school. 

Chris Hall is continuing in his role as Head of School, and Jonathan Bishop, Executive Headteacher for the Trust, will work with him to further improve the school, investing in staff development as well as creating opportunities for the children. 

TCAT already runs the Ofsted-outstanding Broadclyst Community Primary School and Westclyst Community Primary School in East Devon. In the coming months it will be bringing Yeo Valley Primary School in line with these schools, introducing the innovative use of IT and digital media on which it has built a national and international reputation as well as new parent communication systems that include email, text message and parent app, and an online payment system. It has already created a new school logo and set up a Facebook page and Twitter account where it will publish news and events for parents and the public to follow. It will shortly be rebranding the school signage, introducing a new school uniform and building a new website.

Mr Bishop and Henry Massey, the Chair of TCAT’s Board of Trustees, are holding a meeting at Yeo Valley Primary School for parents on Wednesday 30th January at 7pm. They are also inviting parents to apply for two posts on a Local Advisory Board for the school. This Board will focus on reviewing and monitoring the quality of teaching and the curriculum being offered and feeds back into the Trust Board. 

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