Matrix ‘Far From Home’ – Turing 2023-24

Matrix ‘Far From Home’ – Turing 2023-24

Sweden, Italy, Peru

We are delighted to announce that, for the third year running, Matrix Academy Trust has had another successful Turing bid.

The Turing Scheme is the UK government’s programme to provide funding for international opportunities in education and training across the world. It supports Global Britain by providing an opportunity for UK organisations from the higher education, further education, vocational education and training and schools sectors to offer young people  life-changing experiences.

This year, pupils in Year 8 from across Matrix schools will be visiting Sweden. Year 10 will be exploring ancient history in Italy. Year 12 students will be travelling around the world to Peru.

We chose ‘Far From Home’ as the name of our 2023-24 Turing project because we are committed to promoting an international outlook with our pupils. For our young people to be successful, we need to do whatever we can to broaden their horizons – and one way of doing this is to take them ‘far from home’. We will be making sure the pupils who are selected to go on these visits will be those that will benefit most from them.

More information about these opportunities will be shared in September.

Read our report on last year’s Matrix visit to Japan here: https://matrixacademytrust.co.uk/japan/

Find out more about the Turing scheme here: https://www.turing-scheme.org.uk

July 2023

Director of School Improvement awarded MBE

Our Director of School Improvement has been awarded an MBE in King Charles III’s Birthday Honours List.

David Lowbridge-Ellis, from Wednesbury, has been recognised in the first of King Charles’s Birthday Honours for services to education. As well as improving the life chances of children across the West Midlands as a teacher and leader for nearly two decades, David has worked extensively with the Department for Education to reduce teacher workload, improve retention to the profession, innovate assessment and promote LGBTQ+ inclusivity.

Wolverhampton-born Lowbridge-Ellis, 40, said he is “deeply appreciative and humbled” to be recognised in this way after nearly two decades serving as a teacher and school leader.

He said: “Whilst I recognise that this is a personal honour, I’m part of a fantastically talented and enthusiastic team. All children deserve an excellent education and I am proud of what we achieve as a Trust: education without exception. It has been really wonderful being invited to share at a national level many of the things our Trust does to recruit teachers and retain them in the profession. You can’t give children an excellent education without great teachers. So many people who work day-in-day out to educate young people are deserving of this kind of recognition and I accept it in honour of all of my colleagues, not just teachers but also teaching assistants, support staff and governors.”

Chair of Matrix Trustees, Jeremy Bench, added: “I am delighted that David’s significant achievements and outstanding contributions to schools and the wider community have been recognised by King Charles. David has given many years’ loyal service to the Trust, first as a teacher and senior leader of Barr Beacon School and now as our Director of School Improvement. He has shared educational excellence with many academies both across the Midlands and nationally. He is a credit to our Trust and I speak on behalf of the whole Matrix family when I say we are very proud of him.”

June 2023

TES Awards 2023

We are incredibly proud to announce that Etone College is in the running for two awards at this year’s prestigious TES Schools Awards 2023. With a short drum roll, we have been shortlisted for the following categories:

  • Staff Wellbeing School of the Year
  • Headteacher of the Year

This is an incredibly exciting time for us. Not only does it show the hard work and commitment of the whole school but also recognises the leadership of our Headteacher, Ian Smith and all that he does to make sure that Etone is the very best place for education.

In both categories a shortlist of 6 has been announced which is already an achievement in itself.  The school will be represented at the Awards Ceremony in London in June and, regardless of the outcome, we are already extremely proud of our achievements.

Wish us luck as we head into the countdown to the Awards in June – it is great to see both Etone, and therefore Nuneaton, firmly on the educational map.

Mr Smith and Etone College shortlisted for The Tes Schools Awards 2023

The most outstanding individuals and institutions that the education sector has to offer have been recognised in the shortlist for the Tes Schools Awards 2023, the 15th year of the awards. It’s been revealed that Mr Smith from Etone College has been shortlisted for the Headteacher of the Year award and Etone College for the Staff Wellbeing School of the Year award.

The Tes Schools Awards recognises the very best teachers and schools from UK state and independents, including early years settings, primary and secondary.

The panel of awards judges include school leaders, experts and education researchers. The objectivity, professionalism and high standards of the Tes Schools Awards judges and the judging process has helped establish them as a well-respected achievement for any school chosen as a finalist or winner.

Tes editor and chief judge of the Tes Schools Awards Jon Severs said: “With these awards we honour the education community, who we have served for over 112 years. This year has seen some incredibly high quality entries. So every teacher and school who has been named in this shortlist should be very proud – it’s a fantastic achievement.

“We are looking forward to showcasing, as we do every year, just how vital our education professionals are to every facet of this country. Teachers, leaders and support staff all play such an important role in schools: this is our chance to say thank you for all that they do.”

The Tes Schools Awards Winners will be announced on Friday 23rd June at a gala ceremony at London’s Grosvenor Park Hotel.

May 2023

Pupil Awards Evening

Matrix’s first ever cross-trust pupil awards event, held at Millennium Point on 20th April, was a fantastic success.

Pupils were recognised for exemplifying our trust values of creativity, resilience, selflessness, enthusiasm and continuous improvement. There were also awards for exemplary members of our Cadet Forces.

With more than 7000 pupils across our trust schools, it was really difficult to choose the 46 award winners. Those who did receive the awards should feel deservedly proud of their achievement.

The awards-giving was punctuated with several fantastic performances, including DJs from Barr Beacon, a piano virtuoso from Year 4 of Bloxwich Academy and Etone’s ‘Mega Band’. Before the event, we had over an hour of performances from pupils across our trust schools, all of who had been selected to perform after a trust-wide talent competition, which had more than 100 entrants.

The evening started with a video relating the story of our trust up until the end of 2022. Our CEO Ms Draycott then spoke about the two newest schools, Smestow Academy and Wednesfield Academy, who joined the Matrix family this year. There was also a special video explaining ‘what a makes a Matrix pupil’, starring a teacher from each of our schools.

Here is what some of our parents and carers have said about the event:

“The awards ceremony was fantastic. It was great to see pupils getting their awards and the fantastic performances from across the Matrix Academy Trust schools.”

“It meant so much to see all the pupils being awarded for life skills rather than academic achievement. The head teachers giving a little speech about each pupil was a lovely touch and really personalised it.”

“Thank you for a wonderful evening.  It was very special to see everyone receiving their awards.”

“Thank you for a special evening celebrating the achievements of pupils.  We are especially proud of our daughter!”

“Tonight was simply amazing!” 

Ms Draycott and Director of School Improvement Mr Lowbridge-Ellis introduced each of the awards and our headteachers explained who they had chosen and why. Trustee Sir Mark Aspinall bestowed the awards on the worthy winners.

April 2023

Long Service Awards

On Thursday 9th March 2023 we had the pleasure of celebrating and recognising some of our longest serving staff members from across the trust as part of a celebration of excellence and commitment to our schools.

A big congratulations to all the staff members involved. We celebrated staff members who have an amazing 18 years plus service with us.  A special mention to our longest serving staff member Mr Neal from Bloxwich Academy Secondary with 37 years of continuous service….and counting.

Whilst the achievements of all our staff are important it is clear that these individuals will have had a lasting impact on their communities. With perhaps some residents having siblings, parents and other family members known by the same member of staff.     We thank you all for your hard work and dedication.

March 2023

Dame Elizabeth Cadbury – Ofsted ‘Good’

Dame Elizabeth Cadbury School graded Ofsted ‘Good’. Congratulations and thank you to staff, pupils and parents for their ongoing commitment to Dame Elizabeth Cadbury School. Moving forward, we are fully committed to maintaining these high standards and to providing the best possible opportunities for our pupils.

The report recognises the many strengths of Dame Elizabeth Cadbury School and the progress that has been made since the previous short Inspection in 2019. As a school, we have worked diligently to address the areas for improvement given in the last Inspection and now feel that this Inspection offers us a really strong platform for continued success. We shall continue to offer and create excellent opportunities for all our pupils – education without exception.

Read More HERE

March 2023

Contact Info

Matrix Academy Trust
Leamore Lane, Bloxwich
Walsall, West Midlands

01922 211 264




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