Government awards Devon academy trust £450,000 to extend best-practice English Hub

Funding means Learning Academy Partnership will be able to share its expertise with more local schools

The Learning Academy Partnership, a primary academy trust in the South West, has been awarded almost half a million pounds’ worth of extra Government funding to extend the reach of its flagship English Hub.

The money means that the Trust, which has eight primary schools in Torquay, Paignton, South Hams and Newton Abbot, will be able to grow the centre of excellence, based at Ilsham Church of England Academy, and share its expertise in teaching English even more widely with schools across the South West. Almost 300 schools in North Devon, Mid Devon, Exeter, West Somerset, Taunton Deane, South Hams, Teignbridge, Dunsford, Plymouth and Torbay benefit from the hub, supporting higher standards in reading and writing among pupils.

The Department for Education created English Hubs to promote a love of reading among pupils and to help schools provide excellent teaching in phonics and early language. They focus on supporting the slowest progress children in Reception and Year 1 and aim to ensure every child is successful, regardless of background, needs or abilities.

The Ilsham English Hub was opened in October 2018. With the support and expertise of partners across the South West region, its first two years have been hugely successful. Ilsham English Hub has grown out of Ilsham Church of England Academy, which is the founding school in the Learning Academy Partnership.  Ilsham Church of England Academy was designated as an English Hub because of its track record in excellent phonics and reading outcomes. Their work also builds upon the Department for Education’s Phonics Partnership Project and the Department’s Strategic School Improvement Fund Phonics project.

Mrs Bone is Trust’s English Hub Strategic Lead alongside Mrs Cooke, the Early Years and Phonics Specialist Leader of Education through the Trust’s Teaching School, who supports 20 schools intensively across the South West region while nearly 300 schools have accessed showcases and workshops over the last two years.

Mrs Bone, English Hub Strategic Lead at Ilsham English Hub, part of the Learning Academy Partnership, said: 

“We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this money from the Department for Education. Our drive as an English Hub is to ensure that partnership and collaboration is at the heart of all that we do. From day one we have been seeking a way to do things differently and a way to share and use the excellent practice which exists within schools.”

Mrs Atkinson, Chief Executive of the Learning Academy Partnership, said:

“This funding is a testament to the exceptional work the English Hub team have delivered over the last couple of years. They are truly dedicated to providing an exceptional experience for all the schools they work with and are passionate about strong phonics and literacy levels in young pupils. The early years is such an important time to get absolutely right in a child’s life and we are very proud to provide high-quality support to schools across the South West region.”

Government awards Devon academy trust £450,000 to extend best-practice English Hub