Seckford Free Schools at top of new national Multi-Academy Trust table

The Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust, which runs Beccles, Saxmundham and Ixworth Free Schools in Suffolk, is celebrating its position as one of England’s top-performing Multi-Academy Trusts (MAT) following the release of a new results table by the Department for Education today. The Seckford Free Schools Trust is seventh out of 62 MATs nationally for its ‘well above average’ student progress at all three schools and is the best MAT nationally for improving performance for disadvantaged students.

The Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust is the best performing all-Suffolk MAT in the county. Beccles, Ixworth and Saxmundham Free Schools are all in the top 10 out of 85 secondary schools in Suffolk and top 10% nationally for Progress 8, which measures how much progress a Year 11 student has made since the start of secondary school. Saxmundham Free School is in fourth place in Suffolk with a score of 0.46, meaning all students progressed to achieve half a grade higher in their GCSEs than was predicted at age 11. Beccles and Ixworth Free Schools are in seventh and eighth place.

GCSE results as well as Progress 8 information (which shows the progress pupils make from age 11 to age 16) and the proportion of students taking the English Baccalaureate, are published for the first time for MATs, to help parents and prospective parents judge performance levels of their Trust.

Graham Watson of the Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust, said: “The Progress 8 measure demonstrates our ability to improve students’ outcomes, regardless of their starting point and we are thrilled to be one of the top-performing Multi-Academy Trusts nationally. Our strategy of focussing resources on student outcomes has paid off.”

The Free Schools each celebrated excellent GCSE results in 2017 and, in the newly-reformed Maths and English GCSEs, several students achieved top 7, 8 and 9 grades (equivalent to A, A* or higher).

Graham Watson continued: “We provide an excellent academic education as well as a broad range of enrichment activities which help to prepare students for life beyond school. We are incredibly proud of our students’ hard work and achievements during their time at our schools, and we look forward to building on our success for the future.”

This is the first year that The Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust has appeared on the MAT league table since the Trust has now been operating three free schools for at least three academic years, with Ixworth Free School opening in 2014 and publishing its first GCSE results in 2017.