As a founding Member of the Houlton Multi-Academy Trust (MAT), which runs our first primary school on site, our involvement has been extensive – reaching far beyond the traditional developer role of designing and building schools. Following our innovative collaboration with the Diocese of Coventry, we have overseen the visioning and strategic direction of the MAT, developed and helped articulate our collective ethos, as well as providing strategic direction, financial management and performance standards.
All aimed at protecting our stake in the future of Houlton through growing a successful and well-functioning school, which drives interest in the area. At Governor level within St Gabriel’s Academy, this best manifests itself in our ability to forge strong links between the school and other local stakeholders involved in the creation of Houlton such as our housebuilders who in 2018–19 supported the school through purchasing books for the library and creating a Forest School. Most importantly, through our role in the school, we are able to get to know local families and children and watch them grow and flourish in our new school communities.
As we now embark on the development of a secondary school at Houlton, we do so upholding the common principles we lay down in all Urban&Civic schools and that were evident in the development of St Gabriel’s, being investment in design, rooting in history and retaining a long-term stake for Urban&Civic, all underpinned by partnership working at every level. Our invitation to be involved at both Director and Governor level in the Transforming Lives Educational Trust which will run our new secondary school, along with several other within the town, is testament to the added value and development expertise we bring to this sector.