Leeds West Academy


Principal's Update


Enhancing the consistency of our pastoral care

I would like to start this week by thanking our community for the tremendous support that has been offered following the tragic events of last week.  The devastating news about a much-loved member of our community has affected us deeply and we continue to hold Mylo's family in our thoughts.  Throughout this week, our students and staff have been adding their sentiments to an open book of condolences which will be shared with Mylo's family at an appropriate time in the future.  Next week, we will offer another series of opportunities to remember Mylo; our rewards assemblies will conclude with a special tribute to Mylo and on the last day of term, based on the requests of Adam, Mylo's brother, our students will participate in a "Run for Mylo" and non-uniform day, with all funds being donated to Mylo's online appeal.

I would like to take this opportunity to inform Parents of some significant changes to our pastoral structure:

  • Form Tutors:  From September, every student will be placed into a Form Group, with a Form Tutor who will remain with the same group of students for their time at the Academy.  The form tutor will be the day-to-day contact for your child, providing support for their academic progress as well as providing high-quality pastoral care.  We expect tutors to develop strong relationships with their tutor group and to be the key point of contact for parents and students where concerns or worries arise. 

  • Year Managers and Progress Leaders:  Each Year Group will be supported and coordinated by a Year Manager and a Progress Leader, who will be responsible for the pastoral well-being of their year group, as well as monitoring and driving the academic progress of each and every student within their year group.

  • Enhanced support for Social and Emotional Wellbeing:  We will be introducing a number of significant improvements to the support we provide to our students. Our provision for those students with Special Education Needs will be strengthened considerably through the development of a specialist "Nurture Group".  This provision will be rooted firmly in psychological principles and will aim to better prepare our most vulnerable learners for learning and adulthood.  This will complement our enhanced provision to support students with more specific aspects of learning, such as reading and writing as well as developing support through a dedicated counselling service.

We will be minimising any changes in the student groups, which means that current coaching groups will be grouped together into forms wherever possible. We may, however, make decisions to move certain students if we feel their engagement/behaviour warrants a change from their current peer group.

The decision to move away from the current Coaching arrangements towards a model of traditional form tutors is not a decision that has been taken lightly.  We believe these changes will enhance our curriculum, engaging students in thoughtful activities that serve to develop them as responsible citizens.  We expect these arrangements will enhance the consistency of pastoral care, with the form tutor being the key point of contact for parents and students.  We will be sharing contact details of all form tutors in due course, accompanied by a clear communication protocol to support parents and staff in effectively communicating with these key members of staff. 

As always, if you have any specific concerns you wish to raise about this or any other aspect of our plans to dramatically improve Leeds West Academy, please do get in touch. 

In closing, I would like to remind parents that we will break up for the Summer next Friday, 21st July.  On this day, the Academy will close to students at 12.20pm.  As no school buses will be running at this time, we ask that parents make arrangements for their children to get home safely. 

I would like to wish all our parents and students a restful and safe weekend.

Yours sincerely,


Christian Wilcocks


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