Star Academies named ‘UK Business Hero’ for civic response to pandemic

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has recognised Star Academies’ outstanding contribution to society during the coronavirus pandemic by naming the multi-academy trust as a UK Business Hero.

The BCC’s national campaign recognises the achievements of organisations which have demonstrated resilience, adaptation, community spirit and a selfless approach to the challenges presented by the crisis.

Star Academies received recognition for its emergency civic response, which saw it spearhead two national projects – StarLine and the Reopening Schools Toolkit – to support pupils, parents and schools nationwide to reduce the impact of widespread school closures on the academic progress of children and young people.

StarLine, the home learning helpline, reached more than 1.5 million parents during the pandemic and helped to provide support to parents who were struggling to support their children with the demands of home learning.

The Reopening Schools Toolkit was a comprehensive online resource provided free of charge to schools across the country to help them plan for the safe reopening of their schools in line with government guidance.

The Trust’s civic response also led to the creation of Star Family Hubs in Star schools nationwide, which not only provided over £400,000 worth of food, toiletries and PPE to vulnerable members of the Star family but to the wider communities in which its 29 schools are located.

Mufti Hamid Patel CBE, Chief Executive of Star Academies, said he was very proud of the Trust and all that it had achieved.

He said: “This recognition from such a well-respected organisation is a huge honour for the Trust.

“I am incredibly proud of all that Star Academies has achieved during these difficult times. I am also grateful to our many wonderful and talented staff who have helped to make a difference to so many people.

“The coronavirus pandemic has presented many challenges for people across the country. As an academy trust which operates in areas of deprivation, our school staff are often among the first to witness the heart-breaking and desperate need that many families are suffering.

“Our response to the crisis, through our Star Family Hubs, was an essential part of our work. We could not allow our families and the wider community to suffer without doing something to help.

“We will continue to offer support through our Star Family Hubs and will endeavour to help as many as possible through our charitable campaign work.”