Proud to be a member of the
Lincolnshire Gateway Academies Trust
Proud to be a member of the
Lincolnshire Gateway Academies Trust

Borough’s first ‘Foster Friendly’ school

Waltham Toll Bar Academy has become the first school in North East Lincolnshire to join a North East Lincolnshire Council initiative which encourages fostering.

The Academy has become a ‘Foster Friendly' employer, committing to support staff who are already foster carers, or those who may choose to become so in the future.

The scheme was launched during the recent Fostering Fortnight activities, encouraging businesses and organisations across the borough to support foster carers.

A member of Lincolnshire Gateway Academies Trust, the academy, as with others signing up to the initiative, will offer benefits to include additional annual leave for appointments and training.

Principal of Waltham Toll Bar Academy Nigel Whittle said: "We are pleased to support North East Lincolnshire Council's campaign and proud to become the first 'Foster friendly' school in the borough.

"We are aware of the shortage of foster carers and, as an employer, are committed to promoting their much-valued work and supporting colleagues who wish to take on such important roles.

"Foster parents can provide the stability a child needs and transform their life chances. It can also be a rewarding experience, knowing you've made the difference to a young person's prospects.

"We wish the campaign every success and reiterate our willingness to be involved and partner North East Lincolnshire Council in initiatives that benefit children across the area."

Martin Brown, the Trust's Chief Executive Officer, said the initiative would be rolled out to its other schools, which include Cleethorpes Academy, Reynolds Academy, also in the resort, and Pilgrim Academy in Immingham.

North East Lincolnshire Council's Children's Services Director, Ann-Marie Matson, welcomed the announcement.

"I'm delighted Waltham Toll Bar Academy has become the first ‘Foster Friendly' school, and hope that other academic settings across the area will follow suit, supporting staff who are also foster carers," she said.

"Foster carers provide homes for vulnerable children and young people.

"Many of these young people need support whilst they adjust to their new environments, and this can require the need for additional support from our foster carers.

"If they have jobs elsewhere, they may need additional time and support to help these children, which is where a ‘Foster Friendly' organisation could prove vital.

"We welcome Waltham Toll Bar Academy and the wider Trust to the scheme."

The Academy's Student Leadership Team joined representatives from the Academy, Trust and council at the launch.

Ivan Boyd (15), whose parents Emily and Christopher Pinney are foster carers, was proud the Academy had joined the initiative.

"My parents have fostered many children over the years and I know it means a lot to the children," he said.

"It just feels like having a bigger family and I'm proud of what they do and that the Academy is supporting foster carers."

Fellow SLT member Freddie Chappel (15) welcomed the campaign too.

"Fostering's really important," he said. "This school ensures no child is left out. It is really welcoming, the staff are brilliant and there is an excellent safeguarding team, all things that support this campaign."

Interested in becoming a foster-friendly business? Get in touch with the Fostering team at North East Lincolnshire Council. Email:

To find out more about becoming a foster carer in North East Lincolnshire or to discuss how you apply to be a foster carer, visit, or call 01472 323966.