Seven area schools are hoping to form a Multi Academy Trust with Prince Henry’s during the next academic year. Prince Henry’s High School, which has received outstanding status from Ofsted since 2006, gained Teaching School status last year and has been an Academy Trust since 2011, has been approached by a number its feeder First Schools and St Egwin’s Middle School. The schools wish to consolidate their already well-embedded collaborative relationships and to ensure the preservation of the ethos & values of individual schools within the Prince Henry’s pyramid. All the schools involved have a shared vision to preserve the outstanding ethos and culture that exists; especially in the current educational and financial climate, caused by increasing austerity measures in the education sector.
The schools have begun a four-week consultation period with parents with the view to convert to Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) status at some point in 2015. The interested schools are: Ashton under Hill First School, Church Lench CE First School, Cropthorne with Charlton CE First School, Harvington CE First School, St Andrew’s CE First School, St Egwin’s CE Middle School and Swan Lane First School.
Dr Tony Evans, Headteacher of Prince Henry’s, said detailed discussion has been going on now for 12 months, and the schools involved were now at a stage where it could be taken forward. “Having mutually explored options with a number of our feeder schools, the Prince Henry’s governors and leadership agree that the best way to preserve the outstanding nature of our pyramid is to formally work with these schools so that the talented and dedicated staff in our area can continue to teach our children without the fear of outside change being forced upon individual schools in the coming years. We think it is the best for the future of our schools. By becoming a Multi Academy Trust, we will be able to achieve an economy of scale, particularly at a time when there are considerable and ongoing pressures on budgets. In addition to this, all of the local schools who convert to the Trust will have a much greater control over their finances.”
He continued “Several of my Governors and I have also met with representatives of the Worcester Diocese and they were impressed with the future proposals. The Trust will ensure that the local ethos of all schools, including the Church Schools remain unchanged”.
The Heads think the move will mean an enhanced level of influence over the experience the children receive as they pass through the local pyramid, along with control over finances, and the ability to competitively buy in better services
Carol Kennedy, Headteacher of St Egwin’s Middle School said: “As schools we have already been working together for a long time, so formalising this close relationship will not be a huge change to our existing working practices. Becoming a Multi Academy Trust will give us more control over the education of our children, as well as preserving the three tier structure – First, Middle and High School – which has served our pyramid so well.”
Sharon Cole, Headteacher of Ashton under Hill First School said “My governing body is very excited about the prospect of working within a Trust as we believe this will lead to better educational provision for the children”.
Graham Walker, Headteacher of Swan Lane First School stated “We see the formation of a Multi Academy Trust as a way of strengthening and formalising the strong links which already exist within our pyramid of schools. This can only be of benefit to our pupils.”
The consultation period has now begun and each school is meeting parents who should check schools’ websites for details.
School governors will look at replies and make a decision about joining the MAT.
Contact: Mrs Zoe Bradley, Head’s PA
Tel: 01386 765588
Prince Henry’s High School
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