I think it would be a really good thing for our children’s school to go into academy.
What will be the pros and cons of joining as a academy trust?
Will it benefit our children?
Yes – we have carefully selected a Trust that is highly child-centred and works hard to develop great teachers. This includes opportunities for teachers across their schools to work in hubs and learn from each other. This means our staff will always be learning, reflecting and improving – and we know from research that this is the fastest and best way to improve schools for the benefit of children.
We anticipate doing joint projects together, and visiting schools with children as two of the CAT schools have fabulous outdoor spaces which included fully developed Forest School.
Will the SEN funding be affected?
No – provision for children with SEND remains the statutory responsibility of the Council and schools are funded in the same way directly from the DfE for their notional SEND money to use to meet children’s needs, before they might need an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
Will it be a positive for our school? Teachers ? And children? –
We have looked extensively at the benefits of joining a Trust – and choosing our own – and undertaken due diligence when we look in detail at a vast range of information. We believe that on balance, the education of our children, now and in the future, is best served by joining with a group of schools who work together like a strong family to support each other over time.
Will the children’s interests, individual talents be encouraged and more focus out on different subjects less target focused?
As an academy, we can chose whether we teach the National Curriculum. However, as we still have to undertake national assessments (SATs), we will need to teach much of the content of the NC. But, we can choose aspects to privilege over others.
As you know, we believe as a school that ‘character’ is as important as mastering knowledge and skills and producing high quality work, in all our lives – so we will ensure that our curriculum ensures that our vision is not led by external pressures, such as Ofsted inspection framework or the National Curriculum, supported by a Trust with the same beliefs.
Will it enable more experiences and in practical skills not just academic ?
Yes. We are continuously reviewing our curriculum and will keep creating opportunities for varied experiences and to develop skills. Some of this will be helped by working closely with other great schools – which the schools in CAT certainly are too.
Will parents local community still have a voice?
Yes – CAT enables a great deal of decision making to be delegated to the ‘local board’, which would be made up from parents, community members and staff – as it is now as a Governing Body.
Be fully included in school community?
Yes – CAT believes in local solutions for local schools and is a very inclusive, community minded Trust.
I would like to know how this will impact my children’s education?
We have carefully selected a Trust that is highly child-centred and works hard to develop great teachers. This includes opportunities for teachers across their schools to work in hubs and learn from each other. This means our staff will always be learning, reflecting and improving – and we know from research that this is the fastest and best way to improve schools for the benefit of children.
We anticipate doing joint projects and visiting partner schools with children as two of the CAT schools also have fabulous outdoor spaces which includes fully developed Forest Schools.
It is our carefully considered view, that converting to an academy and joining CAT will impact positively on all our children’s education.
What other changes may happen due to moving to an academy?
Most of the changes will not be noticed by children and our families as the Trust we have chosen believes in local solutions for local schools. There will be administrative changes to our financial systems, which we see as a great benefit for running our school better.
We will add the CAT logo to our school website, letter head etc so that people understand we are part of a Trust; Mrs Curran may become known as the ‘Principal’ rather than the label “head teacher’ but nothing else about the leadership role or pay will change – this will be decided by school Governors and the Trust in partnership.
We are not planning any changes to :
- Our Uniform
- Our SVP Name
- The Length / times of the school day
- How we organise term times
- Day to day running of our school from a parental perspective
What we the reasons for changing and joining to an academy?
Academisation has been supported by both Labour and Conservative governments.
The current Education White Paper and Secretary of State for Education has made the direction of travel for all schools to be in a Trust, in the near future, very clear, and has told Local Authorities to expect this.
The Governors at SVP wish to make our own, robust choice about conversion, especially as the Liverpool Arch Diocese have been clear with local Catholic Head teachers that their intention is for all their schools to academise in the future. As the only school on Stockbridge Village not in the Arch Diocese, the Governors have taken a balanced and bold decision to positively design the school’s next steps.
There are many other reasons, so we will share the most interesting and hopefully relevant for families:
- To improve the quality of school improvement in all areas and in terms of both support and challenge, so that our children receive an exceptional education.
- To improve the quality of school to school collaboration and systems thinking at both strategic and teacher level.
- To have direct involvement in the design of school reform systems across the Trust that supports us improving.
- To improve the quality and quantity of Governor CPD and support and challenge.
- To develop an approach to the reporting and practice of data collection and collation that not only evaluates impact but develops child-engaged assessment models and contributes to our school improvement.
- To design improved practice for teacher standardisation exercises and moderation for national standards in Reading, Writing and Maths. Research strongly indicates this impacts directly on teacher expectations and subject knowledge. Done well, in small learning networks, it can also improve teaching practice as teacher to teacher knowledge is most effective in this context.
- To improve the quality of school evaluation – how we judge ourselves accurately so that we never become .
- To work with schools aligned to the vision and values at SVP and learn from their strengths
- To work with a range of schools from differing and similar communities, designing in social equity factors into all aspects of school development at SVP – social equity is a core purpose of our curriculum and vision
- SVP Governors have a number of long term development plans, for the benefit of the school’s community (details of which we are currently unable to share more widely). The governing body do not feel they are fully able to support/challenge/deliver these projects without additional input
I agree with Staff’s point of view.
If the staff and school feel that changing to academy is the best thing then I will go with this as I feel the staff know what’s best for the children and school.
I agree with the staff’s point of view.
I am just wondering what would be the key differences in the curriculum and how will this impact the children? What other changes may happen with in the school once joining Cheshire academy if any?
One of the reasons we have chosen this MAT is because they do not dictate to the schools in their trust how their curriculum should look. They really like our curriculum model and are looking forward to working with us. We are looking forward to developing more opportunities for our children by working with them to learn more about how they use their Forest School provision and to be able to visit and use it, we are also excited to learn more about a programme they use called Opal to support play opportunities for younger children. We did a lot of work before selecting CAT to make sure that we had shared values and ideas around curriculum so there should not be any noticeable changes for your children. In terms of other changes, CAT do not dictate on the operational aspects of the school so uniform will remain as it is, our website and app and use of Seesaw will remain as it is.
I would like to say I agree with what the school and governors are proposing with the approach towards becoming a academy. I think the school should have more say with regards to curriculum and funding plus the added bonus of joining with other schools who have done the same process and seem to be thriving and sharing resources. I believe the school have the best interests of the children at heart and this decision is the right one for our children.
After reading the letter I have no concerns or queries. I fully trust Mrs Curran and the school governors in their decisions and believe any decisions made will be in the best interests of everyone. The benefits of being in a academy listed on the letter seem really positive and again I trust the school leadership to do what they feel is best.