I am writing to inform you that the governing body of D’Eyncourt Primary School has applied to become an academy under the Academies Act 2010 and is proposing to join Central Learning Partnership Trust (CLPT). The governing body is now consulting on whether the school’s conversion to academy status should take place.
Here are some of the reasons behind our application to join CLPT;
- Organisational support- CLPT will manage compliance issues (legally and financial) allowing leadership team to focus on core business which is continuous school improvement.
- Day to day support from an ‘outstanding’ primary school and their leadership team, which took that school from special measure to outstanding in one Ofsted cycle.
- Creation of a school improvement partnership between D’Eyncourt and Woden in which the resources will be used to impact upon all of the children in the partnership.
- Support from an Executive Headteacher, Mrs H Vernon, who is a National Leader of Excellence.
- Sharing good practice; we are seeking support in becoming ‘Outstanding’ and Woden and CLPT are helping us on this journey.
- Financial security; CLPT are able to support developments which individual budgets may not be able to afford.
- Security of jobs; CLPT are working hard at finding ways of maximising economies of scale in order to divert more money to pupils.
- In CLPT there are Secondary, Primary and Special schools, all with areas of expertise which can be used to inform practice in other schools in the trust.
- Refurbishment; The Trust has access to funding to be used for refurbishment and capital projects. This annual funding is unavailable to individual schools or smaller MATs.
- It is a Wolverhampton based Trust so key staff are very accessible.
- CLPT; the highest performing primary Trust in the country.
Further information about what becoming an academy means, and how to comment on the proposals, is set out below.
Will D’Eyncourt Primary School definitely become an academy?
The governing body has submitted an application to convert to academy status and is working towards a conversion in January 2018. However, the school is not obligated to become an academy until the contract between the multi academy trust and the Department for Education (known as the Funding Agreement) is signed.
The academy trust will not sign the Funding Agreement until parents and carers of pupils at the school, staff at the school, and pupils themselves have had the opportunity to comment on the proposals. Any comments or representations which are made about the proposals will be considered by the governing body before it takes the final decision to convert to academy status. Details of how to provide comments and representations are set out below.
The governing body will not vote to proceed with academy conversion unless they are content that conversion would be in the best interests of the school, taking account of all of the legal and practical ramifications.
What is an academy?
An academy is essentially an independent school which is funded by the state. It is independent of the local authority and receives its funding direct from central government.
We are proposing to become an academy as part of the Central Learning Partnership Trust. This means that we will be part of an academy group comprising of Woden Primary School, Heath Park, Moseley Park, Westcroft School, Broadmeadow School, Eastwood Village Primary, East Dene Primary, Coleridge Primary School and Wolverhampton Vocational Training Centre. More information can be found at http://centrallearning.co.uk/
What are the benefits of being an academy?
In the school’s opinion the benefits are numerous:
- academies are independent of local authority control – this means that academies have more freedom about how they conduct themselves
- academies receive their funding direct from central government – this means that academies receive more funding because none is retained by the local authority for the provision of central services
- academies have more freedom over the curriculum taught – this means that academies do not need to teach parts of the National Curriculum which they do not consider appropriate for their pupils
- academies can set their own pay and conditions of service for their staff – academies have the freedom to alter the pay and conditions of their staff (subject to normal employment law protections for staff) and so can provide staff with better pay and conditions than previously
- academies have more freedom to undertake innovative projects – academies are companies and so have more freedom to undertake innovative projects, such as setting up and utilising trading subsidiaries.
Are there any disadvantages to becoming an academy?
The Central Learning Partnership Trust will be directly liable for matters such as insurance, employment liabilities, pensions, health and safety, and, property maintenance. However, as mentioned above, academies receive more funding from central government to help them meet these additional costs, and in any event, the Central Learning Partnership Trust already deals with these matters for Woden Primary School, Heath Park, Moseley Park, Westcroft School, Broadmeadow School, Eastwood Village Primary, East Dene Primary, Coleridge Primary School and Wolverhampton Vocational Training Centre.
Will the admissions arrangements change?
The current admission arrangements will remain in place for the time being. This means the Local Authority would still deal with admission arrangements. If the academy wanted to change its admission arrangements consultation would be required.
Will staff leave?
If the school converts to an academy, all staff currently employed by the school will automatically transfer to the new academy on their current pay and conditions. Although the academy will have more freedom to amend those pay and conditions in the future, the governing body does not intend to take such a step in the foreseeable future and in any event, any change to pay and conditions would need to be consulted upon with staff representatives.
Will D’Eyncourt change?
We do not intend to change D’Eyncourt Primary except in ways which we think will improve the school even more. For students, it is unlikely that they will see much, if any, change in their day to day school lives.
Academies do have the power to vary their curriculums and vary the length of the school day, however, it is not intended to take any such steps at this stage and would engage with parents/carers, staff and students if we did ever intend to make such changes in the future.
How can I find out more?
There is also more information about academies on the DfE website:
If you can’t find the answer to your question on the DfE website, then please visit the Central Learning Partnership Trust website- http://centrallearning.co.uk/
How can I make representations?
To respond to this consultation on whether the conversion of the school to academy status should take place:
Representations can be made in writing to:
to Mrs D Darby
D’Eyncourt Primary School,
Or by email to:
The closing date for written representations to be made is 1st September 2017.
At D’Eyncourt Primary we only make decisions that will benefit the pupils of D’Eyncourt, we know this decision will only make D’Eyncourt an even better school. We hope that you will support us during this exciting transition.
Mrs D Darby