Multi-academy trust could unite schools

Woldgate headteacher Jonathan Britton.
Woldgate headteacher Jonathan Britton.

Plans are afoot to unite a family of local schools, who would have to become academies, and would work together to support each other and try to provide the very best education.

Jonathan Britton, the headteacher of Woldgate School, and Trudi Fitzhenry, the headteacher of Stamford Bridge Primary School, are proposing the creation of the ‘Wolds Learning Partnership’, which would be a multi-academy trust, that brings together secondary and primary schools in the area. The schools would retain their own unique ethos, identity, name and governing body structure.

To become part of the Wolds Learning Partnership, schools would be required by the government to become academies. An eight-week consultation is underway on the creation of the Wolds Learning Partnership and Woldgate School and Stamford Bridge Primary becoming part of the trust, which would mean both schools becoming academies.

Mr Britton said: “In the current period of change, we believe it is important that we build upon our already strong links and seek together, in partnership, to support each other and to do the very best for our children and the communities we live and work within.

“The ‘Wolds Learning Partnership’ will unite a family of schools who will work collectively, in partnership, to serve our local community.

“Our vision is that the trust will, due to changes being brought about by the national government, become the natural home for schools that will be required over the next few years to become academies. We are also conscious that other multi-academy trusts, nationally, may not share similar values and, as a family of local community schools, we believe it is crucial that we remain accountable to our parents, villages and communities. We feel it is important, therefore, that before schools are required to convert, we establish a trust that reflects our values and ethos to provide an alternate option to the national chains.”

Mr Britton and Mrs Fitzhenry say the opportunities offered by becoming an academy will support their schools in ensuring they do the “very best” for their children, teachers, schools and their communities. Academies were created under the last Labour government and are classed as independent state schools with the freedom to determine their own policies in areas such as the curriculum, school hours, term dates, staff roles and service providers. Woldgate School will be one of the first schools who will be seeking to convert to an academy and join the Wolds Learning Partnership.

As part of the eight-week consultation, evening meetings were held at Woldgate on Monday for parents and on Wednesday for the community. Drop-in sessions were held on Tuesday for parents and another will take place tomorrow (11 December) for the community, from 9.20-10.20am.

A consultation meeting was held in the Room of Requirement at Stamford Bridge Primary on Tuesday and another meeting will be held in the same room today (10 December) from 3.30-4.30pm.