26th April 2017
Consultation on Conversion to a Multi Academy Trust
I am writing to make you aware that the Governing Body of the Pepper Hill and Stanton Federation is considering a proposal to convert Pepper Hill School from a Local Authority School and Stanton School from a foundation school into a Multi Academy Trust (MAT). This is a relatively straight forward process but, as with everything we do, our decision is based upon what is best for our children, our staff and our wider community.
As you will be aware from the news, schools are being encouraged to become academies in the coming years. The government are also encouraging schools to form partnerships with other schools and form MATs.
Since Stanton School was rated by Ofsted as ‘outstanding in all areas’ in 2016 we have worked with a number of schools at a number of different levels to share expertise and learn from each other. We have also expanded the school from a two to three form entry school.
It is a natural step in the school’s journey to lead in forming a group of schools who work under the same principles but maintain their individual identities within their communities. The positive progress that has been achieved since the federation of Pepper Hill School and Stanton School in 2014 highlights our ability to successfully manage this proposal.
Whilst converting to academy status will involve additional work for our administration team, there will be minimal change to the children and the teaching staff during the proposed conversion process. There will be a financial cost but this will be offset by grants which are available from the DFE.
The most important measure of our success has been the impact on our children. Over a number of years both schools have gone from strength to strength academically and the depth and breadth of experience we provide is something the community of Pepper Hill and Stanton School can be very proud of.
The Governing Body are therefore considering setting up formalised partnerships with other schools, ensuring that the support work that we offer can have an impact on a wider number of children.
This more formal side is achieved by the Governing Body developing a MAT. We have attached some frequently asked questions on what this might mean for parents and carers, our community and our partners to support you during the consultation period.
The consultation will run from Wednesday 26th April 2017 to Midnight on Tuesday 23rd May 2017.
The Governing Body is consulting with our stakeholders including:
We will be hosting an informal drop-in session for parents on the following dates where you are welcome to ask any questions.
Wednesday 10th May, 3:00pm-4:00pm at Stanton School and Thursday 11th May, 3:00-4:00pm at Pepper Hill School
We look forward to receiving your comments on this very important issue.
Mrs A Slee
Chair of Governors
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Multi Academy Trust?
A Multi Academy Trust (MAT) is where a number of academies create a single trust with a board of trustees answerable to the trust members.
Members of the trust are responsible for the strategic oversight of the academy. They appoint and work closely with the trustees who determine the policies of the trust, monitor the effectiveness of each academy within the MAT, manage central services where appropriate and report to the Secretary of State. They work to ensure that each academy is performing to the best of its ability and gets the support it requires.
Each of the academies in the trust has its own local governing body which has authority delegated to it, by the trustees.
Why do we want to create a multi academy trust (MAT)?
Due to our status as an outstanding provider we want to take this knowledge and create a trust of schools. Our plan is to use our experiences within Pepper Hill and Stanton School to lead the MAT alongside other local leaders who share the same vision of inspiring the learner in everyone.
Joining with other schools within a MAT provides opportunities for schools to consolidate their position and enhance the educational experience for all children, as well as improve upon the efficiency of running the schools.
A MAT structure would allow us to sponsor or commission new provisions should we wish to move in this direction.
Finally, a MAT allows schools to join who may not choose to convert to academy status independently.
What are the benefits for children in forming a MAT?
There are a number of benefits for children in forming a MAT:
What are the benefits for staff in forming a MAT?
There are a number of benefits in forming a MAT:
Will there be a negative impact on my child at Pepper Hill and Stanton School?
There will be no negative impact on the level of education received by the children. Pepper Hill and Stanton School will very much have the same feel, values and approach to learning.
Will the conversion to a MAT change the day to day business of the school?
The MAT will only enhance the capacity to provide more opportunities for both children and the staff. Day to day running of the business will change marginally for daily management and operations.
If we proceed, when will the change be made?
If the proposal goes ahead, it is proposed that the new arrangements start within the academic year 2017/18. It is the governing body’s intention to proceed to become a MAT as soon as the DFE approve the application
Who will lead the MAT?
Initially the current leadership and governors of Pepper Hill and Stanton School will drive the development of the MAT. Our plans are to further strengthen the breadth of expertise as the MAT develops.
Who would be joining the MAT?
We would aim for varying types of schools joining the MAT. Each individual school will be considered separately to ensure the joining school shares the vision and values of the trust. As well as education we consider the development, financial and risk aspects of the schools before agreeing to them joining the MAT. This ensures that quality and capacity needs are considered pro-actively.
Will the schools retain their own identity?
Yes - all schools will remain separate legal entities with separate head teachers and local governing bodies. All schools will have their existing or individual name but will be part of the MAT
Will there be any changes to the existing admission arrangements currently in place for 2017 and 2018?
There are no proposals to change the existing admission arrangements for Pepper Hill and Stanton School upon conversion to a MAT. Details of the admission arrangements can be viewed on the school’s website.