School considering break from the council to secure ‘future success’
West Blatchington Primary School will launch a formal consultation on plans to join The Pioneer Academy Trust (Image: West Blatchington Primary School)
A school is considering breaking away from its local authority in a bid to access more funding and secure its “future success”.
West Blatchington Primary School in Hove will launch a formal consultation on whether to join The Pioneer Academy Trust (TPA), a group of 15 primary, infant and junior schools across the South East.
The decision comes after the school’s governing body said it was considering all viable options, including joining a federation or retaining the status quo as a local authority-run board school, along with the option of joining an academy trust. to join that works in the area.
Academy schools receive funding directly from the government, are run by academy trusts and have more autonomy than council-run schools.
The school said 78 per cent of TPA schools inspected are good or better (compared to 22 per cent when they joined the trust) and 89 per cent of TPA schools inspected so far have met their Ofsted maintain or improve outcome.
TPA invests around £1 million each year in all its academies and also works with local authorities to help provide further funding.
Educational initiatives include TPA’s cultural capital program – TPA has committed £100,000 across the trust to this so that numerous educational trips can continue free of charge for pupils.
West Blatchington said it would benefit “significantly” from TPA funding for capital and educational improvements at the school, including £100,000 by the end of the first year of conversion.
The school wants to continue to develop its autistic spectrum condition facility.
School leaders want the facility to be a recognized city-wide and regional center of excellence, providing high-quality specialist education to primary aged children in a mainstream school who have moderate special educational needs and disabilities and a diagnosis of autism.
A school spokesperson said: “It is clear to TPA that further capital investment is required for the ASC facility to create a sensory room and a safe soft play room, and TPA aims to have these installed in the next few years. “
Simon Sharron and Matt Parsons, co-chairs of the school’s governors, said: “We are a strong school and we are very proud of everything we have achieved so far.
“In these challenging times, we want West Blatchington to be in the very best position to ensure that all its pupils continue to enjoy the highest quality education on offer today and into the future.
“We believe that the support we will receive from TPA will make this ambition more achievable.
“By joining a primary specialist multi-academy trust such as TPA, we believe we will gain the ability to build on our strengths as an aspirational and inclusive school.
“Our ambition is to work towards becoming Ofsted rated outstanding.”
The formal consultation will start on Thursday 26 January and run until Tuesday 28 February.
Following this, and subject to the proposals being approved by the Department of Education, West Blatchington may join TPA this year during the summer term.
The school said consultation documents had been issued to parents and staff at West Blatchington Primary and Nursery School, Brighton and Hove City Council, local primary schools, the local MP, and the trade unions recognized by Brighton and Hove City Council.
For more information contact the school or see their website.