We have successfully worked with a group of other schools, collectively known as The Alliance, for a number of years now. We intend to continue to work with these and other schools in the local authority. Recently, many schools (including some Alliance schools) have chosen to become part of one of the various academy trusts in town. It would appear that, of the original eight Alliance schools, only four are likely to remain as ‘stand-alone converter academies’ in the future. Those schools are; New Waltham, Waltham Leas, Signhills Infants and Signhills Juniors. The Governing Bodies of these academies, including our own, have decided, in the interests of maintaining our independence and current freedoms, to form an Umbrella Trust. It will be known as the Athena Learning Alliance.
What is an Umbrella Trust?
An umbrella trust is a group of schools that wish to work together under a charitable trust to explore the benefits of shared services and other opportunities to collaborate for school improvement. This is no different to where we are now – but it is a formally/legally recognised organisation and provides greater security than being a stand-alone academy. Each school retains its own Board of Governors, its own funding direct from the DfE and is only accountable for its own performance.
What will be the impact on yourself?
In hard reality – none whatsoever. School uniform will stay exactly the same. The governors, headteachers, teachers and staffing of the schools will stay the same. The benefit to parents and pupils is that we will be less likely to be absorbed by a large national academy chain or secondary school trust – and be subject to a complete change in philosophy and staffing re-organisation.
We will keep you informed of the progress towards this new status, which itself is not a lengthy process.
Mrs J Kaye Mr S Carr
Chair of Governors Headteacher