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Future structure and funding

Future direction of Sherington Primary School Update – 9th Oct 2018

The FAQs list has been updated.

A member of the Governing Body will continue to be in the playground at school drop off and pick up on most days between now and half-term. They will be wearing badges which identify them as governors and would be more than happy to talk to you about the information on these pages. In particular, you can pass on questions which you would like answered and added to the FAQs. Please look out for them and other members of the Governing Body and speak to them with any queries, comments or concerns. The poster outside the office has a photo and names of all governors. 

After half term the Governing Body will be running weekly drop in Q&A sessions to discuss the future direction of the school. Check back here for dates and times. 

Future structure and funding of Sherington Primary School

The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and Governing Body (GB) have a duty to consider the school’s future. This includes how it operates and how it is funded.

As we set out in a recent letter home (click here to read the letter), we have been working together to consider options for the future of Sherington Primary School.

Why now?

There are several reasons why this work is being done now.

Firstly, funding and financial security: between 2009/10 and 2017/18 the total school spending per pupil in England fell by 8% in real terms. The SLT and GB have worked hard to ensure that we can keep our budget in balance for the next three years, but we are feeling the same financial pressures that schools all over the country are feeling, and at the moment these pressures look set to increase. We pride ourselves on offering a wide range of opportunities to Sherington pupils in music, technology and the arts, and we are adamant that we want to continue to provide these opportunities.

Secondly, the role of the local authority and its ability to continue to provide the same levels of support is also likely to change over time. We already outsource our financial services, governor clerking support and training and much of our staff training and development to ensure best value for money.

We need to consider the best way of continuing to work in partnerships with local schools, and the opportunities that could most benefit Sherington pupils and staff – looking ahead several years into the future.

We want to be clear that this isn’t related to our current performance: Sherington remains an outstanding school and we’re not being forced into anything. This is about good planning and being future focused.

The Process

The SLT and GB have worked together to follow a staged process for this work:

  • Research – we set out clear criteria for what we want for Sherington’s future and explored how federations, teaching schools, MATs and remaining as a standalone maintained school might meet these criteria. We had informal conversations with local MATs leaders, Greenwich Teaching School Alliance, and the local authority; and visited some local schools who are members of MATs. We then gathered more specific information on local MATs focussing on key areas.
  • Review and challenge – options were assessed by the extent to which they could address our challenges and meet our minimum criteria (for more information about this process read this summary)

At the end of this part of the process the SLT and GB identified that joining a local Multi-Academy Trust could potentially offer a number of opportunities for both pupils and staff. In terms of meeting the challenges identified for the future, continuing with our current structure or pursuing an alternative state-funded model as part of a local MAT both appear viable options.

What happens next?

No final decision has been taken.

The Governors and SLT are continuing to meet with representatives from MATs and the Local Authority to further explore both options.  

We want to hear from parents and carers and to keep you informed about this process. Your views matter.

As well as the independent presentation for parents and carers on Wednesday 17th October at 9am and 6pm, you can read our latest FAQs: FAQs update 14th Oct 18 and submit your own questions by emailing 

We’ll add to these FAQs with the questions we get, and our responses, so do check back on this page.

The speaker at the presentations on 17th October is Dave Walker, a school improvement advisor.

Dave has a background of over 35 years working in school improvement in the West Midlands, predominantly in Local Authority education services. In his school improvement role he has provided training and consultancy services across both LA schools and MATs, including training for governing bodies on a wide range of issues, and support for governors in considering transition to academy status. He is an OFSTED inspector and in this capacity has inspected a variety of both LA maintained schools and academies.  He is a member of the NUT.

Dave has acted as an independent advisor to Sherington Primary School on a number of occasions over the last few years where he has been knowledgeable and provided a good source of challenge to the governing body and leadership team. He will be able to provide an overview of the differences between LA maintained schools and MATs, the current national educational landscape, the risks and opportunities associated with each model and to suggest the kinds of questions parents and carers might want to be asking at this point.

Talk to us

After the presentation and Q&A sessions, there will be opportunities for parents, carers and other members of the community to share their views with the school.

After half term we will set aside one morning per week for several weeks when a member of the Governing Body and a member of the SLT will be available to answer questions in the Creation Station after drop off in the mornings (from 8.50am – 9.15am).

Check back here for dates and times. We’ll vary the days of these sessions to enable as many of you as possible to attend. If there is demand for it, we would be happy to hold one of these meetings later on in the day.

A final decision

The Senior Leadership Team and Governing Body will use this and other information to inform their decision.

This is an important choice for the school so we will do our utmost to keep you informed throughout the process and to learn from your experience and opinions.

Whilst we will listen to the views and of parents and carers, the final decision rests with the SLT and GB.

We are aiming to identify our preferred option by the end of the year. If the preferred option at this point is joining a MAT, a formal process will commence that will include a statutory consultation period as well as a detailed process of due diligence. This is likely to take at least 6 months.

You can find out more about the research and analysis undertaken so far by the Governors and SLT here.