Future direction of Sherington Primary School
Update – 21st December 2018
Please click here for minutes of the meeting.
Update – 22 November 2018
Please click here to see the decision of the Sherington’s Governing Board vote yesterday regarding the future direction of the school.
Update – 11 November 2018
Decision Framework Reports
As we set out in the letter to parents and carers in September, the governing body has been following a staged process to consider the different options for the future of the school.
Please find attached two decision framework reports which provide more detail about the approach we have taken.
Thank you to all those parents and carers who attended our information and discussion sessions over the last few weeks to discuss the benefits or otherwise of academisation. There have been some passionate and well informed discussions and these are hugely valuable and important to the decision making process.
We would like to assure all of you that all of your comments and concerns have been logged, considered and discussed by the governing body.
As we set out at the start of this term, and in order to limit any period of uncertainty, we hope to decide by Christmas whether or not to enter a formal six-month period of due diligence with the Leigh Academies Trust or to continue as a local authority maintained school. We expect to have the information we need to make that decision in the next two weeks and plan to schedule an extraordinary meeting of the governing body to discuss this. This has now been scheduled for Wednesday 21st November. At that meeting there will be a formal vote among the governors and the outcome of this will be conveyed to parents and staff the following day. Should the governors vote to enter a formal period of due diligence then the case for doing so will be published for an extensive period of consultation, during which the arguments can be subjected to rigorous challenge.
In the meantime, there is one further Q&A session with parents and carers will take place on Monday 12 November at 9am in the Creation Station.
If you would like to ask any specific questions about these reports, please speak to one of the governors (either in the playground or at the drop-in session if you are able to attend). Otherwise you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Future direction of Sherington Primary School Update – 29th Oct 2018
We have added some additional information to the FAQ page. The Governors committed to answering every question that was submitted to us, which we have done. Whilst this has given us quite a long list, it does reflect all the issues that are important to parents and carers. Please read the latest questions, and their answers, which have been added to the end of the FAQ document FAQs update 24th Oct 18.
There will be three informal drop in sessions taking place over the next few weeks to give you an opportunity to meet with Governors, ask any questions and share your views.
These are on different days of the week and different times to enable as many of you as possible to come along and continue to discuss issues affecting the future direction of the school.
Join us in:
The School Hall on Tuesday 30 October, 6 – 6.30pm
The Creation Station on Wednesday 7 November, 9 – 9.30am
The Creation Station on Monday 12 November 9 – 9.30am.
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.
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 SLT and GB have worked together to follow a staged process for this work:
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 24th Oct 18 and submit your own questions by emailing email@example.com
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 presentation 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