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Academy Consultation 2021

The Wroughton Primary Federation's Governing Body has began consultation to join Grove Learning Trust, a multi academy trust currently consisting of two schools (Eastrop Infants and Southfield Juniors).

Consultation began on Friday 14th May 2021

Consultation closed at 4pm on Friday 18th June

Key Documents

Parent and stakeholder update letter - September 2021

Parent and stakeholder update letter - July 2021

letter explaining the consultation

video presentation with details of the journey so far and the current consultation

These are the same slides shared in the video above. This copy does not have audio or video explanations.

Indicative Timeline

DateActivity
14th May 2021Consultation started
18th June 2021Consultation ended
6th July 2021Decision made by the Headteacher Board advising the Regional School Commissioner
(Headteacher boards (HTBs) are responsible for advising regional schools commissioners (RSCs) on academy-related decisions)
www.gov.uk/government/collections/headteacher-boards

The Academy Orders were granted by the Regional School's Commissioner on 6th July 2021 therefore the legal process of transfer has begun.
1st January 2022This is the anticipated conversion date for Wroughton Infant and Junior Schools to join Grove Learning Trust as part of a Multi Academy Trust

Consultation Questions Raised

Frequently asked questions about academisation in general - click here to access the FAQs

Questions Asked During Consultation

Is this an opportunity for the schools to sell off land for housing or to build an all through primary school on one of the sites? Where would decisions on land use come from in the future?
There are no plans to sell off any school land for development. There are also no plans, as part of the academisation of the Wroughton schools, to build an all through primary school on the site of one of the existing schools.

There are numerous restrictions on what academy trusts can do with their academies' sites. This is generally the case for all academies irrespective of the category of the predecessor maintained school. There are restrictions in the academy funding agreements, the academies financial handbook, various laws and in the land arrangement for the school site. For local academy governors and headteachers in the academy system, the academy trust is responsible for these matters not the academy itself.

What will be the governance arrangements?
The governance arrangements are as follows:

Grove Learning Trust (GLT) Members

GLT Board of Directors

Each school has its own academy committee
(It might be that Wroughton schools retain one academy committee over the 2 schools to begin with)

https://www.grovelearningtrust.co.uk/Governance/
What mechanism is in place to stop money being spent in one school to the detriment of other schools?
All school finances are tracked for each individual school and are governed by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) through the financial regulations handbook. The Trust Members have responsibility for the management of academy funds and whilst central reserves can be used, in an emergency situation, to benefit another trust school, this type of decision is formally recorded and accounted for in the trusts published accounts. Grove Learning Trust's accounts are published on their website https://www.grovelearningtrust.co.uk/Annual-Report...

Does the academisation remove the role of executive head at the Wroughton Federation?

No it doesn’t automatically remove the role of Executive Headteacher. All staff go through a process called TUPE and contracts / employee rights are protected as part of this. However, the Grove Learning Trust (GLT) Board of Directors will make a decision about any amalgamation or sharing of roles as part of the TUPE process if the academy order is granted by the Regional School Commissioner’s Headteacher Board. If there is ever a change to the Executive Headteacher role this would follow a formal HR process involving the employee and trade unions.

Who will staff be employed by?

Grove Learning Trust

Can I be moved to other schools in the academy, even if I don't want to be?


Movement would only be with agreement and is available as an option when opportunities arise to get the best out of everyone. There is no clause in GLT contracts that makes people move schools. Staff may be encouraged to share their expertise in different schools to develop them as individuals and the offer they can bring to another school in the trust, but people are not picked up and moved without agreement.

How big are Grove Learning Trust planning to grow in the future? Where are they looking to grow geographically given their position on the edge of Swindon and neighbouring counties?

Any multi academy trust growth has to be agreed by the Regional School Commissioner first. Grove Learning Trust (GLT) have gone through a rigorous quality assurance process to be able to consider taking in Wroughton Infants and Juniors. There are no formal growth plans at this time beyond Wroughton Primary Federation (WPF) joining GLT although the landscape is always changing, especially as the Government want all schools to join a family of other schools. The location of GLT, nestled amongst the counties of Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Swindon provides opportunities for partner working across these county boundaries in the future.

Will their be a main/ leader status within the structure or are all schools equal?

All schools would be equal. There would be an open culture of sharing strengths and expertise. Some of this work has already started, for example the Heads of School have been working with the Grove Learning Trust Heads of School on strategic leadership. The humanities leaders from all 4 schools are currently working together on a shared project led by the Executive Head and the EYFS team from Eastrop Infants and Wroughton Infants have begun a shared piece of work linked to statutory curriculum changes for the EYFS coming into force in September 2021. Wroughton Infants and Eastrop Infants also have a date booked for moderation of teacher assessment judgements in term 6 of this academic year. The formal joining together as a MAT will strengthen this collaborative working but will not create a hierarchy of one school being the lead.

Why do Grove Learning Trust want us to join?

This question was asked by the Regional School Commissioner (RSC) as part of the due diligence process and the following response was given:

Wroughton Infant and Junior School has strong leadership capacity in the form of an experienced Executive Headteacher who has worked in multi academy trust (MAT) structures. The Executive Headteacher has led schools out of special measures as well as schools that have retained Good Ofsted gradings. The schools also have an experienced SBM that can build capacity across the trust and teachers that work as moderators and writing champions for the local authority. The experience brought by senior leaders in the Wroughton schools will add further capacity to the central executive team at Grove Learning Trust. This will also increase the trust's capacity to collectively support more schools over time. Opportunities for succession planning will also increase as a result of trust growth and development, ensuring that aspiration leaders have opportunities to develop skills across trust schools; growing the leaders of tomorrow. End of Key Stage outcomes in Wroughton are consistently strong and leaders strive to maintain high standards in all aspects of the schools work whilst also deciding on focused areas of improvement; identifying the individual needs of each cohort to ensure the progress of every child matches their fullest potential. The schools were graded Good by Ofsted in May and October 2019, evidencing strength and capacity in teaching and learning as well as leadership. The Wroughton schools have a strong team of teachers and support staff that already relish the opportunity to work together with the trusts schools to be even better. This is evidenced by the ongoing collaboration between Wroughton Schools and Grove Learning Trust schools. The schools worked in partnership previously through a local collaboration of schools with a shared School Improvement Partner. In more recent months this has developed into a bespoke model between Wroughton and trust schools. This work has focused on subject leadership coaching and school improvement collaboration led by the Wroughton Executive Headteacher. The leadership teams from Wroughton and trust schools have also formed peer networks as part of NPQH (National Professional Qualification for Headship) and wider school improvement projects. Wroughton schools share the same vision of excellence that Grove has embedded. We are passionate about making connections and learning from each other, with a very clear focus: raising standards so that children in all trust schools get the very best education and develop the same passion for learning. Wroughton schools bring stable, reflective governance that is eager to join a MAT structure so they can further improve their governance through clear lines of accountability with a trust board.