Hadleigh High may join new academy set up

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Latest education news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A meeting is to be held with parents to discuss plans for Hadleigh High School to be one of four to create the South Suffolk Learning Trust.

The trust will be a new academy partnership for schools in the region to be set up by Hadleigh, Claydon High School and East Bergholt High School, with Northgate High School also proposing to join by 2018 at the earliest.

In a letter to parents discussing the proposals and advertising a meeting to take place on Monday, headteacher Caroline Gibson wrote: “We are confident that the South Suffolk Learning Trust would enable each school to flourish through greater collaboration and joint working between member schools.”

From 6pm on Monday the school will present its ideas at a meeting at the school, where questions can be asked.

There will also be a meeting for teachers at 3pm.

There will then be a consultation and survey on the proposals for staff, parents and the school community running from Monday until Friday, October 21.

The school will then make a final decision in November.

If agreed upon the academy trust would likely be established in April 2017.

A proposal document sent to parents described each school as successful in their own right, but said in an increasingly challenging education landscape a fresh approach was needed to maintain and improve school performance.

The document explains that it is hoped the academy trust would be expanded to included feeder primary schools, working together for “mutual advantage, benefitting from the trust’s resources and economy of scale”.

Academy trusts are often able to share staffing resources in areas such as administration and technical support.

All four of the schools proposing to join the trust were rated as good in their most recent Ofsted inspections, Hadleigh being inspected in October 2015.

The trust will be governed by a single board of trustees including governors from the schools, with one of the schools’ headteachers becoming the CEO of the trust.

This board would then be in charge of the £21million of public funding shared by the schools to support 4,000 students and 500 staff.

However each school would have its own governing body, with the “ vast majority of decisions still made locally”.

Schools will also continued to be inspected by Oftsed independently.

Funding would also be calculated on an individual basis with the schools contributing to the running of the trust.

The names of the all of the schools in the trust will remain the same, as will school uniforms.