Letter from the Governing Board on academy conversion

9th February 2017

A LETTER FROM THE GOVERNING BOARD

Dear Parents,

Blisland School has a well-deserved reputation as an outstanding school where children’s well-being is put first in all that we strive to do. As a Governing Board, we work with the committed, dedicated staff team to ensure that we provide the best possible education for each one of the children in our care. The rationale for any decisions we make is always that which is in the best interests of the children.

For several years now, the Governors and staff have discussed the question of joining an academy trust, a group of schools working together, not under the local authority. We have always opposed the idea of being forced by any government directive into becoming an academy, and resolved that any future choice would be our free choice alone. It is the case that in Cornwall so many schools have now become academies that the local authority is finding it very difficult to support the fewer remaining schools, both in terms of school improvement and financially.

The Governing Board met yesterday and reached a decision to start formal consultation on becoming an academy. This decision has not been taken lightly, and is based on detailed research into all possible options. We have heard presentations from all the local academy trusts, and visited schools which are already academies to see how it is for them.

The Governors have decided to begin the programme of consultation for both schools in our federation, Blisland and St Cleer, to join Bridge Multi-Academy Trust, an established group of local, like-minded primary schools, and large enough to be financially viable. Staff are keen to share good practice and ideas with the staff in these nearby schools.

We will keep you fully informed, and the process of consultation will take several months. The next stage is to apply for approval from the Department for Education to convert to an academy. We will then arrange an open meeting for parents to hear a presentation from representatives of Bridge Multi-Academy Trust, giving you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

Whatever happens, we will always hold on to the unique ethos of the school and put the children first and at the heart of all that we do. Blisland School will still be Blisland School; the staff- and the uniform- will remain the same!

Should you have any immediate questions or concerns please feel free to contact Jon Finch, Head of School, or the Executive Headteacher, Catherine Stoate, who will be happy to help you.

Best wishes

The Governing Board

9th February 2017