Lakers School to join Greenshaw Learning Trust

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In September 2017 Lakers School will become an academy and join the Greenshaw Learning Trust, under a new name, ‘Five Acres High School’, and with a new Headteacher, Ben Parnell.

The Greenshaw Learning Trust has been working with the school leadership and the IEB to help Lakers on its journey of improvement, and they all believe that the best way of ensuring that the school can build on its strengths and continue to improve is to become an academy as part of the Greenshaw Learning Trust.

What is the Greenshaw Learning Trust?

The Greenshaw Learning Trust is a family of like-minded schools, with a common moral purpose, that collaborate to provide mutual support, share good practice and learn from each other, whilst retaining and developing their own distinctive character.

  • We are ambitious for our schools and their students. We believe that there is no ceiling on what can be achieved by anyone, regardless of their circumstances or background.
  • We are committed to providing a supportive and inclusive learning environment, giving every young person the opportunity to fulfil their potential now, and in the future.
  • We seek to realise the power of individuals and organisations working together in collaboration whilst retaining their individuality, and we recognise that we can always improve.

The Greenshaw Learning Trust currently consists of two secondary schools and three primary schools in south west London, and a secondary school and primary school in Bracknell, Berkshire. Yate Academy in South Gloucestershire is joining the Trust in September 2017.

Why join the Greenshaw Learning Trust?

Schools are increasingly forming more structured groupings to work together and secure the support and services they require. At the same time, the support that local authorities are able to provide to schools has significantly diminished. The Greenshaw Learning Trust provides an effective structure for schools to share expertise and resources.

The Trust has the skills, experience and capacity to ensure that Lakers / Five Acres receives the support it requires to enable it to continue on its journey of improvement. It provides a range of high quality cost-effective services that will benefit the school and enable the school to secure better value for money and free up resources to use for its own priorities.

In the Greenshaw Learning Trust the school will benefit from school-to-school support and close collaboration with other schools, whilst developing its character and place in its local community. Being part of a tight-knit family that shares a strong moral purpose will protect the provision and ethos at the school and provide greater opportunities for pupils and staff.

What will this change mean?

Lakers / Five Acres will continue on the progress journey of improvement that has started under Interim Headteacher John Reilly, led by new headteacher Ben Parnell and with the support of the Greenshaw Learning Trust.

The school will receive the same level of per-pupil funding as it would as a maintained school, but in addition will receive some additional money that is currently retained by the Local Council. It will, as now, be subject to Ofsted monitoring and inspections.

The land and buildings used by the school will continue to be available to it and will become the responsibility of the Greenshaw Learning Trust.

What will this mean for students?

Students at Lakers / Five Acres will receive a high quality education and a broad and balanced curriculum to give them the best start in their lives. There will be a very strong focus on developing literacy and numeracy to ensure a broad and balanced curriculum.

The school will provide a safe environment with a strong focus on inclusive education that allows every student to fulfil their potential.

Students will have even greater opportunities to succeed in their studies and prepare for life after school and will benefit from the support the Trust will bring to the school.

What will this mean for staff?

The Greenshaw Learning Trust will become the employer of the school’s staff. All current staff will transfer to the Trust under TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) regulations, retaining current pay and conditions.

Teachers will remain in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and support staff will remain in the Local Government Pension Scheme as they are now; the employers’ contributions will be maintained by the Trust.

The Trust honours National Pay and Conditions agreements and has established mechanisms to engage staff and unions effectively in any changes affecting them.

The Trust will offer greater development opportunities to staff and help recruit and retain good staff.

What will this mean for parents and the local community?

Lakers / Five Acres will continue to be a school serving local people, at the heart of its local community.

There will be no changes to the school’s admissions criteria – the same pupils will come to the school as would come if it were not an academy.

The school will collaborate with other local schools, for example to coordinate term dates, and with the local authority over provision for special educational needs and place planning.

What is an academy?

An academy is a state-funded school that is required to follow the same regulations and serve its community in the same way as other state-funded schools, and is funded on the same basis, directly by the Department for Education. An academy cannot charge fees or make a profit.

An academy is overseen and supported by an academy trust – a charitable company established with the sole purpose of providing state-funded pupil education through its academy schools. Academy trustees have a legal duty to operate in the interests of the schools in the trust. An academy is not under the control of the local authority, but is still subject to government regulations and Ofsted inspections.

Information, views and comments

Click here to find out more about the Greenshaw Learning Trust.

We would like to hear your views and answer your questions about Lakers / Five Acres becoming an academy and joining the Greenshaw Learning Trust – please give your views or ask your questions by email.