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Trust News: 2015 and older

Two West Sussex schools become academies
01 September 2015

The Secretary of State for Education today approved plans for two West Sussex primary schools to convert to academies and join the University of Brighton Academies Trust.

Nicky Morgan MP, in letters to the trust and to school governors, said the Department for Education would be entering into a funding agreement for the conversion today (1 September 2015) of Pound Hill Infant School in Crawley and Lindfield Primary School in Lindfield near Haywards Heath.

The minister told the trust and the schools: “You will now have the opportunity to use the freedoms and flexibilities of academy status to share best practice and work with others to bring about sustained improvements to all schools in the area.”

Both school heads today welcomed the announcement.

Julie Knock-Bravery, Headteacher of Pound Hill, judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, said: “We are confident this new and exciting partnership will provide a wealth of new opportunities for Pound Hill Infant School. The world of education has, and continues to change at a rapid pace providing increasing challenge to schools. As a forward-thinking outstanding school we are committed to ensuring we are well placed to face the challenges ahead, whilst maintaining and building on the outstanding education we provide.”

Marcus Hill, headteacher at Lindfield Primary School, rated 'good' by Ofsted, said: “We are very much looking forward to developing a positive collaborative partnership in order that over the next few years Lindfield Primary School can develop into the outstanding school that we know it can be.”

Professor Julian Crampton, the University of Brighton’s Vice-Chancellor, said: “We welcome today’s announcement by the Secretary of State and we look forward to working with both schools to build further on the schools’ strengths by providing opportunities for sharing good practice and making further improvements to children’s educational achievements.

“The University of Brighton provides higher education to more than 21,000 students and we have been training and educating teachers for more than 100 years. Our provision has been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted and we want to share this expertise and our education research with new academies to benefit pupils and staff.”

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Two West Sussex schools join the trust
08 April 2015

Blackthorns Community Primary School in Lindfield and Holmbush Primary School in Shoreham-by-Sea have joined the University of Brighton Academies Trust.

The transition to academy status took place on Wednesday, 1 April, and comes after extensive consultations with parents, carers and staff.

Blackthorns Community Primary Academy and Holmbush Primary Academy, as the schools will be called, are the first to join the trust following its approval from the Department for Education in 2014.

Professor Julian Crampton, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton said: “By joining the trust we will help build on these school’s strengths and provide opportunities to share best practice. I am confident that by working together we will make further improvements to children’s academic achievements.”

Marianne Brand, Blackthorns’ Principal, said: “We believe our conversion to academy status will provide the best educational experience for our children. We hope to create the best possible future for the school, its children and its families while also allowing us to further our existing relationship with the University of Brighton.”

Rebecca Jackson, Hombush’s Headteacher, said “We are delighted to be joining the trust and feel this will enable us to build on our success to date. We look forward to enhancing our provision so we can provide the best opportunities for our community to learn and improve together to achieve our best.”

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Oakmeeds' academy developments progress
13 February 2015

Oakmeeds Community College in Burgess Hill is to hold a ‘meet the sponsor’ event as it considers joining the University of Brighton Academies Trust.

Oakmeeds governing body last September announced plans to convert to academy status and, at the end of last term, confirmed that discussions had commenced with the University of Brighton Academies Trust. 

The event will allow parents, carers, staff and the local community to meet Oakmeeds’ chosen sponsor and to discuss the aims and details of joining the trust with Oakmeeds governors, staff and trust representatives.

Colin Taylor, Oakmeeds’ Headteacher, said: “I am very much looking forward to developing a positive collaborative partnership in order that over the next few years Oakmeeds can develop into the outstanding school that we know it can be.”

David Fry, Oakmeed’s Chair of governors, said: “We are convinced there will be significant benefits in being linked to such an outstanding educational establishment.”

Following approval by the Department for Education, the University of Brighton launched its trust last year to support and sponsor schools wishing to convert to academy status.

The trust is now in discussions with primary and secondary schools interested in becoming academies.

The move by the university builds on its successful sponsorship of seven primary and two secondary schools within the Hastings Academies Trust, a trust launched in 2010.

Pound Hill School considers becoming an academy
09 February 2015

Pound Hill Infant School in Crawley is to consult parents and carers on becoming an academy.

The school is considering joining the new University of Brighton Academies Trust, and consultations will begin 9 February and will run until 27 March.

Pound Hill was judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in July 2014 and, in the same year, the school won a national award for the professional development of teachers, leaders and support staff.

It is already a strategic partner of the University of Brighton in its capacity as a National Teaching School and by becoming an academy it will benefit from the support provided by the trust and the university, including its School of Education.

Professor Julian Crampton, the University of Brighton’s Vice-Chancellor, said: “We will work with the school to build further on its strengths by providing opportunities for sharing good practice and making further improvements to children’s educational achievements.

“We provide higher education to around 21,000 students and we have been training and educating teachers for more than 100 years. Our provision has been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. We want to share this expertise and our education research with new academies to benefit pupils and staff.”

Julie Knock-Bravery, Pound Hill’s Headteacher, said: “We are confident this new and exciting partnership will provide a wealth of new opportunities for Pound Hill Infant School.  The world of education has, and continues to change at a rapid pace providing increasing challenge to schools. As a forward-thinking outstanding school we are committed to ensuring we are well placed to face the challenges ahead, whilst maintaining and building on the outstanding education we provide.”

Liz Davis, Chair of the Pound Hill’s governors, said: “Our School Governing body has spent considerable time researching the variety of academy models to determine which best match the ethos, vision and values of our school.  We are united in our belief that this proposal will support us in achieving an even brighter future for the school, its children and families.”

University of Brighton launches Academies Trust
03 November 2014

The University of Brighton has launched a new Academies Trust to support and sponsor schools in the Sussex area wishing to convert to academy status.

The university’s plan has been approved by the Department for Education and the new Trust is inviting discussions with all types of infant, primary and secondary schools interested in becoming academies.

Three schools in the region have already recently launched consultations on proposals to become academies as part of the new Trust.

The move by the university builds on its successful sponsorship of six primary and two secondary schools within the Hastings Academies Trust, a trust launched in 2008.

The Hastings and St Leonards academies replaced three under-performing secondary schools in the town but, as academies, they were among the first in the country to be rated as ‘good’ within two years of opening by Ofsted.

The new University of Brighton Academies Trust aims to enhance the performance of schools in the Sussex region which already achieve good results and improve the performance of others.

The three schools currently consulting on proposals to join the new Trust are Holmbush Primary School, in Shoreham by Sea; Lindfield Primary School and Blackthorns Community Primary School, both in Lindfield near Haywards Heath. All three are rated ‘good’ by Ofsted.

As part of the consultation process, parents, carers, staff and members of local communities are being asked for their views on proposals agreed by the schools' governing bodies.

Professor Julian Crampton, the University of Brighton’s Vice-Chancellor, said:

“We will help build on the strengths of schools which join the Trust by providing opportunities for sharing good practice and by working together we aim to make further improvements to children’s educational achievements.

“With five campuses in Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings, the University of Brighton provides education to over 21,000 students and we have been training and educating teachers for more than 100 years. Our work in teacher education provision has been rates ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

“We want to share this expertise and our education research with new academies to benefit pupils and staff.”

Professor Crampton said the not-for-profit Trust will work collaboratively with school colleagues.

“Our academies are locally managed and decision making will be delegated to local governing bodies.

“We seek to place academies at the heart of communities and we will rigorously challenge and support academies to be the best they can be.

“Schools will work to our Quality Framework and we will support the schools to develop the best curriculum for their pupils and students. The Trust will support the local governing bodies and senior leadership to run the academies.

“Schools joining the Trust will have access to high-quality teacher training and development, to world-class education research, and they will be given advice and support on how to make real improvements for pupils and students.”