A group of schools in South-east London is proposing to become a local multi-academy trust.
The Governing Board of the Leathersellers’ Federation of Schools is launching a consultation on its proposal.
The schools, all based in Lewisham, include Prendergast School, Prendergast Vale School, Prendergast Ladywell School and Prendergast Primary School. All are rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.
As a federation, the schools currently receive their funding via the local authority. As a local multi-academy trust, they would be funded by the Department for Education.
The Leathersellers’ Federation of Schools’ Governing Board said becoming a local multi-academy trust would “preserve and protect the distinctive identity and ethos” of the schools.
The board said it would also improve the quality of education by enabling the schools to “grow carefully to include a few more local primary schools”.
According to the latest data from the Department for Education, 80 per cent of secondary schools and 39 per cent of primary schools in England are now academies or free schools. The Government has said it would like “all schools to be in a strong multi-academy trust”.
Paula Ledger, Executive headteacher of the Leathersellers’ Federation of Schools, said: “Collaboration between our schools already plays an important role in improving the quality of education across the secondary schools in our federation.
“We want to increase the amount of formal, focused and consistent collaboration in our primary schools, and for that we need to grow the number of schools in our group. It is difficult to do this as a federation. Today’s education system favours multi-academy trusts.
“We believe we have developed skills, expertise and structures that can support school improvement and we are keen to share this more widely with our community.”
As a local multi-academy trust, the schools would have greater financial resilience and autonomy over their funding.
There would be very little difference in terms of day-to-day school life as the schools would keep their names, curriculum, staff and leadership teams. The schools already run their own admissions, own their land and employ their own staff.
Andy Rothery, chairman of the Governing Board, said: “Our links to Lewisham are very important to us. Our proposal is to become a multi-academy trust for local schools.
“Our staff currently play an active role in many collaborative working groups with other schools in the borough and Lewisham Council, and this would continue.”
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