This exciting development is well underway now. Watch out for a dedicated MAT page in the parents section.
We thought it would be a good time to do a quick Q&A list - but if you have any other questions, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exploring if Hope Hamilton should convert into an Academy
You may be aware that some schools in the city and county have already converted to an Academy and that it is the intention of the UK Government that every school in England to convert to an Academy by 2020.
What is a "Multi Academy Trust"?
For smaller primary schools such as Hope Hamilton, if converting to an Academy is going to be viable, it would be necessary to work together in partnership with several primary schools to form a "Multi Academy Trust" (MAT). The benefit when forming a MAT is that each partner school has control over how the Academy will be set-up and managed.
Why are we exploring converting to a MAT, and why now?
I felt it was sensible to proactively explore the benefits of converting to an Academy under our terms, in a well-managed and timely way, and with the schools we might choose to partner with. The alternative possible scenario would be having Academy Status imposed on the school with limited control of the partner schools in the MAT, or the set-up and management of the partnership.
Which schools are we considering to partner with and why?
We are excited to have found two schools (All Saints CE Primary School in Wigston and Houghton-on-the-Hill CE Primary School) which share our ethos and values and with whom there would be opportunities for shared work which would bring benefits to the children.
Like Hope Hamilton, these are both Ofsted Good schools and parents and children are unlikely to notice any difference in your day to day experience of the school. There would be no changes in uniform or ‘branding’ and each school would retain its own individual character and ethos. However, there would be many opportunities to share expertise and resources to provide continuous high quality provision for our children.
Will this definitely happen?
It is early stages but the first resolution has been agreed by the School Governors. There will of course be further information and a full consultation with parents as and when plans have been developed.
When would it happen?
This depends on whether the Leicester DIcoese Board of Education agree to give us permission to apply for conversion. We will present our case on 17th January 2017. We would then apply to the DFE for permission to convert. During this time there will also be a full parental consultation.
If all goes well, we aim to convert by 1st June 2017.