Buxton school launches consultation on plans to become academy

A Buxton school could become an academy under plans currently out for consultation.

Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 8:05 pm

Buxton Community School is inviting comments from pupils, parents and carers as it looks to become an academy and join the Embark Federation, which already runs a number of schools in the county.

The move comes after the government announced it wants all schools to become academies by 2030.

The governors at Buxton Community School approached the Embark Federation with a view to joining the multi-academy trust and the views of the community are now being sought before the consultation ends on June 17.

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Buxton Community School is in talks to become an academy

Craig Yates, Headteacher at Buxton Community School, said: “We have taken great care to explore many possible options to ensure the students of Buxton Community School are placed in the strongest position for the future.

“The governing body is consulting with the school community and beyond on the proposal.

"We believe this will strengthen the provision for our young people now and long in to the future. We have chosen Embark as we share their core beliefs of family, integrity, teamwork and success.

"We also believe in their shared vision to create ‘stand out’ schools at the heart of the community. We are excited by the potential to be even stronger together for the good of our children.”

Craig Yates, headteacher at Buxton Community School

The Government released the School Bill earlier this year which stated ‘By 2030, all children will benefit from being taught in a family of schools, with their school in a strong multi academy trust or with plans to join or form one’.

Education ministers believe moving schools into multi-academy trusts will help improve reading, writing and maths for pupils as teachers can share knowledge and teaching practices from other schools in the trust.

The published government papers state: “Only by creating a fair and cohesive system can we be confident in levelling up every part of the country, with schools in strong trusts, robust regulation of the system and empowered local authorities who can champion the interests of children – particularly vulnerable children.

“Looking forwards to 2030, the vast majority of children leaving primary school will have achieved the expected standard in reading, writing and maths, and secondary school children will have improved attainment at GCSE.”

If the school does become an academy after the consultation period, it would mean it would receive its funding directly from the government and would be run by an academy trust.

Trusts and academies are still inspected by Ofsted and they still have to follow the same rules on admissions, special educational needs and exclusions as other state schools with students sitting the same exams.

However, academies have more control over how they do things - for example they do not have to follow the national curriculum and can set their own term times.

The federation visited the school before the half term break and spoke with students and members of the community.

Matthew Crawford, trust leader at Embark Federation, said: “We are delighted the governing body of Buxton Community School resolved to consult with stakeholders, staff, parents and carers on a proposal to convert to academy status and join the Embark Federation MAT (multi-academy trust).

“We know the school has been considering academisation for some time and have looked at many different routes before applying to join Embark Federation.

“We really hope the consultation goes well and Buxton can join our Embark family of schools. Buxton is a fantastic school and if successful Embark would enhance their offer to students further whilst ensuring that Buxton retains its own individuality and everything that already makes it so special.”

Over the last three and a half years, Embark has taken over the management of 15 Derbyshire primary schools and is now in discussion with Buxton Community School and an additional three secondary schools across the county.

And Matthew says the federation is excited by the proposal and being able to work with children from two to 18 years old.

As part of the full decision-making process, Buxton Community School is carrying out a consultation process with parents, carers, school staff and other stakeholders before making a final decision to academise.

This process started at the beginning of May and finishes on Friday June, 17.

There will be the opportunity to pose questions via the consultation e-mail which can be accessed via the school.

To have your say in the consultation email the school on [email protected]

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