St Peter's CE (VA) Primary School

St Peter's Primary School

Consultation

As chair of the governors, I am pleased to inform you that the governing body have decided to convert to an academy and join St Christopher’s Multi Academy Trust (StC Trust). StC is an established and successful Trust formed in 2013 and made up of 17 schools across Exeter, Plymouth and Torbay. Their mission is to enable schools to work in partnership providing every pupil with a high-quality principled education.  

This is a fantastic opportunity for St Peter’s to be part of a strong group of schools and we are confident it will make our school even better and increase the opportunity to improve education for our pupils. We would like our school to be the best primary school in Plymouth and we think StC Trust will help us to achieve this by celebrating our uniqueness and collaborating to enable us to flourish. 

More information about StC Trust can be found on their website: www.stchristophersmat.org and below we have collated a list of frequently asked questions about the process. If you have any questions please feel free to email consultation@st-peterscofe.net 

Yours sincerely,

Jo Eveleigh 

Chair of Governors 

Frequently Asked Questions: For Parents/Carers

What are academies? 

Academies are publicly funded schools, not overseen by a Local Authority but independent in a number of important areas.

What is a multi-academy trust? 

A multi-academy trust is a charitable trust that runs two or more schools. It has a board of directors (also known as trustees) who are legally responsible for running all the schools. The board provide the strategic leadership and oversight. StC Trust is one of only a few trusts that have chosen to retain a Local Governing Board at each school, which they believe keeps the local voice heard. 

Why convert to academy status? 

The school has reached a point in is journey where it needs consistently focussed support to improve which StC Trust has already shown it is able to provide. By becoming part of a successful trust we can work collaboratively to improve provision and outcomes for pupils knowing that the uniqueness of our school context will be respected.

What happens next?

There will be a lot of work going on behind the scenes between the steering group, Governing Board, School Leadership Team and Diocese. The consultation will run for six weeks from Wednesday 4th November – Wednesday 16th December and the request for an in-principle agreement to convert will go to the regional headteacher board on 16th November with a view to the school converting to academy status, ideally by the end of the Spring Term 2021. 

Are parents going to be included in the process?

Yes, the consultation will run from Wednesday 4th November – Wednesday 16th December and you can let us know your thoughts by emailing consultation@st-peterscofe.net

Parent governors are welcomed as valued members of the governor team and play an important role, holding the unique position of having a parental viewpoint of the school. For more information you can contact clerk@st-peterscofe.net

Will our school name change?

No, we will remain St Peter’s CofE Primary School.

Will the school day or term change? 

Academy status means the school/trust can decide to do this, however, there are no plans to change this.

Will the school be moving to a new location?

There are no plans to do so.   

Will it cost the parents more money?

No, our plans do not include anything that should result in increased parental costs.

Will children with special needs still get help from outside the school? Who will decide what help they get? 

Statutory rights will remain unchanged and responsibility is shared with the local authority who are still responsible for SEND funding. StC Trust will provide support and oversight to ensure there is equitable provision for all pupils in the Trust.  As now, we and the Local Authority will decide support levels. 

Will any children with special needs get the same (or better) level of support in school than they get now? 

At least as good a level of support as now, it may be even better as we know that StC Trust places great importance on staff development and training.

Will class sizes go up? 

Not as a direct result of becoming an academy but the current class sizes are not financially sustainable. The hope is that as we improve our provision our numbers will increase. We want to be able to maintain a class per year group if we can.

Will the same subjects be on offer? 

Yes.  Being an academy within StC Trust means that the Governing Board can choose its own curriculum. StC Trust supports schools in curriculum development especially in ensuring that pupils are given the opportunity to fully engage with their local community.

Will you change the age range? 

There are no plans at this time to change the range of provision.

Who do I complain to if I’m not happy with the school?

The complaints procedure will remain the same, you will talk to the school first, then the chair of governors and so forth.

Will the school have enough money to pay for the services it needs? 

Yes; the government is clear that “academies receive the same level of per‐pupil funding as they would receive from the Local Authority, plus additional money to cover the services that are no longer provided by the Local Authority.” Academies have greater control over how they use their budgets to benefit their students. The majority of every trust school’s income is pooled and this allows budgets to be set based on what is needed, rather than what funds are available at school level.