Trust News

Plymouth schools announce federation to cement benefits of partnership working

 

++ Millbay Academy and High Street Primary Academy will form partnership within Reach South to offer pupils best education possible ++

 

Two Plymouth Schools have announced that they will be entering a federation to maximise the benefits of working together. Millbay Academy and High Street Primary Academy, both part of the Reach South family, will further develop their close working relationship.

 

The two schools have been working closely together since the beginning of this school year, sharing strong and effective leadership, teaching expertise in curriculum development and providing wider access to resources across both schools.

 

Reach South has written to all parents setting out what the changes mean in practice and has circulated an extensive Q&A to help answer any questions.
 

In summary, the new Federation model will mean the schools sharing classes, with Reception to Year 3 pupils being taught at High Street Primary Academy, while Year 4 to 6 pupils will study at Millbay Academy. The model will provide myriad benefits for pupils, staff and the wider community for both schools through sharing expertise, resources and best practice.

 

The other key benefits that this Federation model will bring are:

 

  • Specialised teaching staff across both schools with pupils being grouped with their peers in appropriate age classes;

  • Pupils and their families will have the opportunity to develop relationships with the school over a longer period of time, ensuring their needs can better be met. They will also have a seamless transition from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3, which can sometimes prove to be a turbulent time;

  • Millbay Academy pupils will benefit from the high-quality outdoor learning environment at High Street Primary Academy;

  • Staff will have more opportunities for high-quality training, career and leadership progression, and the chance to work more widely across the curriculum and with pupils of all Key Stages; and

  • Clear financial benefits as the schools will be able to take advantage of economies of scale by merging back-office functions, as well as allocating more funding towards frontline teaching and education.

 

Stephanie Blake, Interim Headteacher at High Street Primary Academy, said:

“We are delighted with the plans to join our friends at Millbay Academy in this federation. We have been working together for some time now and the benefits of further collaboration are obvious. This will help us provide a better education for our pupils while being more efficient as a school, which is to everyone’s benefit.”

 

Christopher Toye, Executive Headteacher at Millbay Academy, said:

“These are really exciting plans and will help secure a fantastic future for Plymouth pupils. The team at High Street Primary Academy have been a huge source of support during an incredibly challenging year for all schools, and so the chance to work even closer with them is greatly appreciated. I know that our pupils are really looking forward to the opportunities ahead, and I can already see how much this will benefit us all.”

 

Dean Ashton, CEO at Reach South Academy Trust, said:

“I am confident that by working together both of these schools will be able to reach new heights and provide a great education for Plymouth children. This is a really good move for both schools and I am delighted by the plans that both school teams are coming up with. Through sharing teaching staff, resources, and expertise, I am confident that both schools will continue to move from strength to strength.”

New SEND school for Salisbury explores potential new site


Department for Education and Wiltshire Council consider former UTC building as new home for specialist school

 

Reach South Academy Trust in partnership with the Department for Education, Wiltshire Council and leaders from other schools, are currently involved in a feasibility study to assess the potential of the UTC building on Wilton Road, Salisbury, as the site of the new SEND free school for south Wiltshire.

 

The whole team is committed to developing a school that is safe and purposeful for all its pupils. We are aware of the potential of the site but also recognise that work will need to be done to make it fit for purpose. The team will use their expertise and experience to establish how a building with great space and facilities can now be significantly adapted to meet the needs of an ASD and SEMH population. The team will also question and assess how the need for suitable outdoor spaces can be accommodated.

 

Jon Hamp Reach South Director for SEND said:

 

“Everyone is very excited about the new free school – for us, this is about having new provision that will build safe, independent lives for our pupils.  Working closely with Wiltshire Council and the Department for Education, we are exploring the potential of the former UTC site and look forward to the outcome of the feasibility study.

 

“We have made local residents aware that these initial explorations are happening and the response has been really encouraging, with some very positive feedback.”

 

The UTC site will only be confirmed as the definite location for the new SEND free school once this process has been completed and any safety concerns have been addressed. Once the feasibility study has been completed the main findings will be communicated.

 

Reach South will begin a formal consultation on the new SEND school in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, if you have questions regarding the potential usage of the former UTC that you would like the feasibility team to consider, please feel free to contact freeschoolwilts@reachsouth.org