Schools in Surrey Heath work closely together through the Surrey Heath Learning Partnership (SHLP) and there has always been an overwhelming agreement in the value of working together to share expertise, work together on projects and for support.
Academies were initially introduced by the Labour government in 2000 as a way to support failing schools and these were later renamed Sponsored Academies. Academy invitations were then extended in 2010 by the Conservative government to give Good / Outstanding schools the opportunity to become Converter Academies.
Academy schools are state-funded schools in England which are directly funded by the Department for Education and independent of local authority control. The terms of the arrangements are set out in individual Academy Funding Agreements.
Academies are self-governing non-profit charitable trusts and may receive additional support from personal or corporate sponsors, either financially or in kind. They do not have to follow the National Curriculum, but do have to ensure that their curriculum is broad and balanced, and that it includes the core subjects of mathematics and English. They are subject to inspection by Ofsted.
For several years Holy Trinity governors have been researching academy structures for our school and feel now is the time to move forward to see if it is in the best interest of our community. Financially there appears to be value in joint procurement and in sharing resources. In addition as the Local Authority understandably prioritises its declining funds to support schools which are less than good, schools which are good or better are naturally missing out and having to use limited budgets for school improvement. At Holy Trinity, the governors feel that if Good or Outstanding schools want to continue to invest in school improvement working on projects together, then there is a need to receive the funding directly i.e. by-passing Local Authority central funding, and a way to achieve this is through an academy model.
As a result of many meetings with other interested schools we have begun the Academy Consultation process and below are documents relating to this journey. As a Church of England (Voluntary Controlled) Primary School, Guildford diocese is naturally very involved to ensure the Christian distinctiveness is not watered down through this time of change.