Wednesday 11 February 2015

Willesden C of E Primary School consulting on academisation

St Andrew and St Francis Church of England Primary School in Willesden is consulting on converting to academy status.

The long established schoool was put into 'special measures' after an Ofsted report at this time last year found that Achievement of Pupils, the Quality of Teaching and Leadership and Management were all Grade 4 Inadequate.

An Interim Executive Board replaced the previous governing body and an interim headteacher was appointed.

The latest Ofsted monitoring report published last week concludes that the school is making 'reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures' LINK:

The interim headteacher has added much needed capacity to the senior leadership team. Senior and middle leadership has been restructured to better match leaders’ skills and expertise to areas of the school. Staff and parents appreciate the greater clarity of communication which this has brought about. Staff morale has improved and staff express renewed confidence in leaders’ capacity to offer the support and development they need. Teachers and middle leaders feel increasingly empowered to develop new approaches in their work.
Despite this progress the IEB is consulting with parents on becoming part of an academy trust:
The Interim Executive Board believes that the best way to make sure that St Andrew and St Francis C of E Primary School continues to improve is for the school to become an academy, sponsored by the London Diocesan Board of Schools (LDBS) Academies Trust on 1 April 2015. The school would remain as a Church of England school, and the current staff and pupils would transfer to the academy.

We believe that becoming an LDBS academy is the best way forward for our pupils and staff, and will ensure that the St Andrew and St Francis quickly becomes a good school again whilst retaining its strong Christian ethos.  The LDBS Academies Trust is a charity which already runs six primary schools in north London. Of the six LDBS academies which have been inspected by Ofsted, all have been judged good.  Some of the Christian values which the Trust thinks are important and should underpin the work of all of its schools are: Reverence, Thankfulness, Humility, Endurance, Service, Trust, Peace, Forgiveness, Friendship, Justice, Hope, Creation, Koinonia (Partnership).

Although St Andrew and St Francis would be a standalone school, it would benefit from strong links with other academies in the LDBS network. For instance:
·       Staff would be able to share resources and ideas with staff in other LDBS Academies Trust schools.
·       The school will benefit from links with Grow Education Partners which offer an extensive range of educational support services to Trust academies.
To find out how the LDBS Academies Trust schools work, visit:

The members of the IEB have researched what the LDBS Academies Trust can do for our pupils and staff.  This included visiting an LDBS academy which had been in similar circumstances to St Andrew and St Francis.  The school has rapidly improved as part of a federation with two other Trust academies. We were able to see the improvements first hand and talk to staff including the headteacher.  We have also met with LDBS Academies Trust staff to find out about the support that is provided by the Trust to its schools. This research, along with our consideration of the Trust’s track record, has led us to make our proposal.
The proposal is that if it goes ahead the school would become an academy on April 1st 2015. The LDBS Academies Trust would enter into a funding agreement with the Secretary of State. The deadline for responses is Monday February 23rd.


Anonymous said...

At least this seems to be a sensible approach, rather than forcing the school to join one of the big academy chains.

The Diocese probably has a little more sway than a Local Authority given the Diocese is still fronting some money for capital expenses on CofE schools.

Anonymous said...

I don't like to pull you up on the accuracy of your reporting, Martin, but your headline should read:

'Willesden C of E Primary School to become an academy after the obligatory 'consulting on academisation' charade is completed'.

Mike Hine