Following a full consultation with parents, staff and the local community, governors at St Mary and St Chad CE (VC) First School at Brewood, South Staffordshire, have unanimously made the decision to apply to convert to academy status as a member of Penk Valley Academy Trust.
St Mary and St Chad First School has long-since had an excellent working relationship with the other schools that make up Penk Valley Academy Trust, all of whom are also members of the Wolgarston Collaboration – the network of schools in the area who offer education across a three-tier system to hundreds of children and young people.
Penk Valley Academy Trust comprises Marshbrook First School, Princefield First School, Penkridge Middle School and Wolgarston High School all in Penkridge, along with St John’s CofE First School in Bishops Wood.
As a group of schools, they are all unified by their commitment to Visible Learning, a highly-effective approach to educational excellence based on the research of Professor John Hattie.
For the most part, for St Mary and St Chad First School, becoming a school with academy status will be ‘business as usual’ for children, staff and parents with the same leadership team at the helm.
Governance will be transferred to the Penk Valley Academy Trust board of trustees -a highly-skilled group of professionals and educationalists who have been selected to offer support and challenge to ensure that all schools offer the education that their students and the local community deserve. St Mary and St Chad will operate a local School Forum, offering local representation at a school level which will inform the Academy Trust and provide an opportunity to maintain the uniqueness that is so important to a village school. The Lichfield Diocese will continue to support the school’s Christian Distinctiveness.
Sandra Lamond, Headteacher of St Mary and St Chad said, “’We have worked closely with our local schools for many years and look forward to making this relationship more formal. We believe it will greatly benefit the children at our school and their education in the future.”
Ian Wood, Chair of Governors of St Mary and St Chad added, “After much investigation and discussion centring on the direction of our school and the education of its pupils we believe that joining Penk Valley Academy Trust is the mutually beneficial choice for our school. The similar teaching methods, locality and already close working relationships will maintain and help to improve our school’s current ethos and drive for improved education as we work together in the future.”
Philip Tapp, Chief Executive of Penk Valley Academy Trust said, “We are delighted that St Mary and St Chad have chosen to join Penk Valley Academy Trust. It is a strong, vibrant school which will bring further expertise to our growing Trust, as we strive to provide the best possible education for all our children and young people.”