Schools can trigger £25,000 to go through the conversion process. If a school decides to withdraw at a later stage this money will not be taken back, but likewise, the £25,000 cannot be triggered again if the school changes its mind again further down the line.
Change is inevitable but we must not lose what makes All Saints distinctive. It is important that we move from ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’ by the next Ofsted inspection. It has to be about continuing to improve the schools. The school feels that the extra freedom regarding curriculum and budget will help develop the vision for the school and ultimately improve the lives and learning of the students.
It could be the way to closer and stronger relationships, especially for Catholic schools in this area. It is essential to approach conversion with this continued and close relationship in mind. The school will have no additional money. It will be allocated its share of the money that is currently held by the local authority and receive 100% of its funding direct from the Dfe.
The change to a Multi-Academy Trust will not impact immediately. Our Catholic heritage is essential and it is important that we strengthen that. This will benefit all our staff and students. However, as the group of schools start working closely together and exerting the element of choice about how money is spent, we will see developments in resources bought, services used and potential capital bids.
Representatives from the schools have formed a finance and HR group working together to clarify how the Academy Trust would operate eg. MIS systems, payroll, HR and other services. The academy will not be tied to LA services and processes.The academy can use other companies in order to get the best value for money. The LA undertook the ‘value for money’ process on behalf of schools – this task would fall to the schools in the CMAT.
The idea of the CMAT is that the schools work together. It is not about any one school ‘being in charge’ Collaboration would not compromise individual institutions and would strengthen the collective Catholic community. The threat to denominational transport in Kirklees showed how the two secondary schools worked together. We have also worked together across the Kirklees schools looking at how LCVAP funds are allocated for capital works within our group of schools. The governors will not have to find the 10% towards capital costs.