The Friary School would like to inform all stakeholders that we are looking to convert to academy status as part of a new Multi-Academy Trust that is being formed to take our school forward.

This project is at the preliminary stages, and still awaiting approval from the Department for Education, but we wished to update you at the earliest possible stage. Each student will be bring home the following letter to maintain communication on this change:

Dear Parents / Guardians,

I am writing to make you aware that, after careful consideration, the Governing Body have taken the decision to apply to become an academy under the Academies Act 2010 and we are currently awaiting a response from the DfE regarding this application. We have set a target date of 1st September 2018 for conversion but recognise that such dates need to be flexible given the complex nature.

As we understand the necessity to become part of Multi-Academy Trust (MAT), as part of the conversion process, our application is to form our own local MAT, alongside Queen’s Croft Special School and Henry Chadwick Primary School. We feel that this provides us with a unique Trust that serves the complete age spectrum and caters for the variety of children’s needs.

Should the application for the MAT be successful, we shall be undertaking a formal consultation process that will be held with all stakeholders. Furthermore, we will meet with staff and union / professional association representatives in accordance with the TUPE process (Transfer of Undertaking Protection of Employment Regulations). If necessary, you will receive further notification of these formal consultation meetings in due course.

Whilst this letter is to inform you of our decision, we understand that you may have some questions that you would like to raise. Consequently, please contact academy@friaryschool.com if you require any further information.

Yours faithfully,

Jamie Checkland
Chair of Governors

The move to academy status requires a formal consultation with all stakeholders and this will take place after the Department for Education has assessed the proposals. This means any interested parties have a formal chance to get involved. Nonetheless, any initial queries can be raised via email on academy@friaryschool.com or via the school’s main switchboard on 01543 267 400.

Jamie Checkland, Chair of Governors, said: “The school has been reviewing academy status for some time and we have struck up strong relationships with both Queen’s Croft and Henry Chadwick. Both are well-run, effective schools and offer a wealth of specialisms, ideas and support that can only make our school stronger. Equally, we have identified a wide range of opportunities that academy status presents and we are keen to make sure that our students benefit from.”

Matt Allman, Headteacher, added: “We are very excited to be moving forward along this route and maintain the momentum that we have built up in improving our school over the last 18 months. Over 50% of secondary schools are now academies and the model we are pursuing will allow us to retain our existing strengths, but also bring in further expertise that can only help our students and staff.”