Orchard Primary School Consultation
The Governors of Orchard Primary School in Sidcup have voted to consult on the school becoming an academy and joining The Primary First Trust.
The parents, staff and the local community of the school are invited to ask questions about the proposal and can do so here. On 17th May, once the local community have had the opportunity to ask questions and consider the proposal, the Governing Body will invite responses.
The consultation period will run from Monday, 26th April 2021 to Friday, 25th June 2021.
Please find below a letter from Paul Atkinson, Chair of Governors at Orchard Primary School.
PROPOSAL TO CONVERT TO ACADEMY STATUS
Further to my letter sent before the Christmas break, the Governors would very much welcome any questions you may have on our proposal that our school should convert to academy status within The Primary First Trust (PFT). More information about what that would mean for our school and for your children is set out below and on the school website, and details of how to ask questions are provided at the end.
We are choosing this change as a positive step for our school. We contend schools need effective operational and educational support and challenge to improve and sustain high standards. Governors believe this can best be served from being part of a group of schools that have a mantra of support for each other.
Governors considered five different Trusts before reaching our decision and we remain certain that academy status within The PFT is the best way to support our school to develop and improve. Joining The PFT will give us high quality support for school improvement and the opportunity to share and develop good practice with other PFT schools. Working together within the Trust would bring benefits to teaching and learning and so to your child. The PFT provides staff with many opportunities for professional development and the chance to work with colleagues in other Trust schools.
However, I want to reassure you and your children that we are not making unnecessary changes for changes sake. As such, the school’s name will not change and we will not change the uniform or term dates. All children on roll and staff employed will continue to be part of the school as they are now.
Andrew Moorhouse, Chief Executive Officer of The Primary First Trust, will be writing to you separately to introduce the Trust and give you more information about the work that they do. The Trust website can be found here.
Consultation for conversion to academy status would normally involve open meetings for parents to be able to meet members of the Trust team and ask any questions. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 restrictions we are unable to hold this type of meeting at the moment but we hope to be able to do this towards the end of June. In the meantime, we have worked with the Trust to find a solution that will enable consultation to go ahead and the process will be as follows:
- A letter to all parents opening the consultation period (this letter)
- A page will be established on the school website dedicated to the consultation process.
- We will include other information and answers to frequently asked questions on the page.
You can use the form here to ask questions and we encourage you to do so. Those questions will feed into the FAQ but you can also use the form to request a conversation about the proposal and how it affects your child.
How can I give my views?
On 17th May, once you have had time to ask questions and find out more about The PFT, I will send you a further letter which will include a link to a questionnaire to enable you to give your views. Governors will take all views into account when deciding whether to proceed to academy status within The PFT. Any comments should be submitted by Friday, 25th June 2021, the end of the consultation period.
Following the consultation period, the Governing Body will consider all of the feedback and views it has received during the consultation and will then make the final decision on whether to complete the process. We will write to parents to inform you of our decision.
Chair of Governors