Trust School Status Consultation

Jack Hunt School

(Foundation)

A Specialist Language and Sports College

Consultation Document

Proposal to become a Trust School

‘The Jack Hunt Community Learning Trust’

Contents:

1. Introduction

2. Becoming a Trust School

3. Partners in the Trust

4. The vision for Jack Hunt Community Learning Trust

5. The Role of the Trust

6. The Relationship between the Trust and the Governing Body

7. The Role of the Trust and the new Governing Body

8. What the changes will mean for the school community?

9. The timetable for implementation

10. Consultation arrangements

11. Questions and answers

 

1. Introduction

Jack Hunt School is a Foundation School and the Governing Body is consulting all stakeholders on a proposal to establish ‘The Jack Hunt Community Learning Trust’, a single status Trust to support the education of students at the school.

The school has been accepted on the supported schools programme by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). 

Acquiring a charitable Trust for the school is seen as a further driver for sustained improvement through establishing formalised and sustained partnerships with organisations which can add value to the school’s work.

The purpose of this consultation is to inform the school’s key stakeholders of our proposals and to invite questions and comments. The closing date for the consultation is 30 April 2010.

 

2. Becoming a Trust School

Whilst Single Trust Schools remain part of the local family of schools, maintained by the Local Authority and continue to work with the Local Authority it is necessary for the Governing Body to complete a process for a ‘statutory change’ to the school’s status.

In order to become a Trust School the Governing Body of Jack Hunt School must consult widely before publishing formal notices. These notices are required when a school wishes to change its status.

This consultation provides an opportunity for all those who might be affected by the proposed changes to comment on them.

The timetable and arrangements for the consultation process are set out in sections 9 and 10. The consultation will take place between 15 March and 30 April 2010. If, following this consultation, the Governing Body agrees to go ahead with the changes a public notice will be published in mid May leading to the implementation of the Trust for the school on 1 September 2010.

 

3. Partners in the Trust

Partners in the proposed Trust will include:

Anglia Ruskin University

The Ormiston Trust

Jack Hunt Primary School Cluster

One large local business – discussions are continuing

One nationally recognised sports organisation – research currently underway

Each organisation will have representation on the Trust Partnership Board.

The school will continue to cultivate partnerships with a range of existing partners although they will not be formally represented on the Trust. These include:

  • Local schools linked with the specialisms in Languages and Sport
  • The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (school specialism)
  • The Youth Sports Trust (school specialism)
  • Faculty of Education – University of Cambridge (Training School)
  • University of Bedfordshire (Training School)
  • The Teacher Development Agency (Training School)
  • Cambridgeshire GTP programme (Training School)
  • Team Peterborough (14-19 Partnership)
  • Gold Apple Bi-lingual School, Shanghai (International Schools)
  • College Francois Mitterand, Perpignan, France (Language and Sport)
  • Colegio Principado, Asturias, Spain (Language)
  • Beacon School, Lahore, Pakistan (International School and Language)
  • Cambridgeshire Constabulary (Safer Schools Partnership)
  • Directorate of Children’s Services, Peterborough LA

 

4. The Vision for Jack Hunt Community Learning Trust

The Governing Body of the school will continue to aspire to meet its publicly stated aims and values as follows:

Jack Hunt School exists to provide high quality learning and teaching in a supportive and caring environment to develop the potential of each learner.

Aims

  • Personalised learning leading to enjoyment, success and achievement for all
  • A safe, health, orderly, sustainable and cohesive school community
  • Effective engagement with our learners, parents, local communities and partners
  • A positive, proactive approach to innovation and continuous improvement for all

These aims are under-pinned by the following values:

Values

  • The uniqueness of each individual
  • Respect for self, others, school expectations, property and the environment
  • Self discipline
  • Respect for religious and cultural diversity (being different, belonging together)
  • Equality of opportunity
  • Loyalty, trust and honesty
  • Commitment, hard work, high aspiration and achievement
  • Recognition and celebration of success 
  • Individual responsibility and citizenship

Deriving from these aims and values, the agreed vision of the Trust will be:

‘To increase opportunities and raise aspirations and standards to ensure that every child and young person achieves, enabling access for each learner to their next stage of education, training or employment. Emphasis will be on the acquisition of key skills essential for success beyond the secondary school and the creation of new opportunities to motivate, inspire and challenge our learners’.

 

5. The Role of the Trust

The Trust will challenge and support the school in meeting the vision outlined above through a focus on the following:

  • Supporting the development of a vibrant extended schools programme across the Jack Hunt Cluster of 7 primary schools and a Children’s Centre
  • Providing curricular support for example through work related learning, gifted and talented initiatives, specialised diplomas, vocational education, SEN, and the school specialisms in Languages and Sport
  • Supporting the continued professional development of school staff
  • Promoting community cohesion within the school and in the wider community served by the school
  • Supporting the school’s aspiration to become a Student Leadership Academy
  • Ensuring that children’s and young people’s safety and health are a priority
  • Ensuring children and young people have the opportunity to achieve at or beyond their potential

The outcomes for the Trust will be:

  • Increased aspirations and standards for students at Jack Hunt School
  • Increased opportunities for all learners in the school and the community served by the school
  • Improved curriculum opportunities for students
  • Improved well-being for all students (health, safety, enjoyment)
  • Greater engagement in learning for the vulnerable, disaffected and disadvantaged
  • The school as a vibrant Student Leadership Academy
  • Improved community cohesion within the school and wider community
  • Strengthening the school’s Governing Body

 

6. The Relationship between the Trust and the Governing Body

A Trust does not replace the Governing Body. The Governing Body will continue to retain all its statutory responsibilities once a Trust is established. As a Foundation School this includes the direct employment of staff at the school, ownership of the land and premises and responsibility for the school admissions policy.

The Trust Partnership Board will be able to appoint two partner representatives to join the school Governing Body.

At its outset the Trust Partnership Board will comprise the following membership:

Organisation

Number of Representatives

Anglia Ruskin University 1
The Ormiston Trust 1
Local Business 1
National Sporting organisation 1
Primary School Cluster 2
Jack Hunt School 1 (possibly 2)

When the Trust is in place representation on the Governing Body will be as follows:

Organisation

Number of Representatives

Elected Parent Governors 5
Community Governors 3
Staff Governors 2
Headteacher 1
Trust Appointed Governors 2
Local Authority Governors 2

 

7. Tust and the new Governing Body

The Trust Partners are committed to providing high levels of expertise that will enable the school to develop and excel.

Once the Trust is established a new Governing Body will be appointed and two Trust Partners will also be governors. The new Governing Body will have responsibility for the management of the school, in the same way as the current Governing Body of a school that already has Foundation School Status. The key areas of responsibility are the curriculum, staffing, finance and resources, monitoring and assessment, admissions.

The Trust together with the Governing Body will be responsible for agreeing the School Improvement Plan and the strategic development of the school.

 

8. What will the changes mean for the school community?

Students

The change to Single Trust status will not affect students. Those currently on the school’s roll will remain on roll and continue to be Jack Hunt School students. Any changes in the future will be to ensure that students gain the best possible skills and qualifications through a wide range of educational, recreational and social opportunities.

Parents/Carers

The Trust through the new Governing Body will be committed to developing the school’s relationship with parents and carers through consultation and discussion and through the parent governors on the new Governing Body. All current arrangements between the school and parents will continue.

Staff

There will be no change to the employment arrangements for staff. Jack Hunt is already a Foundation School and as a result there will be no need to transfer the existing employment terms and conditions to the new Governing Body.

 

9. The timetable for implementation

15 March 2010 Consultation Documentation issued / consultation process begins
15 March 2010 Meeting for teaching staff.  Other staff to be consulted by the website
W/b 15 March 2010 Meeting with the Student Council
15 March 2010 Consultation with LA/Elected Members/Cabinet Member/MP
19 April 2010 Open Meeting for parents and the community
30 April 2010 Last date for receipt of responses to the proposal
13 May 2010 Governors meeting to consider the outcome of consultations and to resolve whether or not to publish statutory notice
17 May 2010 Publication of the Statutory Proposal (4 weeks)
18 June 2010 End of Statutory notice period
23 June 2010 Governors to consider representations and to resolve whether or not to acquire the Trust
24 June 2010 Commence implementation
1 Sept 2010 Trust established and reconstituted Governing Body in place

 

10. Consultation arrangements

This Consultation Document will be made available, through the schools website, to all those who may be affected by the proposed changes. Hard copies of the Consultation Document are available on request from the school.

Those to be consulted are:

  • All parents/carers of students currently attending the school
  • Parents/carers of students allocated a place for September 2010 and parents of children attending main partner primary schools
  • All members of the Governing Body
  • Trust Partners
  • All staff and their Trade Unions
  • Headteachers and Chairmen of Governors of all schools in the Peterborough LA
  • The Local Authority
  • The Learning and Skills Council/LA equivalent
  • Local community groups/organisations
  • The school’s local partners and agencies/organisations that support the school
  • Local Councillors, Cabinet Member for Childrens Services, Member of Parliament

The consultation runs from 15 March to 30 April 2010 and you can comment on the proposals in a variety of ways:

  • Write to the Chairman of Governors or the Headteacher

     

  • Email or write to the Clerk to the Governors, Mrs Nan Bowden, at nbowden@jackhunt.peterborough.sch.uk

     

  • Attend the Open Meeting on 19 April 2010 at 7.00pm at Jack Hunt School

The governors will review all the comments on 13 May 2010 and resolve at that meeting whether or not to proceed further with the proposal by publishing a formal Statutory Notice when there will be a further opportunity to comment.

Feedback will be made available on the school’s website soon after 13 May 2010.

 

11. Questions and Answers

This section is designed to try to answer questions that you may have about the proposal.

What is a Trust school?

A Trust school is a local authority school that is supported by a charitable Trust. As a Foundation School Jack Hunt already has the necessary status in order to become a Trust school. The Trust appoint governors to serve on the school’s Governing Body. The proposal is to appoint two Trust Governors.

All Trust schools operate within the same framework as other maintained schools: they teach the National Curriculum, follow the School Admissions Code and are inspected by OFSTED. Employees will be employed under the same conditions of service. The Local Authority will fund the school on the same basis as all other Local Authority schools and will retain the same intervention powers if there are problems at the school.

What would change if our school became a Trust school?

Trust schools differ because their charitable Trust establishes a long-term relationship with external partners and involves them in the school governance and leadership.

The Governing Body of a Trust school (which retains parents, staff, community and Local Authority governors) remains responsible for all major decisions about the school and its future. The Governing Body also remains responsible for all aspects of the conduct of the school (including the school’s budget and staff) ie responsibilities and accountabilities remain clear.

The Governing Body will continue to hold the land and capital assets on Trust until such time as the PFI contract ends, at which time the land and assets will be transferred to the Trust.

Does a school have to become a Trust school?

No, this is a voluntary decision for the current Governing Body, after consulting with parents and other local stakeholders and publishing formal proposals.

Will it change what children and young people learn?

The school chooses which partners can help to support its vision and priorities in order that students gain the best qualifications, skills and aspirations. Trust schools will teach the National Curriculum and will still be inspected by OFSTED.

How is a Trust school, different from a maintained school?

It isn’t; Trust schools are part of the family of Local Authority maintained schools.

How much money is the Trust going to invest?

Working with a Trust is not about generating income for the school, there is no requirement or expectation that the Trust will contribute financially. The Trust’s value is in how it strengthens the school’s leadership and governance. The Trust could contribute financially if it chose to do so.

Can the Trust dispose of surplus non-playing field land?

Yes – but, this would be extremely unlikely and difficult due to the contract between the school and the PFI provider.  Any such proposal to sell off non-playing field land would require the agreement of the Trust, the Governing Body and the PFI provider.

The Local Authority can object to the proposals if they feel that they are not in the best interests of the school in the long term or would disadvantage the wider community.

Trust schools are able to benefit directly from the disposal of land, but all the proceeds must be used for capital investment in educational assets. The Trust and Governing Body will not be able to profit from any such disposals.

There is no change to the rigorous procedure for the disposal of school playing fields. This would require the approval of the Secretary of State.

Will the Trust Partners make a profit out of the school?

No. The school budget will continue to go directly to the Governing Body, not the Trust. The Trust must be constituted on a not-for-profit basis. Any income must be used to support their charitable aims. 

Why should our Governing Body dissolve itself?

Governors look at what is best for the school: they will only decide to acquire a Trust if it (and the governors it appoints) will help the school. The Trust may appoint two governors with skills, energy and experience to strengthen the Governing Body now and in the future.

Also, acquiring a Trust does not mean a complete change of governors. The appointment of experienced, good and strong governors together with ensuring good continuity is essential.

Do parents have a say about Trust schools?

Yes, parents will be consulted about the proposed Trust and will be able to express their views about who the school is working with and what the school and the Trust want to do together. As with all maintained schools, one third of the governors will be parents.

What if something goes wrong?

Acquiring a trust is intended to be a permanent relationship, but there will be a process to remove the Trust if the school fails or there is dissatisfaction at the Trust’s performance. The Charity Commission will be able to intervene if there are problems with the conduct or management of the Trust.

What if a school wants to remove a Trust?

This can be done by following a statutory process, including the publication of proposals.

Can the Trust change its objectives without reference to the Governing Body?

Possibly, this will depend on the Trust’s memorandum and Articles of Association. However, the objectives must, by law, always include “the advancement of the education of the students at the school for which it acts as a foundation”.

How many people can each Trustee appoint to the Governing Body?

Trustees do not each appoint governors – the Trust (as a single entity) will appoint an agreed number of governors depending on the Instrument of Government of the school. The proposal is for the Trust to appoint two Trustees to the Governing Body.

Who holds the land and buildings in a Trust school?

Jack Hunt is a Foundation school and the Governing Body holds the land and buildings in trust. If the school becomes a Trust school the land and buildings will remain in Trust with the Governing Body until such time that the PFI contract ends at which time the land and assets will transfer to the Trust to be held for the duration of its relationship with the school. The Trust does not have to pay for the land and assets.

What is the purpose of the Trust holding the school’s land?

It establishes the long-term relationship between the school and the Trust providing the basis for the Trust to support the school in developing provision for its pupils.

Does this mean that the Trust is responsible for the day-to-day running of the school’s land and buildings?

No. The Governing Body will have day-to-day control over the school’s premises in the way that all Governing Bodies do.

How does becoming a Trust school affect capital funding?

As a Trust school Jack Hunt will continue to receive capital funding as it does now and it will retain the same flexibility when managing the capital assets.

Can a Trust school borrow to invest in the school?

Yes, but this requires the permission of the Secretary of State, as is the case for all schools.

Will staff have to apply for their jobs?

No. There will be no changes to the conditions of service for any member of staff currently employed by the school Governing Body. Jack Hunt is already a Foundation School and therefore there will be no need to undertake any transfer of staff conditions of service.

What will happen to admissions?

There will be no changes to the school’s admissions arrangements. As a Foundation School the Governing Body has already established its own admissions arrangements. As a Trust school Jack Hunt will continue to operate within the same legal framework as all other maintained schools.

All other aspects of Jack Hunt School’s responsibility and organisation will not be affected by becoming a Trust school. For example, Children with Special Educational Needs, School Attendance, Exclusions, Relationship with the Local Authority, Extended Schools, Wider Partnerships, Health and Safety and Liabilities.

 

Further information

Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) Website:  http://trustschools.ssatrust.org.uk

The process of changing category; DCSF School Organisation website: http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/schoolorg/

School Governance; The DFCS website for school governors: www.governornet.co.uk

  1. Statutory Notice
  2. Formal Proposal
  3. Summary of Initial Consultation