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Whitehaven School celebrates after becoming academy

WHITEHAVEN School is celebrating a new chapter in its history as it has officially transformed into an academy.

launch: Prof David Hopkins joined Year 10 pupils for the launch of the Bright Tribe initiative

Pupils returned to the newly-converted academy on Monday after the Christmas break.

The school, which officially converted to academy status on January 1, is now part of the Bright Tribe Trust multi-academy trust.

The school and Bright Tribe say they will continue to keep staff and parents informed of developments to the curriculum and what changes Bright Tribe will bring to the school. A change of curriculum is expected to be introduced in September.

Headteacher Lynette Norris said: “This conversion marks the beginning of a new era for the school, and over the next two terms the students, staff and parents will work together to shape some of the initial decisions that will see us launch into an exciting bright future that should take the academy from strength to strength.

“The majority of England’s state secondary schools are already, or are about to become, academies; and Whitehaven School has now joined the movement to be part of that majority.

“Academy status brings with it a raft of freedoms which the governors, leadership team and the trust will work through together for the benefit of all our students and staff.”

Thelma Toman, chair of governors, said: “It has long been my desire to see Whitehaven School as ‘outstanding’ and we certainly have the resources in our staff to make it so. The governors anticipate that a new impetus generated by our academy status will achieve this, and we look forward to exciting and beneficial times.”

A formal resolution to become an academy was passed by the school governors on May 21 and since then the school and Bright Tribe have worked together through a number of legal processes. The final part of the process has been the signing of the funding agreement.

Bright Tribe’s director of education, professor David Hopkins, said: “Bright Tribe is very excited at the prospect of working with the staff and students of Whitehaven School.

“The school has made excellent progress recently and we are looking forward to helping the school on its improvement journey to being outstanding.”

Whitehaven School is the first Bright Tribe academy. The Trust is currently in the process of converting another school in Greater Manchester, and is in discussions with a number of other schools.

Bright Tribe is a non-profit making trust with charitable status. It is a multi-academy trust approved by the Department for Education to help raise standards in schools.

According to Bright Tribe, it says it will continuously measure and report on Whitehaven School’s students’ attainment, progress, learning skills and curricular experience.

Have your say

More expense for uniforms,Just paid for new ones in August.

Posted by billbob on 15 January 2014 at 19:56

Okay so what exactly do Bright tribe bring to the party that the existing governor's, School Management Team and Parents cant? This is Bright Tribes first academy so what experience does it bring of running academies? Who oversees these funding agreements, which presumably means the non profit making body is still charging a fee? Is this a case of bringing in outside consultants who are being paid at public expense, without suitable audit and governance to provide a service they haven't provided before? Just as we move away from that error in economic development lets not recreate it in our schools. There seems a lot of Senior people in the Bright Tribe Website that have no background in schools - inc the Chief exec - but a lot of finance people. I hope it works as we will be paying whether it does or not.

Posted by Rob on 15 January 2014 at 12:02

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