The Governors of Nova Hreod School in North Swindon have launched a consultation with staff, parents and the wider community on their proposal to become a United Learning Trust academy.
A consultation exercise to apply for Academy Status in partnership with The Ridgeway School in Swindon took place in 2011. The outcome of this initial consultation was very positive and governors voted in favour of academy conversion.
However following changes in policy within the Department for Education and the complexities of the PFI contract under which the school was built and is currently managed, the governors have been actively engaged in exploring options with regards to academy conversion.
In considering how best to operate as an academy and following a considerable period of deliberation and discussion, the governors’ decision is to recommend that Nova Hreod join the United Learning Trust (ULT), becoming a stand-alone academy within the largest group of its kind in the country.
Martyn Baker, National Projects Director ULT said: "We are delighted to have been approached by the governors of Nova Hreod about it becoming a ULT academy and we look forward to spending time talking to parents and staff about the opportunity this presents.
"What is important is that, by becoming an academy, everything that parents and staff most value about Nova Hreod is maintained and we have every confidence of achieving this whilst providing the School with a home in a national group of academies."
Nova Hreod headteacher Julie Tridgell, pictured with the Duchess of Cornwall who visited the school on 25 January, said: "The governor’s decision marks a very exciting step for the future of our school. We are very enthusiastic about becoming an academy and we are already building a lasting, secure and beneficial relationship with ULT. Becoming a ULT academy secures a very bright future for our school and will allow us to build on our existing strengths."
Paul Miller, Chair of Nova Hreod Governors, added: "The recommendation that we become an academy as part of United Learning Trust is one that we have fully researched and, as a governing body, are unanimously behind. We believe this offers Nova Hreod the strongest of futures and we look forward to sharing our thoughts with the school community over the coming weeks.
"What is clear is that, by becoming an academy, we will be able preserve everything that we value so much about Nova Hreod. Both we and ULT want Nova Hreod to operate independently from ULT’s other academies but enjoy the benefits that are achieved from sharing best practice across the group.
"We would also maintain our active and positive links with other schools locally and with The Ridgeway School in particular."