What is an academy?
Academies are independent, state-funded schools, which receive their funding directly from central government, rather than through a local authority. Although the day-to-day running of the school remains with the Headteacher or principal, they are overseen by individual charitable bodies called academy trusts and may be part of an academy chain. These trusts provide advice, support and expertise. They have more freedom than other state schools over their finances and curriculum, and do not need to follow national pay and conditions for teachers.
Latest update - September 2018
Following extensive discussions between the (now 10) NEXUS Learning Partnership School (Mangotsfield , Blackhorse, Bromley Heath Infants & Juniors, St Stephens Juniors, Emersons Green, Stanbridge, St Michaels Stoke Gifford, Staple Hill, & Kings Forest) it has been decided to delay any decision regarding becoming a joint Multi-Academy Trust until 2020.
Whilst we are more committed than ever to working closely together as a group of highly successful schools, we have decided to explore ways of doing this within the Local Authority Maintained school system for the time being.
This will involve working in a more formal partnership whilst retaining the school’s current autonomy and funding source. We believe that this will allow us to explore the benefits of closer working without full academisation at this time.
Frequently asked questions
Q. Are NEXUS schools becoming an academy?
A. Not at this point. After a great amount of research, the governors and leaders feel that there is still much work to do before considering forming a multi academy trust. Our intention is to look at ways to formalise our partnership further over the next two years.
Q. Will you become an academy trust in the future?
A. We don’t know. We intend to revisit forming a multi academy after two years of more formalised working. – if we believe it is best for our schools and children at that time we will once again explore the options.
Q. What will more formalised working look like?
A. In the first instance it will be through a written agreement between schools setting out how we will work together to continue to support and challenge each other to achieve the best for our pupils and communities. We have already employed a single school improvement advisor to support us in this work. We are also keen to explore ways to combine, share and maximise our purchasing powers.
Q. What were the key factors in delaying the forming multi academy trust?
A. Academies are most commonly formed by one very successful school setting up a trust then other schools who perhaps need some support join as time goes on a good example of this is the Cabot Federation. Schools then within that trust operate in much the same way in terms of finance, assessment systems and staffing structures etc. This would not be a model for NEXUS as we are all strong schools choosing to work together to better serve our pupils and our systems are not all the same and it will take some time to align them.
Q. What about all of the reasons why you wanted to become an academy trust?
A. We still want and are committed those benefits and will work to achieve them just in a different way in the first instance. The only objectives we will not be achieve are the curriculum freedoms and the ability to sponsor other schools. However, we will continue to support other schools through our teaching school just as we do now.
Q. Has the union Campaign influenced the decision?
A. No. Our schools have always been and will always be committed to improvement through collaboration to best serve our pupils, our staff and you, our parents know this. We believe this is why parents have been supportive throughout this process