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Warwick Schools Foundation announces plans to create a multi-academy trust

Warwick Schools Foundation is proud of the partnerships we have with schools throughout the local area and the work we carry out together for the benefit of local children.

For the past two years, we have been working even more closely with a number of schools and the Department for Education to explore the potential for Warwick Schools Foundation to open a Multi-Academy Trust - Warwick Schools Foundation Multi-Academy Trust (WSF MAT). These schools are as follows:

· Evergreen School

· Westgate Primary School

· Clapham Terrace Primary School

· Exhall Grange Specialist School

In January 2024, we were advised by the Regional Team from the Department for Education (DfE) that our plans were sufficiently advanced to submit an application to create the WSF MAT and for these four founding schools to join the MAT. This application was subsequently submitted to them at the start of March.

It is the intention that the MAT should come into being as a legal entity on 1 January 2025. The proposed WSF MAT has no impact on the structure of the Foundation schools, which remain independent; they will not be part of the MAT.

As part of the process for creating a MAT, each school joining has to become an Academy, a legal process which takes it out of Local Authority control, and into the MAT, and funded directly by central Government. As part of that academisation process, the local community of that school has to be consulted. The consultation period for each school runs for six school weeks from Tuesday 16 April to Tuesday 2 June.

The creation of the WSF MAT is an important development for the Foundation as a charity, as well as for the schools and children in the local and surrounding area. We are proud of the relationships developed over recent years across a number of local schools, and especially the ways in which pupils work together. It also provides the opportunity to support groups of pupils in a more meaningful way, which we would not otherwise be able to do. This is especially true of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities and in particular pupils at Evergreen School and Exhall Grange Specialist School, and pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

In addition, in an ever-changing educational landscape, the WSF MAT creates a permanent partnership for the Foundation with local schools.

This development does not mean any loss of focus on the Foundation schools. We are extremely proud of everything our pupils achieve across our schools and the excellence for which they are renowned. We have seen how the schools are determined to continuously develop the opportunities for their communities, and that will not change.

It is also important to say that the WSF MAT will be funded by central Government and therefore be financially independent; no fee income will be used to support it. However, the schools in the MAT will be a focus for the Foundation's public benefit, a legal requirement of our status as a charity.

It is not unique for an educational charity such as Warwick Schools Foundation to seek to create a MAT. Locally, King Edward VI Foundation in Birmingham has developed a similar model. As with King Edward’s, we are strongly rooted in the local area.

This year sees our Foundation schools having delivered 1552 years of education in our local communities; it is still the case that almost all our pupils live within an hour of the schools. We are proud of this long-standing commitment to education in Warwick, Leamington and the surrounding area, and look forward to seeing the combined impact of our Warwick Schools Foundation schools and Warwick Schools Foundation Multi-Academy Trust schools in the years ahead.

Further information about this development may be found in the FAQs.