As you are no doubt aware, Costello is already an academy, and converted to this status in 2012.
There is still a very strong focus on the academy programme, from the Department for Education (DfE) and the Education Funding Agency (EFA), who continue to actively encourage single academies to look at the options of multi academy trusts to ensure sustainability and take advantage of the benefits of collaborative working in a formal way.
As Governors of The Costello School, we would not be fulfilling our responsibilities if we did not take this matter seriously and look at the strategic position for the school. As such we wanted to let you know that a working party, consisting of some of the governing body, including parent, community and staff governors, has recently been formed to carry out some initial investigations into the options available, which also include remaining as we are.
Using strict criteria (see FAQs) we have shortlisted four potential Multi Academy Trusts (MATs), that we have invited in to present to a panel about the benefits of Costello joining their particular organisation. We intend to then shortlist further, as necessary, and visit member schools. If, after this process, we feel there is one MAT we prefer then a recommendation would be made to the full Governing Body. We are not obliged to make a recommendation and are happy to pull back from the process at any point if we feel it is not in the best interests of the school. We will also not rush the process, thus ensuring that any decision we make is considered and the right one for Costello, and particularly our students and staff.
Any decisions can only be made after a process of due diligence is carried out and we would like to reassure you that you will be consulted and kept informed of progress at all times. Your opinions are very important and any changes would only be made in the best interests of everyone.
We wish to retain our distinct values and ethos and would wish to continue to be known as The Costello School. Uniform will remain unchanged and parents will still apply to Costello in the usual way. Any change would have to be to the advantage of our students and we would not consider entering any partnership where this was not the case.
As part of the process we are consulting with all stakeholders, up until the 17th July, including all staff, students, parents, local schools and organisations. All groups are encouraged to offer feedback on the work being done and ask any questions they feel they need the answer to in order to be make an informed decision whether it is something they would support or not.
How can I find out more?
There is more information about MATs on the DfE website:
Please click below for an non-exhaustive list of Frequently Asked Questions for you to read which explains most of the key considerations and decisions facing us.
FAQ’s for Parents and Carers
If you can’t find the answer to your question there or on the DfE website, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to which you will either get an individual response or as part of an updated FAQs list. We will reissue the FAQs on a regular basis as more questions are received.
How can l make a representation?
If, having read this letter, you would like to contribute to our consultation process then please contact Mr Steve Whatley, Chair of Governors either by letter or email (email@example.com) outlining your support and/or concerns.
Should we begin to receive a large quantity of feedback we will look to hold an open stakeholders Q&A evening in early July. We will inform you of this in due course.