Proposal to explore MAT

We would like to inform you of a further development under consideration by the newly merged Prior Pursglove and Stockton Sixth Form College.

During the recent Area Review of post-16 education in the Tees Valley, it was announced that, for the first time, sixth form colleges would have the opportunity to convert to become academies. To convert would offer the college financial benefits but also demonstrate our commitment to pre-16 education in our local areas in the strongest possible way.

Many schools have already made this transition, forming different groups known as Trusts. One option we considered was to join one of these existing groups. However, after careful consideration it has been resolved to look to establish a new academy Trust with primary and secondary schools in our respective communities.

In Stockton, almost every secondary school has academised over recent years. Whilst we have explored the opportunity of joining local Trusts, we very much want to be in a position where the college can help influence and shape the educational landscape across the Tees Valley. We want to maintain our strong position in meeting the needs of local schools and benefit from a deeper understanding of a learner’s journey, from 2-19.

To this end, we would like to look at establishing a new academy Trust with Saltburn Learning Campus. Also, the governors of Laurence Jackson School have expressed an interest in exploring an offer to form a multi-academy Trust with us. Our discussions with Stockton schools – primary and secondary – will continue, and we very much hope they will join our Trust in the future.

The Department for Education has told us that they expect to receive our application to convert to academy status by November 2016, outlining in some detail the partners with whom we intend to work in the short and longer term and also the benefits that would accrue from working in such a group.

We appreciate that many of you will have questions about this. It is really important to us that we have the opportunity to hear your views and answer any of these questions about this proposal so I will contact you again soon with further details on the consultation process.