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Academy Conversion News

Joining the River Learning Trust

In June 2016 Garsington CE Primary school governors agreed to become an academy with the goal of joining the River Learning Trust. The school is currently going through a due diligence process which will will be followed by formal consultation with the hope we will join the Trust in March 2017.

Please find below the latest update from our Chair of Governors, Eddy McDowall.

Responsible • Enthusiastic • Determined • Kind • Independent • Team Player • Enriched

November 2016

Dear Parents and Carers

Following agreement at the school governing body at the end of the summer term to become an academy and join River Learning Trust, we began the process by registering our interest with the Department for Education in September. A formal invitation to apply followed and this took longer than expected with the final submission in October. At time of writing, River Learning Trust are carrying out a process of due diligence on our school – a normal process of checking that we are a good school, that is well run. A final piece of the process of changing our status will come in January when we hold a formal consultation with all of our school community stakeholders. We will give you good notice of this before the time. All being well we are looking at formal changeover around March.

I wanted to apologise for not writing to you sooner into the school year. Firstly, I wanted to able to report on progress with academy status application and then when I was ready to report, my own busy-ness at work prevented me from finding time to do so. So, I hope you’ve settled well back into the school year and a belated welcome to all our new pupils and families. It’s always a great time of year seeing children step up a year and the new-found confidence that they discover. Recently, I was privileged to hear and see at first-hand that confidence when meeting with the School Council. I was really struck by their keenness to lead and try new things and I think this is a direct result of our school vision for our Red Kite learners.

Whilst the process of changing our status is slightly tortuous, it has enabled us to reflect on what we do well and what we need help with improving; our governing body are Red Kite learners too, eager to do better. I hope it is obvious that running even a small school such as Garsington requires a team effort. We are fortunate to have excellent leadership, high quality teachers and staff committed to getting the best out of our young learners. But they couldn’t do what they do without our support; that is the support from you and me, parents and carers. Therefore, I ask you to think about what you can contribute to making our school even better than it is already, and offer that help. We have two vacancies on our governing body for a parent governor and a foundation governor (nominated through the church) and our PTA is urgently in need of new faces and support to raise regular income to support the provision of resources in the classroom and around the school. The phrase ‘every little helps’ springs to mind, but I have a feeling that someone has already taken that, so instead, I will say that by helping the school, you are helping your child. What better reason do you need to get involved?

Thank you.
Eddy McDowall
Chair of Governors on behalf of the Governing Body