13.02.2019 Parents re WHP Mat Proposal Letter
13th February 2019
Further to our letter last week (February 6, 2019), we write again to update you about the proposal to reform the White Hills Park Trust.
The governors of Round Hill School met last night (February 12, 2019) to consider the invitation from White Hills Park, which includes Alderman White School and Bramcote College, to join them as they re-form their Multi Academy Trust.
The governors heard from Paul Heery (Executive Head of White Hills Park) and Adam Bird (Chairman), who set out their vision to deliver education for 3 to 18-year-olds under the leadership of one organisation.
The meeting received reports from Round Hill governors, who have been exploring the proposal in order to gain a better understanding of what membership of the re-formed body might mean. And governors considered correspondence on the issue from parents and staff.
Following discussion of the risks and opportunities presented by the proposal, governors saw enough potential benefits to want to explore this matter fully and therefore decided to register an interest with the Department for Education to join the re-formed White Hills Park Multi Academy Trust.
So, what does this decision mean?
Firstly, governors have not decided to join White Hills Park and this decision does not commit Round Hill to doing so. The proposal to join the trust would need to be considered and approved by governors on two more occasions for it to proceed. This would follow periods of engagement, consultation and further work on the details of the re-formed trust.
The decision taken last night begins a formal process in which all stakeholders, including parents, staff and representatives of the wider community, can join the debate and participate in a meaningful conversation about the future of our school.
Crucially, by taking this formal step, White Hills Park will be actively involved in this conversation and stakeholders will have the chance to discuss the risks and benefits of the proposal directly with members of the trust. Given the importance – and complexity - of the decision we face, we believe this is very important and the right course to take.
What happens now?
• The governing body will register an interest in joining the re-formed White Hills Park trust with the Department for Education, which will appoint an advisor to assist governors in planning the next steps. The speed with which the Department for Education will appoint an advisor is not yet clear, but once we have met with them, we will publish further details about the process and the timeline.
• A period of engagement with stakeholders will take place, which will include face-to-face meetings and opportunities for all parents to participate in the process and bring feedback and opinions to governors. Our desire is to have a full and proper exploration of this issue.
• Following the period of engagement, governors will then meet again to consider the proposal and what our parents, staff and other stakeholders have said. At this point governors will decide whether to decline the invitation or pass a resolution to convert Round Hill to an academy, as part of the re-formed White Hills Park Multi Academy Trust. However, that would not be the final decision.
• In the event that a resolution to convert to an academy is passed, the Department for Education would provide funds to pay for more detailed work on the precise implications of the proposal, known as due diligence, and to support a formal consultation process.
• Governors would then meet again to consider the outcome of due diligence and the consultation and it is at this point they would take a final decision on whether to accept the proposal.
We appreciate there is a high level of interest in this debate and concern about potential changes to how our school operates. It is a major decision and we want to assure you that we are committed to acting in a transparent way.
To that end we intend to publish the minutes of last night’s meeting on the school website as soon as possible and we will notify you once we have done so.
In addition, we will circulate plans for the period of engagement once governors have met with the official from the Department for Education. However, in the meantime we would welcome contributions from stakeholders about how to shape the engagement process.
Finally, we would like to thank all those who have already contributed to this debate through correspondence and comments. One letter was signed by 63 parents! Your input is greatly appreciated and we look forward to further discussion.
Adrian Nash Joy Miller
Adrian Nash Joy Miller
Head Teacher Chair of Governors
On behalf of Round Hill Governors