Norlington School Community
To all members of the Norlington School Community,
Following agreement by the Governors, our school is now actively pursuing conversion to academy status having concluded that conversion will be a positive move for our school. An application has been made to the Department for Education (DFE) with a view to become an academy by September 2016.
Building on this success
Norlington School and 6th Form has a strong track record of success. The school has transformed itself over the past 5 years and is now one of the highest achieving schools nationally. This includes;
- 2012 Norlington was recognised as the most improved school in London
- 2013 We received a letter recognising our academic success with students from disadvantaged backgrounds from the Minister of State for Schools
- 2014 Norlington students achieved in the top 1% of all schools nationally
for progress (FFT) and in the top 5 of all state boys’ schools nationally
- 2014 We received a second letter recognising our academic success from the
Minster of State for Schools for overall progress
- 2015 Norlington was awarded Gold Club status under a scheme set up by the
Mayor of London to recognise exceptional schools in the capital
- 2015 Our students achieved in the top 1% (FFT) of all schools for student progress
- 2015 We received our third Letter recognising our academic success from the
Minister of State for Schools for sustained improvement
During this time we have supported many schools in their improvement journey. Forming part of our core aims, it demonstrates our commitment to every student in our community and has included;
- The Executive Headship of a school facing significant challenges, leading the school through academy conversion, on behalf of another school, and a school improvement support programme using Norlington frameworks
- School to school improvement programmes, sharing the systems that have helped Norlington to be so successful
- The delivery of the nationally recognised Improving Teacher and Outstanding Teacher programmes to over 200 primary and secondary teachers from schools across Waltham Forest.
Development and leadership of the Waltham Forest Challenge – a school to school support network that aims to ensure all the best practice if shared across every school in Waltham Forest.
- School to school subject leadership support and development in Mathematics, English, Design & Technology, Art, Science and Computer Science.
- Significant involvement in ITT and NQT development programmes.
We are looking to establish ‘The Exceptional Education Trust’. This would be a new multi-academy trust, so that in the future we could invite other schools to join with us. This will provide wider opportunities for our students, celebrate what we already do really well, and improve our practice to enhance students’ learning experience. The Trust will build on Norlingtons successes, driving towards our aim of offering a world class learning experience for our students.
As part of the process to convert, we want to hear your views. So that you can better understand what becoming an academy means, we will share with you with as much information as possible as it becomes available. We have arranged information events at school to share our plans with you, listen to your thoughts, and answer your questions. You can find details of these events at the end of this letter.
What are academies?
Academies are publicly funded schools, which are not controlled by the Local Authority and therefore have additional independence in a number of important areas. This greater independence brings increased responsibilities and opportunities to build upon our current success and ensure that we continue to improve our service to young people and families in our community. You can view further details on academies including the ‘Model Funding Agreements’ at the Department for Education website: http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/leadership/typesofschools/academies
Why convert to academy status?
Firstly, Norlington School and 6th Form will retain its current name, respective ethos and values, and it will continue to serve the needs of students and families in our local community; however, as an academy, the school will have much more freedom and flexibility in terms of how it operates and how it is funded.
As an academy, the school will have the freedom to develop and deliver its own curriculum that engages all students and enables them to achieve their true potential. The curriculum will be designed especially to meet the needs of students at Norlington School.
Budgetary responsibility will be transferred from the local authority to the Multi-Academy Trust, so the school will have greater control over its finances.
This will enable the school to continue to raise standards, supported by the existing staff, whose commitment, stability, and expertise will help the school continue to be successful.
Students and staff will benefit from new opportunities for learning and development as part of the Multi-Academy Trust whilst continuing to work in the way they do now.
Finally, academies are becoming a reality across the country and many schools across London and the country have either recently converted or are in the process of converting. Many of the traditional services provided by the Local Authority are being withdrawn because of enduring funding pressures and this situation is only likely to worsen. In the years ahead, the education system faces a significant number of changes that may be of concern to some. These changes will affect us whether we become an academy or not. However, we believe by establishing a Multi-Academy Trust, we will be able to strengthen our ability to meet future challenges with a single stronger voice.
What happens next?
Staff Consultation - We will be meeting with staff in the next few weeks as we undertake the TUPE consultation. “TUPE” stands for Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) which is a piece of legislation designed to protect the terms and conditions of staff when their job transfers from one employer to another. This is what happens when a school converts to an academy. Our staff are a very important part of the school, and it is important to us that they know, and that you know, at the outset that they will not suffer any adverse changes to their terms and conditions of employment by transferring to the Multi-Academy Trust.
Community Consultation - We will be running a community consultation from 13th April to 25th May 2016. During this period, we will be consulting with parents and carers, staff, unions, the Local Authority, the local community, including places of worship where appropriate, and local schools.
We will be holding information events and offering 1:1 meetings where you can discuss what our academy conversion means with both members of the school leadership team and proposed academy Trust. A timetable of events is enclosed. If you prefer to put your thoughts in writing, we enclose a questionnaire. This is also available to download from our school website.
Should you have any comments or further queries then please e-mail us by 25th May 2016 at [email protected] or write to the Head teacher, John Hernandez care of the School office. We will update a Frequently Asked Questions section on the school website with any questions or concerns that might emerge during the consultation phase.
We are mindful of our public sector equality duty arising from the Equality Act 2010 and will develop our proposals to mitigate the likelihood of any adverse impact. If you are, or become, aware during this consultation process of any impact on members of the school community who share a relevant protected characteristic (e.g. age; disability; gender re-assignment; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; and sexual orientation) then please contact us.
In the meantime, please find enclosed a consultation questionnaire and a summary fact sheet outlining details of the proposal, which may answer some of your initial questions. At the end of the consultation, we will write to you again with a summary of the views expressed.
We look forward to sharing our plans with you further and hearing from you in due course.