It has been revealed that Patchway Community College (PCC) has been in discussions with The Olympus Academy Trust to explore how it might be able to help the Patchway secondary school overcome “significant challenges” that it is said to face.
The move follows the departure of the PCC headteacher at the end of last year and the recent official publication of another poor set of GCSE results, which showed that just 40% of students achieved five or more A*-C grades, compared to the national average of 57.1% (52.9% in South Gloucestershire).
The Olympus Academy Trust already sponsors four academies in the local area, namely Bradley Stoke Community School, Abbeywood Community School (Stoke Gifford), Meadowbrook Primary School (Bradley Stoke) and Charborough Road Primary School (Filton).
Joint statement from Patchway Community College and The Olympus Academy Trust on 22nd January
Within the education system nationally, there is a move towards groups of schools working together for mutual support and for the benefit of their learners within multi-academy trusts, often within geographical localities. There is a strong record of partnership working between Patchway Community College and the secondary schools within The Olympus Academy Trust (Abbeywood and Bradley Stoke) through the Concorde Partnership. This has enabled students in Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 to study together in, and to be taught by staff from, one another’s schools.
The governors and staff of Patchway Community College recognise that they face significant challenges and that, operating as an independent institution, is unlikely to overcome the issues with its ageing buildings, lower student numbers and GCSE outcomes of late. It is fortunate to have secured the services of a very experienced headteacher, Mr Roger Gilbert, to lead it through its next phase following the departure of its long-serving headteacher, Mrs Jane Millicent, at the end of 2015.
Governors of Patchway Community College and directors of its Academy Trust, Fusion, have decided that the school would benefit from being a member of a multi-academy trust and have approached The Olympus Academy Trust about joining as they have seen the positive impact the trust has had locally and it seems logical to build on existing partnership arrangements rather than look elsewhere. Directors of both trusts have discussed this possibility and have been in contact with the Regional Schools Commissioner, Sir David Carter, about potential support for such a proposal.
It has been agreed that a programme of partnership support will be provided by The Olympus Academy Trust as a next step. This will prepare for the possibility of Olympus taking full responsibility for Patchway Community College in due course. Before that can happen, approval will need to be given by the Regional Schools Commissioner’s Headteacher Board and a full consultation with members of both academy trusts’ communities alongside further due diligence by both sets of directors. We will provide further updates as they become available.
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