Patchway Community School (formerly known as Patchway Community College) has become the latest secondary school to join the Olympus Academy Trust (OAT), where it joins Bradley Stoke Community School and Abbeywood Community School (Stoke Gifford), along with five local primary schools in Bradley Stoke, Filton and Stoke Lodge.
The Patchway secondary had been in discussions with OAT for some time, but the lack of funding for essential buildings maintenance work at the school had proved a stumbling block. The award, earlier this year, of in excess of £4 million of government and local developer money, ring-fenced for facilities and building work at the school, paved the way for the transfer to be completed on 1st September.
The name change from ‘college’ to ‘community school’ achieves consistency with the other OAT secondaries and avoids confusion about the age range that the school caters for.
Dave Baker, CEO of Olympus, visited the school on Friday 15th September, when he addressed a Year 7 assembly and presented Patchway headteacher Karen Cornick with a plaque to mark the school’s joining of the trust.
Mr Baker said:
“It has taken a long time to get to this point but there is a lot to look forward to with funding for improvements to the buildings as well as support for students to achieve.”
Speaking of the benefits of being part of a larger partnership, Mr Baker said OAT had a proven track record in delivering school improvement and positive working relationships with the Department for Education and other government agencies. He added:
“Our staff share expertise, provide mutual support and challenge one another to constantly improve the education we provide in our schools every day. Children also enjoy joint activities and access to staff and resources that they may not have experienced previously.”
In a letter to parents, Ms Cornick said:
“We are delighted to be part of a wider group of schools and we are already seeing some of the benefits of belonging to a multi-academy trust in terms of the management of our facilities and support with our financial management.”
OAT could soon see a fourth secondary join its ranks after Mr Baker reported in a recent newsletter that the uncertainty surrounding the future for Winterbourne International Academy “has been resolved”.
He explained that the Department for Education has confirmed that “in principle” approval has been given for Winterbourne to join OAT.
The Ridings and Olympus trustees will now work with the Department for Education to plan for a smooth transfer, with the best interests of Winterbourne students and their learning community at the heart of discussions.
OAT was already due to provide multi-academy trust support for Winterbourne for the 2017/18 academic year, but a full transfer is now likely to take place early in 2018.
Photo: Dave Baker (right, CEO of Olympus Academy Trust) presents Karen Cornick (headteacher of Patchway Community School) with a plaque marking the school’s entry into the trust.
This article originally appeared in the October 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 13). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.