When our Academy was formed in 2011 as a standalone academy the long term goal was for it to be part of a wider group of primary academies. The benefits of belonging to a wider family of primary schools with shared values are very clear:
Since its formation as an academy, St Barnabas has seen lots of improvements and better facilities. Those of you who knew the school back in 2011 will know that very well. However, the Trustees who represent Laing O’Rourke and the Diocese along with the Governors firmly believe that our academy is now at a point when it would benefit greatly from being part of a group of academies under the leadership of a Multi Academy Trust (MAT).
For the last two years, possibilities have been researched and, over a year ago, it was agreed that the best fit for St Barnabas would be Vantage Multi Academy Trust. Vantage is a Church of England MAT with very similar values and vision to St Barnabas. It came highly recommended by the Diocese.
After a period of due diligence both by our Trust and the Vantage Trust, it was agreed that St Barnabas should transfer to the Vantage MAT. The Regional Schools Commissioner acting for the Department of Education gave its approval in the last few weeks. The Trusts are now busy finalising the transfer, which we hope should take place on 1st January 2019. Staff have been kept informed during the course of the last year.
When the transfer takes place St Barnabas will retain its Church of England status and all of the other things that parents tell us makes St Barnabas special. This was a key factor for us in choosing Vantage. There will be no changes to staffing, other than those that naturally occur, and as far as the day to day running of St Barnabas is concerned very little will change other than it will become clear that we will be working with other schools and be part of a wider group of schools with all the advantages that will bring
Some of you may already be aware that another local school, St James in Gorton, joined the Vantage Trust a few years ago and has made tremendous progress since then. The Trust has also just opened another local school, Gorton Primary school, with its first intake this year. The intention is for us to work closely with these schools as well as benefiting from the wider network and expertise across the other schools in the MAT. We have started to work more closely with Vantage since September and Simon Bramwell, the CEO, of Vantage has been working with me providing support and assisting with planning for the future and I have been meeting with the other Headteachers from Knowsley Lane Primary School, St. Augustine’s CE Primary School, SS Simon and St Judes CE Primary, as well as St James’ CE Primary and Gorton Primary School, in preparation for us joining Vantage MAT.
We are excited at the opportunities this transfer will bring to our Academy for our children and we look forward to your continued support. I will keep you updated with further communications in November and December, but in the meantime if you have any questions or comments please feel free to chat to me on the gates in the morning or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.