Merger with TIMU Academy Trust
Proposed Merge between TIMU MAT and Grove Park Academies
Grove Park Primary School and Aspire School (Grove Park Academies) are currently working closely with Iwade School and Bobbing school (TIMU Trust) The trusts are already trialling a joint working model, thanks to TIMU stepping in to offer temporary sharing of key leaders from their schools at Grove Park. As a group we have taken this opportunity to review educational practice and share educational ideas and provide career development opportunities to staff.
This informal partnership has enabled both trusts to build relationships across the schools and this will continue to gain momentum over the months ahead.
With the retirement of key staff fast approaching an opportunity has arisen for both TIMU and Grove Park Academies to consider the future of both trusts. We are currently in an ever changing educational arena and there is clearly a view on how academies can develop and grow and indeed expand. The government has set out its vision:
‘for every school to be part of a family of schools in a strong academy trust. It was stated that the Government would be investing in “strong multi academy trusts, so they can support even more schools, with the focus on the strongest leaders taking responsibility for more schools.’
Both trusts have good or better schools, one of which is providing valuable SEND provision through the recently opened Aspire School. We are proposing that both trusts join forces to become one trust in a merger that would see the strengths of all the schools coming together to form a strong alliance that offers wider opportunities and strength in the local offer to the families and children we serve; whilst there will be a number of motivating factors to suggest the merger go ahead the benefits for all pupils remains our central focus.
We see this as an exciting opportunity to create something new and therefore we will create a new name for the trust whilst maintaining everything that is great about the four schools, for our community the schools will hold on to what they hold dear, so that our families and staff still recognise each school for itself and what it provides to their part of the community, but at the same time benefit from being a larger group.
As an important part of this process we are giving you the opportunity to ask questions and raise any concerns you may have and I would ask that you look at the survey and offer your views.
• We like the uniqueness of our school and worry we could lose our identity by becoming a bigger institution
We are mindful that our parents and local communities will worry about this but we are committed to ensuring that the culture and feel of each individual school will be retained. Each school will continue to have the same name and uniform colours.
• We value the SEN expertise of Aspire and fear it will be lost if we’re swallowed up by other schools
The expertise that Aspire brings to the Trust will be unique and invaluable through the advice, support and training it can give the mainstream schools. We are fortunate to have this provision in the Trust and this will continue to be valued for the important education it provides for local children with ASD and Communication and Language difficulties and the support for their families. All of the three mainstream primaries have had children leave their schools to join Aspire so know well how this provision provides for the needs of children.
Additionally, a wider range of schools in the Trust will offer additional opportunities for Aspire children to take part in Trust events which has been challenging given the pandemic and restrictions to date.
• What will be the main benefit of merging as one Trust?
There are numerous advantages of merger and creating a larger trust:
• Greater opportunities for all the children – through sharing resources such as minibuses and offering a wider range of clubs and competitions
• Making better use of funds by sharing services, staffing and contracts
• Sharing expertise of staff across more schools to provide the best quality teaching and opportunities for all children
• Increased staff development opportunities which will retain the best staff
• Greater opportunities for staff training to continually improve the quality of education offered for all children.