County council gives its views as cabinet approves academisation of Trinity Catholic School in Leamington with consultation to begin in Autumn and sixth form set to be reinsated in September
Warwickshire County Council’s cabinet has approved plans for Trinity Catholic School to become part of an academy at its meeting yesterday (Thursday July 9).
The decision follows a recent submission to the Archdiocese of Birmingham to enable the academisation. Trinity Catholic School’s Interim Executive Board (IEB) has announced that the school has agreed in principle to a partnership with Our Lady of Lourdes Multi Academy Company.
A county council spokesman has said: "This has come about after a huge amount of work that has gone on for months, with a goal of re-establishing Trinity School as a leading venue for Catholic education in the area.
"It is the second positive step for Trinity School in recent weeks.
"It follows the announcement of the reinstatement of its sixth form, to take effect from this September, a date brought forward by a year to offer stability to pupils whose schooling had already been unsettled by the enforced absence due to the coronavirus pandemic and enforced closure of schools to many pupils.
"The academisation is the latest step in providing the school with the stability to ensure its future and to enable it to develop its staff and pupils.
"In 2016 the Archdiocese of Birmingham launched an Academy Strategy for all of its schools.
"Within this, the trustees requested that all schools under the Diocesan Trust Deed work towards becoming an academy.
"The Archdiocese sees the long-term future of its schools as forming, and being part of, a Multi Academy Company (MAC) with other Catholic schools in their local area.
"Our Lady of Lourdes MAC is one of the most established partnerships in the Archdiocese.
"As well as overseeing a number of successful schools (including the nationally acclaimed Saint Augustine’s Catholic High School), it is also home to a National Teaching School which provides school to school support to vulnerable schools, extensive training opportunities to professionals and hosts the training of trainee teachers.
"It has an excellent reputation in the field and will potentially offer staff at Trinity wide-ranging opportunities for training and development.
"Our Lady of Lourdes MAC also has a wealth of experience in services to schools ranging from ICT to HR and finance."
Cllr Colin Hayfield, portfolio holder for education and learning at Warwickshire County Council, said: “We’re very excited by this move and delighted that all partners are so positive about what it will mean. We feel it will bring access to first class teaching and learning facilities with staff who can draw from a very wide network of support and development. It will, over time, broaden the curriculum and offer a more diverse range of school experience and can only bring some much-needed stability to the school and allow it to do what it has always done so well; provide a range of opportunities to its pupils while supporting their pastoral development.”
Father Jonathan Veasey, chair of the Diocesan Academy Board for the Archdiocese of Birmingham Trustees, has welcomed the news.
He said: “Catholic education plays an important part to the mission of the Church in this area of the Diocese.
Our Diocesan Academy Strategy sets out to secure, protect and improve Catholic education into the future.
"It recognises that as a family of schools we are stronger together.
"The Joining of Trinity Catholic School to the Our Lady of Lourdes MAC will make an important contribution to the continued development of the school.”
Mike Tilt, chairman of the Our Lady of Lourdes Multi-Academy Company said: “The Board of Directors of the Our Lady of Lourdes Multi-Academy is delighted that Warwickshire County Council has approved plans for the proposed admission of Trinity Catholic School into our family of schools.
"In joining us, the Trinity Catholic School community will be contributing their academic, pastoral and spiritual successes to advance our collective mission of enabling each and every MAC pupil to achieve their full personal and academic potential."
Daniel Graham, member of Trinity Catholic School’s School IEB, said: “The decision today by Warwickshire County Council provides certainty and clarity to Trinity’s long-term strategic direction. Joining Our Lady of Lourdes MAC will bring many advantages to staff, pupils and all other stakeholders at Trinity, and the MAC will benefit from Trinity’s expertise in academic, pastoral and spiritual fields.
"This news, and the recent announcement about the sixth form re-opening from September, is the start of a new and exciting chapter in the history of Trinity Catholic School."
The aim is that an academy conversion will take place in January with a formal consultation set to start early in the autumn term.