Decision day on Yate International Academy due in New Year

December 22 2016

A FINAL announcement is set to be taken in January on which educational trust will in future run Yate International Academy.

A FINAL announcement is set to be taken in January on which educational trust will in future run Yate International Academy.

Everyone involved in the school (YIA) hopes the expected decision by schools minister Lord Nash will bring months of uncertainty and turmoil to an end.

A crisis for the Ridings’ Federation of Academies, which currently leads the Yate site and its linked Woodlands primary phase and nursery - as well as its partner Winterbourne International Academy - emerged with the recent discovery that it faced a potential £1 million deficit by the end of the academic year.

Although trustees started considering ways of overcoming the financial hurdle, they decided they could not resolve the problems quickly enough on their own and it was necessary to find a new sponsor.

It was also revealed that chief executive principal Adam Williams had left after only taking up the post in February. He had been off sick since the start of the autumn term.

Of three initial potential sponsors, only two now remain after Oasis Community Learning Trust pulled out.

That leaves a consortium of Olympus Academy Trust and Castle School Education Trust, which is interested in Winterbourne, and Greenshaw Learning Trust, which is interested in Yate.

The Ridings’ trustees have made their recommendation to the Regional Schools Commissioner for the South West and the commissioner, in turn, has put a recommendation to Lord Nash.

It is envisaged that Yate and Winterbourne academies will transfer, either together or separately, no later than the start of the next academic year in September 2017.

In his end-of-term newsletter message, YIA’s own principal Paul Skipp said: “Currently, Yate works in partnership with Winterbourne. However, this arrangement is currently being reviewed.

“The Greenshaw Learning Trust made a proposal to the Department for Education to work with Yate International and to continue the good work currently taking place in the school.

“I believe by working in partnership with a larger trust who have a greater number of schools, there will be a number of advantages to both our community, parents and students.

“Larger multi-academy trusts will in turn have a greater level of expertise, a greater amount of resources and often experience in working with similar schools.”

The new operators of both Yate and Winterbourne schools will have to work towards improving the schools after each was judged by Ofsted to require improvement.

Check our Facebook and Twitter feeds for updates.