Future decided for Yate academy as schools minister supports transfer to new trust

January 30 2017

YATE International Academy will be run by a different organisation from the autumn after ministerial backing was given to a new sponsor for the school.

YATE International Academy will be run by a different organisation from the autumn after ministerial backing was given to a new sponsor for the school.

Greenshaw Learning Trust (GLT) will take over the academy, which incorporates the Woodlands primary phase and Woodlands nursery as well as the secondary school, with September 1 being the target for the transfer. 

It will bring to an end a nine-year link with Winterbourne International Academy, established when the former Ridings High School in Winterbourne was partnered with the then King Edmund School in Yate in the early days of the academy system and resulted in the creation of the Ridings’ Federation of Academies.

But the federation has been in a state of turmoil recently, experiencing a financial crisis, poor Ofsted ratings and the departure of two consecutive chief executive principals after just a matter of months.

A potential £1 million deficit by the end of the current academic year also led to an official notice to improve finances being issued by the Education Funding Agency. 

Trustees decided the financial problems could be tackled more quickly if they pursued a new sponsor for Yate (YIA) and Winterbourne (WIA) academies - both rated by education watchdogs as requiring improvement.

While WIA’s future is not yet entirely resolved, Yate will go its separate way with Greenshaw, which was established in 2011.

The Department for Education said schools minister Lord Nash had now decided that YIA should be re-brokered into GLT, with an aim of achieving that no later than September 2017.

YIA principal Paul Skipp said: “Over the last few years Greenshaw has developed a fantastic reputation for supporting schools,and I am delighted that Yate is going to become part of their family.

“We have made considerable improvements over the last 12 months and I believe with the experience and expertise of GLT, our goal of Yate becoming an outstanding all-through (3-19) school can become a reality. This is news that the whole Yate community can be really excited about.”

GLT chairman Mike Cooper said the trust had the experience and capacity to provide the support Yate needed to help it continue the improvements being put in place by Mr Skipp and his team.

 

Ridings’ Federation trustees said they looked forward to working with GLT “to effect a smooth transition for the benefit of the students, staff and the community”.

Meanwhile, WIA remains the responsibility of Ridings’ trustees for the time being as they oversee action aimed at improving the school. Consideration could then be given to transferring the academy to another trust.