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Warwick Schools Foundation announces plans to create a multi-academy trust

Warwick Schools Foundation is proud to unveil plans announced today (Tuesday 16 April) to create a multi-academy trust of four existing schools throughout Warwickshire.

And although the plans will have no direct impact on the running of the Foundation schools, the announcement is an important milestone for the Foundation, which has a long heritage of supporting children throughout Warwickshire including through longstanding partnerships between its schools and their near neighbours.

The Warwick Schools Foundation (WSF) Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) will bring together Evergreen School, Westgate Primary School, Clapham Terrace Primary School and Exhall Grange Specialist School if plans are approved by the Department for Education (DfE).

The proposed formation of the MAT is a natural next step for the Foundation, which already has close working relationships and partnerships with a number of additional schools which benefit large numbers of local children. It has been working on this proposal for the last two years, including wit the DfE and the founding schools, to bring these plans to fruition. The application has been lodged with the DfE and if approved, it is anticipated that the MAT will become a legal entity on 1 January 2025. The plans will have no impact on the Foundation schools which will remain independent.

Each school joining the MAT has to become an Academy, a legal process which takes it out of Local Authority control, and into the MAT, and funded directly by central Government. As part of that process, a consultation is now underway in each of the four schools.

Richard Nicholson, Principal of the Foundation said: “The creation of the WSF MAT is an important development for the Foundation as a charity, as well as for the schools and children in the local area We are proud of the relationships developed over recent years across a number of local schools, and especially the ways in which pupils work together. 

“It also provides the opportunity to support groups of pupils in a more meaningful way, which we would not otherwise be able to do. This is especially true of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities and in particular pupils at Evergreen School and Exhall Grange Specialist School, and pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition, in an ever-changing educational landscape, the WSF MAT creates a permanent partnership for the Foundation.

“This development does not mean any loss of focus on the Foundation schools. We are extremely proud of everything our pupils achieve across our schools and the excellence for which they are renowned. We have seen how the schools are determined to continuously develop the opportunities for their communities, and that will not change.”

The MAT will be funded by central Government and therefore be financially independent from the Foundation and its schools. It will enable the Foundation to have greater impact on pupils it would not otherwise be able to support, particularly in the case of pupils at Evergreen Special School and Exhall Grange Specialist School.

WSF is strongly rooted in the local area. This year sees Foundation schools having delivered 1552 years of education in their local communities and it is hoped that the combined impact of the Warwick Schools Foundation schools and Warwick Schools Foundation Multi-Academy Trust schools will continue to drive benefits for children across the county for many years to come.