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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Local Schools Planning Closer Co-operation as Charitable Trust

 

Chestnuts and North Harringay Primary Schools are planning on developing closer co-operation within a charitable trust with the aim of enabling more effective collaboration between them.

Earlier this week Chestnuts and North Harringay Primary Schools published details of their plans for converting to trust status within a co-operative framework. 

Essentially a trust school is still part of the local authority system, but is also supported by a charitable foundation (often called the trust). The trust appoints some of the governors. By involving partners in the trust the aim is to use their experience and expertise to strengthen the leadership and governance and hence to help raise standards.

There are different sorts of trust school. Our two local schools are considering adopting a 'coperative trust' model. To enable the change, both schools will require a change of category to become foundation schools. If the plans are approved, the schools will be established under the banner, "Green Lanes Co-operative Learning Trust". 

The documentation jointly published by the schools explains that the new arrangements aim to:

  • enhance educational opportunities and improve outcomes for all children and strengthen partnerships between schools and others in the local community

  • expectations and standards for all pupils though sustained collaboration and partnership and by sharing evidence-based expertise in learning, teaching and leadership.

  • provide better professional development for all staff

  • improve the use of the schools’ educational facilities to best meet the needs of pupils, families and the wider community. 

I know little enough about the proposed changes to offer any comment, but would be very interested to know what both parents and non-parents think. There is a very comprehensive set of documentation available explaining the proposals in more detail - see below.

One note of caution from me. In the four bullet points above, which I've taken as a set from the documentation, I see two of them referring to the inclusion of the local community. And, indeed the local community are expressly welcomed to attend the consultation meetings. That is to be welcomed. However, beyond parents, all consultees listed by the schools are institutional. Local people are not listed, neither has Harringay Online been contacted with a request to publicise the change to the wider community. I hope that this is an oversight, or that I'm jumping the gun, and that the schools fully intend to at least offer local people beyond the current parents the opportunity to contribute to the debate. 

The proposed implementation date is 1st March 2013.

A consultation process has been put in place to run over the coming month:

 

Meetings

North Harringay Primary School: 14th November 2012
2:30 p.m. School Council
3:30 p.m. All Staff
5:00 p.m. All Parents and carers 6:30 p.m. Public meeting

 

Chestnuts Primary School: 21st November 2012
2:30 p.m. School Council
3:30 p.m. All Staff
5:00 p.m. All Parents and carers 6:30 p.m. Public meeting

 

In Writing

You can comment at any time from noon 7th November 2012 to noon on 5th December 2012.

Chestnuts Primary School
Black Boy Lane
London N15 3AS
Tel: 020 8800 2362 Fax: 020 8880 1372
Email: admin@chestnutsprimary.com

North Harringay Primary School
Falkland Road
Harringay
London, N8 0NU
Telephone: 020 8348 0948 Fax: 020 8340 8021
Email: admin@nhp.haringey.sch.uk

 

Online Survey

Offer your views via a short online survey.

 

Further Information

Find out more information on North Harringay School's website

Read more about Co-operative Trust Schools on the Schools Co-operative Society website

 

 

Tags for Forum Posts: education, schools.

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Replies to This Discussion

I am a parent at Chestnuts and I was surprised to see this proposal in my children's book bags last week. I'd not heard of a co-operative trust and was particularly concerned about what it would mean to our special needs provision. I had a very quick word with our Head and she has reassured me about this. 

I know our Governors and NHS Governors have been hard at work researching a trust for quite a while so it has been well thought out. I look forward to the meetings to find out everything we need to know.

It's one way of avoiding being forced to become an Academy apparently...

I don't know the thinking of the Governing bodies of these schools, John. But in general terms I'd ask you to consider this initiative, potentially at least, as a lot more positive.

The fundamentally important question for a school and its Governing Body must always be what is in the best interests of children and families - the current users of the school and those who will be using it in the next few years.

That means that schools need to consider how best to retain stability and to continue working hard and effectively for improvement.

It also means putting children before ideology. So there may be situations where conversion to an academy is the best option. But sometimes it may be a 'fresh start' with a new management team. There are other options too. But which of these is the best course of action should be a question of fact and evidence and, using that as a sound basis, and consulting properly, adopting the best plan.

Insisting on a Michael Gove/Andrew Adonis one-size-fits-all privatised structure is like a doctor writing each patient an identical prescription, diet and exercise plan before they visit the surgery.

Foisting the same solution on unwilling schools and on families shows a lack of respect to school students, to families, and to the local community.

(Tottenham Hale ward councillor.)

I'm trying to be neutral. Good to know I've succeeded.

If the rules don't let the government do what it wants, it does have the option of changing the rules...

I very much hope that more information, opinions will be posted here when they become available.

I still need to read all the literature with my full attention rather than scanning at it over breakfast etc. I went to the consultation on Wednesday afternoon at NHP and I have to admit many of my fears were eased by the presentation. This does not say I am in favour yet but I really do think the governors and head would not jump into this likely.

In an ideal world we should both stay as we are but with the daily threat from the Bullington Crew, there may not be any alternative than to secure the two schools future so that they stay in control of the elected governors rather than some third party private business. 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/aug/15/cooperative-schools...

This article is quite interesting on the subject.

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