Brighton and Portslade Aldridge Community Academies (BACA and PACA) are looking forward to working even more closely together in future as the Governing Bodies of both schools have decided to join the Aldridge Education multi-academy trust.
Since becoming academies BACA and PACA have been Independent Trusts sponsored originally by the Foundation, and since September by Aldridge Education. In PACA’s case, the Academy is also co-sponsored by Brighton and Hove City Council. The transition into a multi-academy trust will put both schools on the same footing as the new Free School due to open in the City in 2018, which is part of the University of Brighton Multi-Academy Trust, and the King’s School (part of the RET multi-academy trust).
BACA Principal Dylan Davies said: “The government is encouraging academy schools to work more closely together through multi-academy trusts. At BACA and PACA we’ve already seen the benefits of working closely together. We have a shared Director of Sport, for example, meaning our students get access to fantastic sports opportunities that neither school could have provided on their own. Similarly we share some back-office expertise without having to each employ our own resource, which frees up front line spending on our students.”
At PACA Principal Katie Scott added: “Initiatives like the Aldridge Cricket Academy and the Brighton Digital Media Academy at both PACA and BACA show that by working together we can offer students more choice and new successful courses. Both academies have significantly improved academic results in recent years and joining Aldridge Education will help us continue this improvement while making it easier to develop further exciting new initiatives.”
Aldridge Education Chief Executive Chris Tweedale said: “Each school in the multi-academy trust has its own unique character and we are very committed to ensuring our schools retain their individual community identities.”
“On completing the transfer a new Local Governing Committee will be established for each school which will include Staff and Parent Governors. These local governors will be focused on supporting the Principals in delivering the school improvement plan, as well as student welfare, community engagement and entrepreneurship. As now, parents will continue to have access to local governors to raise any concerns they may have.”
“Our Principals will continue to run their schools day to day, but will now be able to work even more closely together for the good of students and their local communities.”
Rosalind Turner, PACA Chair of Governors said; “Both academies have always been committed to playing an active role in local education partnerships, working closely with our neighbouring primary schools and with other schools and colleges in the City. None of that will change”.
Jim May, Chair of the Business Committee on the BACA Governing Body added: “We are very proud of the progress that BACA has made in so many areas since becoming an Academy. We now believe that being part of a wider multi-academy trust within the Aldridge Education family will bring more opportunities and investment into the academies. In addition the introduction of more business partners should help students develop employability skills, alongside qualifications, and can only benefit our community.”
Brighton and Hove City Council have supported the move, commenting: “The council is aware of the decision of the governing bodies at both BACA and PACA to join the Aldridge MAT. There are convincing reasons why this decision has been reached and the commitment of the MAT to ensure strong parent and staff representation on the Local Governing Committees and the maintenance of each school’s individual identity is welcomed.”
“Ensuring that pupils in the city are able to receive good quality education is essential and the leadership of both schools continue to drive improvements in their own schools and demonstrate their commitment to work in conjunction with the city’s other schools as part of a strong partnership approach.”