Gillotts Opens Consultation on Joining Multi-Academy Trust

Gillotts School have opened a consultation with parents to join the River Learning Trust (RLT) a multi-academy trust (MAT).

RLT is made up of 28 primary and secondary schools in Oxfordshire and Swindon which was formed in 2015.  It is also an Outstanding-rated school-centred initial teacher training provider and an Oxfordshire Teaching School Hub.

In a letter to parents, Emma Hunt, Chair of Governors at Gillotts School said, “You may be aware that in recent years there have been significant changes to the educational landscape. This continues and, as a school, we have been working hard to find the right solution for us in this shifting context. We want to make sure that we take the right decisions to secure the best future for our students, families and local community. In March 2022, the Department for Education stated: “By 2030, all children will benefit from being taught in a family of schools, with their school in a strong multi academy trust or with plans to join or form one.”

“Although it is now less clear that schools will be compelled to join a MAT, the direction of travel remains for schools to group together. Currently, we are one of only four secondary single academy trusts (SATs) left in Oxfordshire. At this time, we have the freedom and autonomy to choose the next steps of our journey ourselves and we want that to be in a direction that would allow us to build on our existing strengths, whilst maintaining our own unique identity. We are also in a strong position, with our outstanding Ofsted judgement and good financial reserves.”

The school has carried out research and investigation into the range of options available over the last 15 months with the governing body deciding to consider joining RLT.  Emma goes on to say, “This is a MAT with which the school already collaborates and which shares our commitment to excellence in education. Whilst all schools in the Trust work together to support and challenge each other, sharing key values and principles, the Trust respects each school’s individual strengths and characteristics. This means that our students, parents and staff will not notice any immediate difference; students will be in the same uniform, in the same classrooms with the same teaching staff. We would still have the same identity and ethos. In time we would all benefit from the impact of collaboration with other schools within the Trust and the support provided by the central Trust team. As a successful school, we would also have influence on future Trust development.”



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