Trevelyan Middle School set to be latest to make switch to academy status

Trevelyan Middle School set to be latest to make switch to academy status

Tara O'Connor

Trevelyan Middle School set to be latest to make switch to academy status

Schools must ‘clump together’ to get enough money according to the headteacher of a soon-to-be academy.

Trevelyan Middle School in Wood Close, Windsor, started the consultation process to become an academy on Tuesday.

The school has chosen to join the Upton Court Educational Trust (UCET), which manages Upton Court Grammar School and Foxborough Primary School, both in Slough.

Trevelyan’s headteacher Phil Clarke (pictured above) said plans to join the trust have been ‘ongoing’ since last summer and the school ‘has considered academy status for a few years’.

A letter has been sent to parents at the school and a parents’ evening will be held on March 8 - the date the consultation finishes.

Mr Clarke assured the Express that no teachers will lose their jobs as a result of the change and the school ‘will not change on the outside’.

He added that it works out better financially for schools to become academies and that financial ‘support from the authorities’ is reducing.

“There is pressure on schools if you are not an academy,” he said.

“There are a lot of funding issues from up top, the Government, not only for schools but for local authorities. The only way you can get enough money is to clump together.

“We want the best quality for the children and I hope it will benefit the school.”

Cllr Phill Bicknell (Con, Park) is cabinet member for education, and also has a 10-year-old son at Trevelyan.

He said: “I think it is going to happen in all the schools in the borough. I don’t believe the Royal Borough has done a bad job [managing the schools] over the years but I think that going to academy status is the next level. We are not letting go and we are looking forward to greater things. I think we will see a number of schools going over to academy status.”

Cllr Ed Wilson (Con, Clewer South), who specialises in school improvement, said he does not think schools becoming academies is unavoidable but rather it is done on a ‘school-by-school basis’.

Executive headteacher at UCET, Mercedes Hernandez Estrada (pictured above), said she looked forward to working with Trevelyan.

Currently in Windsor, The Windsor Boys’ School and Windsor Girls’ School are academies.

Churchmead School in Datchet remains a voluntary aided school, often called a faith school, which means it is state funded but a foundation contributes money towards running costs.

Dedworth Middle School, along with Dedworth Green First School, became academies last month.

Windsor’s other middle school, St Edward’s Free Ecumenical School, is also voluntary aided.

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