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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Responses to Dulverton School consultation request on Academy status

Please click to download the responses below that have be sent in with regard to

Dulverton School consultation responses to  Academy status

Letters 1,2,3 and 4 have been authenticated as being submitted to the MAT Trust

Letter 5. letter cannot be authenticated as being submitted to the MAT

 

 

 

DTC will publish all responses that have been submitted as part of the  consultation process once permission has been given.

 

 

Permission has been given for publication of the letters below.

 

The Governing Body of the Exmoor Federation “Resigns”

 

 

 

 

Parents / Carers of Pupils Attending the Exmoor Federation of Schools

Please ask for

Dave Farrow

Our Reference

L&A/DF/0315f029edl

Your Reference

 

Direct Dial

01823 355830

Email

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Date

24 March 2015

       

Dear Parent/ Carer

Changes in Federation Governance Arrangements

I am writing to inform you that, following a meeting between representatives of the Local Authority, the Director of Education for the Diocese of Bath and Wells and the Governing Body of the Exmoor Federation, the Governing Body has decided to stand down with immediate effect to allow the Local Authority to appoint an Interim Executive Board (IEB) to take over the strategic management of the Federation.

This decision was taken because of the range and complexity of issues that the Governing Body is currently facing:

  • the reduction in numbers of pupils across the area;
  • the potential impact of that on the future structure of provision;
  • changes to the budgets;
  • the decision on moving to academy status as part of a Multi Academy Trust (MAT);
  • the reduction in capacity as a result of a loss of governors.

It was felt by all concerned that a different team of people with a specific set of skills could steer the Federation through the challenges it is facing more easily. This is in no way a reflection of the work of the Governing Body or of individual governors but recognition of the complexity of the challenges it was facing.

An IEB consists of individuals identified in this case by the Local Authority, in partnership with the Diocese of Bath and Wells, and approved by the Secretary of State for Education and in effect takes on the role of a Governing Body.

We are in the process of contacting prospective members for the IEB and will be able to give you more information after the Easter break. We will ensure that when it is in place the IEB will establish effective mechanisms for engaging with the parent/carer community.

The priorities for the IEB will be to address and manage the issues set out earlier in this letter.

In the meantime, and in the absence of a Governing Body, senior Officers of the County Council will be working with the Headteacher of the Federation to ensure that it continues to run effectively until the IEB is in place. Until then all decisions that would otherwise have been taken by the Governing Body will be taken by Local Authority Officers in consultation with the Headteacher of the Federation.

If you have any questions about this then please speak to the Headteacher in the first instance. We will be arranging a meeting for parent/carers early in the summer term to discuss this and any other matters they wish to raise.

Yours sincerely

DAVE FARROW

Head of Improving Outcomes Commissioning

Kingsmead Transport Decision: 2nd March 2015

SCC it has been announced that on Monday 2nd March 2015 the Interim Director of Children’s Services made the following decision:

That the Interim Director of Children’s Services approves

1.The amendment of the designated transport area for Kingsmead School to include the catchment area of All Saints’ First School, Dulverton Area A enabling families to have free home to school transport to Kingsmead School at the age of 11 if they have secured a place at the school.

2.The designated transport areas currently in place for All Saints’ First School, Dulverton, Exford First School, Dulverton Middle School and the West Somerset College are not altered enabling families to continue to choose these schools.

3.For families where neither the West Somerset College or Kingsmead School is their nearest school . Parental entitlements to transport to their nearest school remains.

That the Interim Director of Children’s Services does not approve

The amendment of the designated transport area for Kingsmead School to include the catchment area of Exford First School (Area B) These families will continue to have transport to the West Somerset College which is their nearest Somerset School and South Molton Community School if it is their nearest School.

DTC -9th March 2015, a response to the Proposal to Create a Multi Academy Trust:

This letter was sent in reply to a request.

A copy of the formal letter can be downloaded below.

 

 

Mrs A. Appleyard

Interim Executive Headteacher

Exmoor Federation

Barns Close West,

Dulverton TA22 9EE

9th March 2015

Dear Mrs Appleyard,

Re: The Proposal to Create a Multi Academy Trust:

As representatives of this community we have grave concerns about the long-term effects of our two schools being integrated with Minehead Middle School (MMS) as a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT). We are dismayed at the lack of communication and seeming arrogance that has been displayed in not seriously considering the views of this close-knit community.

At the consultative meeting held at the school on 10th February (of which we had to ask for an invitation), we asked the governing body and those representing the MAT to meet with all councillors to discuss the implications of this change. The invite was accepted on the night but despite a formal invitation being sent as well as a reminder, we still haven’t had the courtesy of a reply.

Last year Dulverton Town Council played an active role in ensuring that an objective and fair response to the proposals was put forward by SCC. We would like to continue in this vein but to do so we need to be given the full facts about the decision making process thereby allowing us to ask appropriate questions. There does appear to be a lack of understanding amongst decision makers about the circumstances in Dulverton.

It appeared from the consultative meeting on February 10th that Paul Rushford has a limited interest in the education of children in Dulverton. It is not surprising as he seems to have more than enough to do with his various other posts including his role as an Ofsted Inspector as well as the recently announced Interim Head of Minehead First School. We have the following concerns:

Financial viability of this proposal. The figures just do not add up, they are too vague. When asked for more up-to-date financial information we are told that it is confidential and more than likely to change; why the secrecy? Surely this information must be known before embarking on such a large scale re-organisation, if not this change should not be considered.

 

Parents who are in support of this change are expressing grave concerns about the  future viability of this proposal.

 

The Governance of Dulverton schools is worrying. Over the past 18 months there have been numerous disagreements and resignations following which there have been a lack of new governor appointments especially parent governors. There have been many excuses made but it appears there is a deliberate action on the part of the governing body to keep these numbers low.

 

We are at a loss to understand why there was a large representation from the Diocese at the consultative meeting. Obviously this consultation affects the First School but since when has the Middle School become a Faith school?

 

Why is a consultation exercise being conducted (but not including the wider community) when the governing body has stated that it has no intention of taking notice of what the community wants! Not exactly good practice.

 

The timescale for this proposal is predicated on a number of considerations which are short-term. “Grief walks upon the heels of pleasure; married in haste we repent at leisure” Wm Congreve.

We are extremely disappointed that the governing body as well as the other representatives have chosen to ignore our request for a meeting. This community needs a school but how can we support this proposal when we haven’t been given any idea how the long-term sustainability of such action is likely to affect the town.

Dulverton has been through too many upheavals over the years regarding the education of its children. Last year was a particularly painful year with decision making not always to everyone’s satisfaction; our children’s education is suffering because of bad decision making. Unfortunately, from what we have seen and heard this latest decision has not been given enough consideration.

It may be that being part of an academy trust is the best way forward but more consultation is needed to include the whole community; clarification is required on many points and more importantly financial transparency.   Only then as a community can we consider and support such change.

Yours sincerely,

Mandy Rose

Clerk to the Council

pp The members of Dulverton Town Council

c.c. Ms J. Ridge (Strategic Commissioning Manager, S.C.C.)

       Cllr. Frances Nicholson (S.C.C.)

IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING DULVERTON SCHOOLS

Please click on the attachment below.

Attachments:
Download this file (DTC Schools - Flyer.pdf)DTC Schools - Flyer.pdf[Dulverton Town Council Flyer - Feb 2015]49 kB