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Gomersal St. Mary’s CE (A) Primary School Shirley Avenue Gomersal BD19 4NA Tel : 01274

Gomersal St. Mary’s CE (A) Primary School

Shirley Avenue

Gomersal

BD19 4NA

Tel: 01274 335 260 Fax: 01274 335 259

Headteacher: Mrs Susan Scott

E-Mail: head.stmarys1st@edukirklees.net Website: www.gomersalstmarys.co.uk Follow us on Twitter:

@StMarysGomersal

GOMERSAL ST MARY’S CE (VOLUNTARY AIDED) PRIMARY SCHOOL

DIOCESE OF WAKEFIELD KIRKLEES COUNCIL

CONSULTATION DOCUMENT PROPOSAL TO BECOME A VOLUNTARY CONTROLLED SCHOOL

Introduction

The Governing Body of Gomersal St Mary’s CE (Voluntary Aided) Primary School are consulting on their proposal to become a Voluntary Controlled School on and from 1 January 2014. This paper sets out why the Governors think that this change of status is right for the school, and what the change would mean for the school itself and the Gomersal community. We are consulting with parents, local community, St. Mary's Church, other schools, Kirklees Council, the Wakefield Diocese, and other interested bodies.

We hope that you will let us have your views on the proposed change.

You can write to:

The Chair of Governors, Gomersal St Mary’s CE (Voluntary Aided) Primary School, Shirley Avenue, Gomersal BD19 4NA

Or you can e-mail comments to:

In each case, please head your communication “VC CONSULTATION

There is a response form at the back of this paper which you may use if you wish.

‘Learning the Christian Way’

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ST. MARY’S PARISH CHURCH, THE DIOCESE OF WAKEFIELD AND KIRKLEES COUNCIL

Aided and Controlled Schools: background information

In Voluntary Aided Schools:

The school is owned by Trustees as part of a Church educational trust; Foundation (Church) Governors are in the majority on the Governing Body; Staff are employed by the Governing Body; The Governing Body is responsible for the maintenance of the building and for funding improvements: for this they receive funding from the Government and other sources but contribute the remaining 10%; RE is taught according to the provisions of the Trust Deed; Worship is conducted according to the provisions of the Trust Deed; The Governing Body is responsible for admissions to the school.

In Voluntary Controlled Schools:

The School is owned by Trustees as part of a Church educational trust; Foundation (Church) Governors are in a minority on the Governing Body; Staff are employed by the Local Authority; The Local Authority is responsible for maintaining the school buildings funding improvements, although many of its responsibilities are delegated to the Governing Body;admissions to the school. In Voluntary Controlled Schools: RE is taught according to the local Agreed

RE is taught according to the local Agreed Syllabus, though parents can request teaching in accordance to the provisions of the Trust Deed;of its responsibilities are delegated to the Governing Body; The Local Authority is responsible for admissions

The Local Authority is responsible for admissions into the school.teaching in accordance to the provisions of the Trust Deed; The Proposed Alteration The proposed alteration

The Proposed Alteration

The proposed alteration is to change from Church of England Voluntary Aided to Voluntary Controlled status. The school would be maintained by Kirklees Council and they would take over the responsibility for admissions; employment of staff; and capital expenditure on the maintenance of the school buildings.

The Governing Body would be reconstituted in line with Government Regulations.

The Governors are of the view that changing to Voluntary Controlled status, thereby removing the requirement to raise significant sums to support capital expenditure, would enable them to concentrate their efforts on supporting the leadership of the school.

It is the Governors belief that the change would have a positive effect on the teaching and learning provision of the school by allowing the leadership team improved access to capital funds and improve the physical learning environment.

The Governors are of the view that the change to Voluntary Controlled status would enable them to reaffirm the school’s distinctive Church of England character and to have greater control over the school’s future, while remaining part of the Kirklees family of schools and while maintaining an explicit commitment to serving the wider community.

‘Learning the Christian Way’

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ST. MARY’S PARISH CHURCH, THE DIOCESE OF WAKEFIELD AND KIRKLEES COUNCIL

Admissions

The Local Authority would take on responsibility for admissions. They, like all admissions authorities, are bound by the National Admissions Code, and envisage an admissions policy along the following lines: (NB this reflects the current policy, but the LA is currently consulting over changes to the policy for 2014/15)

If the school is oversubscribed, the order in which children would be admitted would be:

Priority 1

Children in public care (Looked after Children)

Priority 2

Children who live in the school’s Priority Admission Area (PAA) who have an older

Priority 3

brother or sister attending from the same address at the date of admission (the younger sibling rule) Children who live in the school’s PAA

Priority 4

Children who live outside the school’s PAA who have an older brother or sister

Priority 5

attending from the same address at the date of admission (the younger sibling rule) Children who live outside the school’s PAA, priority given to those living closest to the school.

Governors feel that an admissions policy of this nature would allow the school to continue to serve the wider local community as it would wish to do. Should there be a change of status, the 2014 admission would be under the above criteria. However the Priority Admission Area (PAA) would be that currently served by Gomersal Primary School (see appended map); distance from the school is measured in a straight line from a child’s home address to the school.

Admission to nursery will continue to be dealt with by the school.

Governing Body

The composition of the Governing Body would change if the school adopted Controlled status. Governors feel that a total size of Governing Body of 13 would be appropriate for Gomersal St. Mary’s as a controlled school and envisage a composition along the following lines:

Total number of Governors

Foundation Governors

13 places

2 places plus the Principal Officiating Minister of St Mary’s Church

Parent Governors

4 places

Staff Governors

2 places - plus the Headteacher

Co-option to represent the Local Community

2 places

Local Authority Governor

1 place

The school envisages little or no change in Governing Body personnel, only a change of status for some Governors.

‘Learning the Christian Way’

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ST. MARY’S PARISH CHURCH, THE DIOCESE OF WAKEFIELD AND KIRKLEES COUNCIL

Curriculum

Becoming a Controlled school would make no difference to the curriculum followed by the children and OFSTED would still inspect the school. RE would continue to be taught according to Diocesan guidelines, which currently recommend use of the Kirklees Agreed Syllabus and the school would continue to follow the National Curriculum, as amended from time to time. Collective worship would continue to reflect the traditions and practices of the Church of England, and Governors would continue to foster strong links with St. Mary’s Church, Gomersal. The school would continue to respect the faith and backgrounds of all pupils in delivering its curriculum, its worship and its pastoral policies.

Buildings

As an Aided school, the Governing Body has responsibility, on behalf of the foundation for contributing to the costs of capital works on the school buildings. At present, the contribution rate is 10%. Governors have struggled to raise this contribution. All such contributions in recent years have had to be found from the school budget to fund projects such as the refurbishment of the Nursery and classrooms, the provision of an ICT suite including the purchase of all ICT resources i.e children’s laptops, Interactive Whiteboards etc. The Governing Body and School Leadership team believe this is money which would be much more properly spent on the children’s education and learning experiences

Staffing

The Kirklees Local Authority would be the employer of staff should Gomersal St Mary’s CE (Voluntary Aided) Primary School becomes a Voluntary Controlled school. Governors are discussing transfer arrangements with Kirklees Local Authority to ensure that any change would be effected smoothly. This would be carried out under the TUPE regulations. There would be no implications for staff conditions of service or pension entitlements. As a result, the Governing Body envisages there would be no change to staff members at Gomersal St Mary’s.

Summing Up

Gomersal St Mary’s is already acknowledged as a good school with outstanding features and good capacity for improvement. The most recent Ofsted inspection reported: It is making steady and consistent progress in improving almost all aspects of its work. It has clear strengths in the very successful way it encourages pupils to accept, respect and celebrate diversity and equality, and adopts healthy lifestyles. These strengths ensure that pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is good. The school’s capacity for sustained improvement is good.”

Governors and senior leaders wish to concentrate on further improving this quality learning environment without the restrictions imposed by financial difficulty.

‘Learning the Christian Way’

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ST. MARY’S PARISH CHURCH, THE DIOCESE OF WAKEFIELD AND KIRKLEES COUNCIL

The SIAS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican Schools) Report of January 2010 described Gomersal St Mary’s CE (VA) Primary School as “an outstanding Church school where the spiritual and intellectual development of its children is at the forefront of its Christian mission. A dedicated leadership team actively supported by a united governing body means that children are provided with every opportunity to succeed.” Governors are determined that this will continue and any change to “Controlled” status would be viewed as a means of maintaining the high standards already achieved.

What happens now?

We would be grateful if you would complete the questionnaire at the back of this booklet and let us have your comments by the date shown. There will be an opportunity for parents, carers, stakeholders and the wider community to discuss

Feb 2013 between 2.00pm and 3.00pm, and between

the possible change on Tuesday 26 5:30pm and 6:30pm at the school.

th

This Statutory Consultation Period ends on Friday 22 nd March 2013; following this the Governors will consider all the responses and decide whether to press on with the next stage, which would be the publication of a formal Statutory Notice, probably during April 2013, setting out the proposal to make the change to Controlled status, and inviting further comments and representations.

Under the legislation as it stands at present, Kirklees Council would decide the proposal, and we would expect to have a decision by the end of July 2013.

‘Learning the Christian Way’

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ST. MARY’S PARISH CHURCH, THE DIOCESE OF WAKEFIELD AND KIRKLEES COUNCIL

Appendix 1: Proposed Priority Admission Area

Appendix 1: Proposed Priority Admission Area ‘Learning the Christian Way’ IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ST. MARY’S PARISH

‘Learning the Christian Way’

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ST. MARY’S PARISH CHURCH, THE DIOCESE OF WAKEFIELD AND KIRKLEES COUNCIL

GOMERSAL ST MARYS CE (VOLUNTARY AIDED) PRIMARY SCHOOL

CONSULTATION ON PROPOSAL TO BECOME A VOLUNTARY CONTROLLED SCHOOL

Response form

1. Do you in principle support the proposal to obtain Controlled status?

2. What are your reasons for the response at (1.) above?

3. Does this paper give you enough information? Please tell us if there is anything else you would like to know.

4. Are there any other comments you would like to make on this proposal?

About you: This asks you for some information that will help us analyse the results of the survey. You will not be identified by any of the information you provide. I am a: (Please tick and complete all those that apply to you)

Parent/CarerYour child’s/children’s school/s

Your child’s/children’s school/s

PupilYour school

Your school

GovernorYour school

Your school

Member of staff Your SchoolPupil Your school Governor Your school Local resident Please tell us Other Please tell

Local residentPlease tell us

Please tell us

OtherPlease tell us

Please tell us

Please return this form to;

The Chair of Governors, Gomersal St Mary’s CE (Voluntary Aided) Primary School, Shirley Avenue, Gomersal BD19 4NA

Or you can e-mail comments to:

In each case, please head your communication “VC CONSULTATION

‘Learning the Christian Way’

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ST. MARY’S PARISH CHURCH, THE DIOCESE OF WAKEFIELD AND KIRKLEES COUNCIL