Academy Consultation Autumn 2018




Monday 10th September 2018


Dear Parent,


Consultation on the conversion of St. Wilfrid’s RC Primary school to become an academy and a member of St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Academy Trust


I write to you on behalf of the Governing Body of our school to seek your views about the plans for us to convert to become an academy and join the St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Academy Trust.


The Diocese of Middlesbrough is the provider of education at 54 Catholic schools and academies spread across seven local authority areas, providing Catholic education to some 17,514 children and young people. In the central region of the diocese we provide education to approximately 7,000 children and young people and employ a large number of teachers as well as a range of support staff.

The Bishop, along with staff in the diocese have been working closely with all diocesan schools over the last eighteen months to review our governance and leadership structures to ensure that they are fit for purpose and meet the needs of all of our children, young people, staff and the schools that serve our communities.

The Catholic schools within the diocese will form three Catholic Academy Trusts serving the north, centre and south of the diocesan region. The northern trust, the ‘Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust’ and the southern trust, the ‘St Cuthbert’s Catholic Academy Trust’ have already been formed. As this letter explains the final diocesan trust – the ‘St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Academy Trust’ serves the central diocesan areas of North Yorkshire, the East Riding and York.

The Bishop has instructed his foundation governors to work with the diocese to form the new St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Academy Trust. We have also been working very positively with the one Catholic and Church of England School in the region. We would now like to hear your views as parents, carers, school staff and other stakeholders on our plans so they can be considered and included in our future thinking.

We have also been working with the Anglican Diocese of Leeds, Department for Education and the local authorities in North Yorkshire, York and the East Riding.

Although ‘academies’ have been around for over a decade, the structure, accountability, operations and most noticeably the numbers of academies have developed dramatically in the last 4 to 5 years. In 2008 there were 83 academies whilst today there are almost 7,000 academies across the country.

Consultation on the plans for our school to become an academy within the St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Academy Trust

Our school governors welcome the potential for improvement that academy status can bring through a closer collaborative approach, allowing expertise and resources to be shared. Three key areas the Diocese and our schools across the region are collectively keen to improve upon are governance, leadership and use of resources in order to further improve outcomes for pupils.

Therefore, we are today commencing consultation on a programme for the twenty Roman Catholic Schools and one Roman Catholic / Church of England school in the diocesan central region to become academies and merge to form a multi-academy trust. This multi-academy trust has the support of the Department of Education, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough, the Anglican Diocese of Leeds and the governing bodies of the 21 schools.

The multi-academy trust will be called the ‘St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Academy Trust’ and will employ a Chief Executive Officer who will provide dynamic and inspirational leadership to the Trust, ensuring the very highest standards of performance for all of our schools and that resources are directed appropriately towards need.

Supported by a team of highly qualified school improvement experts, this new structure will allow us to share expertise across the 21 schools more effectively and provide greater opportunities for staff development and training, and as a result; ensure that all of our schools provide the very best for our children and young people. Equally each school will continue to develop its own unique character, and ethos with a dedicated leadership and staff team serving their local community.

The newly formed St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Academy Trust Board will consist of a group of twelve highly skilled individuals that have a clear understanding of their role in raising standards across all of our schools and protecting and promoting our Catholic ethos. These individuals will be approved by the Diocese and the Department for Education prior to appointment. It is envisaged that each individual school will also continue to have its own Local Governing Body who will have responsibility for the day to day oversight and governance of the school.

Consultation with stakeholders is therefore to gather your views as we shape the development of the new multi-academy trust and to ensure that these are taken into account as we develop our exciting and innovative plans. Consultation begins today, Monday 10th September 2018 and closes at 5pm on Friday 28th September 2018.

We have provided some frequently asked questions and a consultation response form within this letter. We will of course keep you updated on progress as we move forward with this proposal and are anticipating that this change will take place from 1st September 2019.

Yours sincerely


Dominic Paisley

Chair of Governors of St. Wilfrid’s Roman Catholic Primary School

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