Gove approves bid to run Soham school
The Secretary of State for Education has approved Soham Village College’s bid to run the town’s third primary school when it opens.
The application from the Staploe Education Trust – formerly the Soham Village College Academy Trust – was approved by Michael Gove on December 18.
The bid was formally supported by Cambridgeshire County Council in late October.
In the meantime, Kennett Primary School converted to academy status on December 1 when it joined the trust.
Dr Carin Taylor, principal of Soham Village College, said that with final approval now in place it could now begin to set up a temporary local governing body for the school, which will be built in the north of the town in The Shade and is due to take its first pupils in September, which, along with the trust, would oversee key decisions.
She said meetings with the county council, the local education authority, would help create a timetable for when the new buildings could be open and the staffing that would be required to open a pre-school and reception class for September 2013.
Dr Taylor, who will lead the implementation team, said: “This school will play an important part in the creation of a new community in north Soham.
“We are determined that it will be a wonderful place for young people to learn and develop the confidence and skills that they will need for the rest of their lives.
“We will rely on our local primary colleagues for knowledge and expertise, and will make good use of bespoke primary consultancy where we need to.”
She added: “The village college will remain focused on its students and staff and the drive for further improvement in teaching and learning, behaviour and achievement for all young people in our community will remain at the heart of all we do.”
The bid by the trust, which revealed its plans to operate the school in September last year, ended up the only offer on the table after Essex-based Lilac Sky Schools pulled out after the deadline for potential sponsors to apply had passed.
Speaking at a public meeting on their plans in September, Dr Taylor said the new school would not merely be an off-shoot of the college, but become part of a partnership-led initiative with other schools in the catchment area.
The trust’s application said: “The vision is that Soham’s third primary school will be an outstanding school, built upon detailed local knowledge and partnerships, capable of continuous improvement through considerable local accountability, supported by a rich, shared professional resource with and beyond the schools in our community.”
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