Headteacher: Miss Nicola Percy

Dear Parent or Carer,

I write to share with you some important and exciting information about some changes to the wider organisation and governance of our school and to engage you in not only sharing our intentions for the future, but to also hear and answer any questions you might have.

There is much to share, and I very much hope this letter and leaflet will go some way to ensure you know exactly what is ahead, and to reassure you about what this will mean for you, your child or children and our school as a whole and the exciting opportunities it will bring

We will of course be very happy to meet with you face to face and have suggested some dates below, but we also felt it was useful to share some background information in advance. First and foremost I would like to reassure you all that the quality and nature of our teaching, our core values and the building itself will be unaffected by everything set out below.

What is the change?

As families will know we are a currently Stand-alone Academy, otherwise known as a Single Academy Trust (SAT). We intend to join a Multi Academy Trust (a MAT) in September 2019.

School staff and governors have worked together to identify suitable MATs and, having carried out an intensive period of fact-finding and research, intend to join the Learning in Harmony Trust (LiHT) who we believe to be the best MAT to partner with to ensure our school can continue to flourish.

Why the change?

Ultimately, school leaders and governors can see that we need to be part of a bigger organisation in order to continue to focus on the quality of teaching that we provide to the children.

There are two main reasons for becoming part of a Multi Academy Trust. One is financial and one is linked to maintaining standards.

Maintaining Standards – As schools face more and more challenges we want to ensure that our focus absolutely stays on providing excellent opportunities for children to learn and succeed, and in recruiting and keeping the best staff possible to New North. Being part of a larger organisation means that we can share some of the responsibilities that come from running a Limited Company (which we are). It will allow our staff at every level to be far more focused on high quality teaching and learning.

Financial Needs – As a Stand-alone Academy, we are responsible for everything! Families will have seen in the media news of the financial cuts to education. These cuts are having a significant impact on schools across the country, including our own. If we stay as a Stand-alone school we’re not sustainable and so we need to take action.

There are two options here:

  1. We either wait for the inevitable and get told which bigger Multi-Academy Trust will take us over (without any choice) or
  2. We do what we have done and search for a Multi-Academy Trust who we really think is a good match for New North and seek to join them; taking control of our future.

 By becoming a MAT our financial future is in a much better position, and we believe that it is much better to find a MAT that is the right fit for us.

Why join the Learning in Harmony Trust (LiHT) and not a different Multi-Academy Trust?

We genuinely believe that LiHT are the best Multi-Academy Trust match for us for three main reasons:

  • They share and absolutely believe in the same Values as us – of working with integrity and respect to enable success for all
  • They recognise our many areas of strength and will allow us to continue with autonomy (i.e. they can see we’re doing a great job and won’t dictate how we do things or make us change our approach)
  • They will enable us to be the best we can be; providing more opportunities for professional development and the chance to collaborate with others schools to share our practice and learn from others

Before reaching the decision to move forwards with LiHT we have carried out a huge amount of research of Trusts across and beyond London; all of which has been shared and discussed with governors and school leaders. We all agree that LiHT is a great match for New North.

The enclosed leaflet provides you with more information about the Learning in Harmony Trust, and also provides some practical information about what this will actually mean to us here at New North. Please do read this through.

We have also identified some dates for ‘Drop Ins’ so that you can come and talk with us and have any further questions answered. If you have questions that you’d like answering face to face, please do come to one of these sessions.

Date Time What? Where Who’ll be available to talk to
Thursday 23rd May 8.40am – 9.30am Drop In sessions for all families to have questions answered All families

Garnet Class

Mr Gary Wilkie – CEO of Learning in Harmony

NNA Governor representatives

Senior Leaders from NNA – Miss Percy, Mrs Sharp, Mrs Thomas & Mr Dunn

2.45am – 3.45pm Drop In sessions for all families to have questions answered All families

Garnet Class

Mr Gary Wilkie – CEO of Learning in Harmony

Senior Leaders from NNA – Miss Percy, Mrs Sharp, Mrs Thomas & Mr Dunn

Friday 24th May 8.40am – 9.30am NNA staff and governors available All families

Playground / Main reception area

NNA Staff – Miss Percy, Mrs Sharp, Mrs Thomas, Mrs Riese, Nimira Lalji

NNA Governor representatives

3.15pm – 4.00pm Drop In sessions EYFS / KS1

Ruby class

Mrs Thomas, Mrs Riese and Miss Sibuns

NNA Governor representatives

KS2 (Yrs 3-6)

Opal class

Mrs Sharp, Mr Dunn and Miss Percy

NNA Governor representatives

If you are unable to drop in to any of the opportunities above you are very welcome to email any thoughts or questions to us using the following address Admin@newnorthacademy.com  To make sure we are able to answer them appropriately, we’d ask that you are in touch before Tuesday 21st May. Should you choose to email, we will ensure that you receive a response and will also publish a Questions and Answers document on our website no later than the 24th May.

I am confident that families will trust NNA staff and governors enough to know that we are very committed to the success of our school and this change gives us the confidence to secure our future.

There will of course be questions to answer so that families are fully aware and reassured of the changes to come – this is important. We do hope though that the documents enclosed offer a good background of information and starting point for you to think about what this will mean for your child/children.

Yours sincerely,

Julie Horten                                                        Nicola Percy

Chair of Governors                                            Headteacher