Court Farm confirms intention to join BPT

Court Farm Primary will hopefully become the latest addition to a growing community of schools that forms Broadleaf Partnership Trust.

After a consultation period involving staff, parents and other stakeholders, all parties have agreed to move forward with the process, that will now see full due diligence undertaken and a formal application to the Department for Education.

Chair of Governors Dawn Edwards says it’s the best decision to secure the future of the school:

“We had a lot of opportunities to join academies previously that we felt weren’t the right fit for this school, but we do feel that Broadleaf matches the values that we have at Court Farm and they know just how incredibly important this school is for the local area. I live in the local area, all of my children attended here, I passionately believe it’s vitally important that we support this school to stay where it is in the local community.

I think it’s got a lot to offer, from where it’s come from to where it is now; how we’ve moved forward over the years and the opportunities that the children get here; the education we provide and what we’re putting in place for the children, it’s about providing the best experiences we can possibly give.”

One of the key aspects for joining with Broadleaf Partnership Trust has been an assurance of retaining leadership and knowledge at a local level, whilst fully integrating into the Trust. Dawn Edwards says its important parents/carers know nothing will change for them on a daily basis:

“We want to keep our identity; the school will still be run by the headteacher. It’s just the bigger picture and the bigger situations that take a lot of time, that we need extra support with. The signs may change but what gets put into this school, the passion, the professionalism, that won’t change.”

Headteacher Mrs Madeleine Bromley says the level of support Broadleaf will provide will be invaluable to helping focus efforts on the children:

“We’re entering a family and I’m really excited for the new chapter in this schools journey, I’ve been with the school for 17 years and I’m very proud to have built it to where it is now, and I’m very proud particularly of the staff who have a dedication to our community and our children.

Having access to and a close working relationship with the other schools in the trust will be hugely beneficial. The secondary schools will be very important to help us understand how our children transition into bigger schools and they can help us with specialist teaching because we don’t have the kind of facilities and specialist teachers they do in things like foreign languages and science.

We can offer them a wealth of experience within our staff on working with children with SEMH and SEND needs and I can see huge advantages in sharing our good curriculum practice across the trust.

This is the best possible next step. We are going to be well supported; there is a depth and wealth of experience within this trust that can help me dedicate more time to the care and welfare of the children who come here. I just feel like having those strong hands of support around me will be brilliant.”

Broadleaf Chief Executive Claire Pritchard says everyone within the trust is delighted Court Farm have taken the decision to press ahead with joining the partnership:

“We have built our trust on sharing expertise, working together and growing together. Court Farm will be a wonderful addition to the trust that will bring so much knowledge and passion to our community of schools.

During the consultation process I have been so encouraged and enthused by the passion and values of everyone involved, we share a common aim to serve our communities and the people within them and we are stronger together.”

An application has been submitted to the DfE Advisory Board, with legal agreements to follow if an ‘Academy Order’ is granted.

Claire Pritchard says they are hopeful Court Farm will officially be part of Broadleaf Partnership Trust sometime later this year:

“We cannot predict exactly how long this part of the process will take, but we’ve put everything in place to move forward quickly and show why this is the best decision for all parties. Once the ‘Academy Order’ is granted we can start the transition process with the council and we’ll make sure all staff and parents/carers are aware what’s happening.”

Chair of Governors Dawn Edwards says they are aware nothing is definite yet, but they are committed to moving forwards together:

“The reality is the needs of the school are getting bigger and we have to secure its future. It’s a long process, we’ve been very open and transparent. We’ve consulted everyone and communication channels will be kept open. There are processes we have to go through and every time we get to a new level we’ll make everyone aware, it’s a journey, not a guaranteed one, but everyone is part of it.”

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