Monday 2 October 2023
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County council leases a Rushcliffe primary school land to academy trust

Nottinghamshire County Council has signed off on a land transfer as a Rushcliffe primary school becomes an academy.

Langar Church of England Primary School, on Barnstone Road, Langar, will join the Aspire Multi-Academy Trust after the transfer of the school land was agreed upon.

It follows the school being graded ‘inadequate’ by education watchdog Ofsted in July 2022, before overturning the grading to be rated as ‘good’ in March.

The watchdog initially found issues with safeguarding, bullying and leaders’ ambitions for children.

The school was told its quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development and early years provision ‘requires improvement’.

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Its leadership and management was, however, graded as ‘inadequate’ in the July 2022 report, leading to its ‘overall effectiveness’ also being viewed as inadequate.

However, following changes at the school, the watchdog revisited the Barnstone Road site earlier this year and found a “rapidly improving, inclusive and welcoming” school.

The quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, leadership and management and early years provision were all re-graded as ‘good’.

Pupils’ personal development was viewed by the watchdog as ‘outstanding’, and overall, the updated grading for the school was ‘good’.

But in a letter to parents, the school says its initial inadequate grading meant it was ordered by the Government to convert to academy status.

Becoming an academy means the school is no longer maintained by the local authority and will be controlled by an education trust.

The schools still receive public funding but this comes directly from the Government, rather than from the council.

And in the letter, headteacher Emily Brown said the Ofsted re-grading did not stop the process of the school becoming an academy

She said the school received its academy orders in October 2022 following the first Ofsted report, meaning a lot of the next steps were “taken out of our hands”.

She said: “The outcome of our Ofsted inspection in July 2022 meant the school was ordered by the [Department for Education] to join a Multi Academy Trust.

“Some of the normal processes, such as consultations with staff and stakeholders, [were] bypassed.

“We had another Ofsted inspection in March 2023, in which the work we had done following the last inspection, as well as the good practice that was well-established, was recognised and praised.

“That inspection graded us as good. However, this does not stop the academisation process that was already underway by then.”

Ms Brown went on to tell parents that changes to the school through getting academy status will bring “little change” to them, their children and the community.

This included no uniform changes or plans to “deviate from the conditions of employment for staff”.

And Kate Watson, CEO of the Aspire Trust, said: “We are really looking forward to working more closely with Langar C of E Primary School.

“[We] are excited by the opportunities such a friendly, vibrant and forward-looking school will bring to our Multi-academy Trust.”

The conversion means Nottinghamshire County Council will no longer oversee the school – opening the door for its grounds to be handed over to trust bosses.

This was made official on May 26 when Derek Higton, a senior council officer at the authority, approved a delegated decision to lease the school land to Aspire in a 125-year agreement.

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