Whinfield Primary School joins Education Village Academy Trust

Whinfield Headteacher Shirley Welsh and EVAT chief executive Mike Butler

STAFF and pupils at a high-performing primary school are looking forward to an exciting future after joining forces with one of the most successful trusts in the region.

Whinfield Primary School has converted into an academy and become a member of the Education Village Academy Trust.

EVAT comprises Haughton Academy, Gurney Pease Academy, Springfield Academy, Marchbank Free School and Beaumont Hill Academy which, like Whinfield Primary School, are all rated Good by Ofsted.

The Trust has also just been selected by the Government’s Department for Education (DfE) to develop and build a brand-new centre for children with autism, which will be called The Garden Village School.

Whinfield Primary School has 467 pupils and 50 staff and has been successfully serving the local community since the 1970s.

The schools have worked collaboratively for many years on an informal basis and now has decided to formalise the partnership.

EVAT chief executive Mike Butler said: “I am delighted that many years of collaboration, based on shared values and a shared ethos, have led us to this momentous occasion. Every year, the significant majority of Whinfield’s oldest children move on to Haughton Academy, so joining together will benefit enormously year 6-7 transition and provide even greater continuity in children’s learning.

“Whinfield Primary School children will continue to be able to use facilities at the Education Village, and staff in all the schools will benefit from joint continuous professional development and sharing best practice with each other.”

Headteacher Shirley Welsh said: “This is an exciting time for the school. We are looking forward to the mutual benefit of working together, allowing the wealth of expertise across Whinfield and the Education Village Academy Trust to combine to provide the best possible education for the children in all of our schools.”

The economies of scale of a larger organisation mean more of the school’s funding will be available for teaching and learning resources in the future.

The school applied to the DfE last year for academy status, the request went out for public consultation, and permission has just been granted to join EVAT, with Whinfield leaving local authority control.

The governing education standards committee will continue to focus on outcomes, quality of teaching and the pupils’ learning experience.

EVAT will respect each school’s individuality and unique character, so Whinfield will retain its existing uniform, website and IT systems.


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