‘Aspire not to have more but to be more.’
St Mary’s Catholic Primary Schools Trust
Thursday 9th June 2022
Dear St Mary’s Families,
I hope you are all keeping well.
I am writing on behalf of the Trustees of St Mary’s Catholic Primary Schools Trust to advise you that we are entering into a consultation process to form a larger Multi Academy Trust with other Catholic primary schools in Croydon. You may well be aware that the Government is encouraging all schools to consider forming Multi Academy Trusts. For the past 7 Years, our small Multi Academy Trust has worked successfully but, after careful consideration and in discussion with the Diocese, the Governors and Trustees of our school have decided that they wish to explore conversion to form a new Multi Academy Trust along with St Chad’s Catholic Primary School, Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School, St James the Great Catholic Primary School, Margaret Roper Catholic Primary School and St Thomas Becket Catholic Primary School.
As a small Multi Academy Trust already, this will not entail any major changes to the structure of our individual schools as both St Mary’s Infant and Junior Schools became academies in 2015. Joining the larger Multi Academy Trust will simply formalise the informal partnership we have enjoyed as part of the Croydon Catholic Primary Umbrella Trust for many years.
What are the advantages of conversion?
The Government is clear that the greater freedoms enjoyed by larger Multi Academy Trusts are designed to allow schools to develop and to build on individual strengths in response to the needs of the community. We feel that the additional freedoms and flexibilities would enable the us to better secure the long-term future of our schools. It is very clear that the Secretary of State for Education, along with the Archbishop, Rev John Wilson, have a vision that all schools will form Multi Academy Trusts in the future, and by acting now, we believe our schools will be best able to shape the direction of the Multi Academy Trust we wish to join.
In addition to this we believe that the formal partnership with the schools named above will have a number of benefits for all our schools. This includes a more targeted approach to the long-term future of the schools, strengthening our Catholic identity, pooling resources which will improve teaching and management practice within our schools as well as a greater control of our finances and better management of these for the benefit of children attending our schools.
Specific educational benefits will include the ability to act as a group of schools to achieve best value in selecting the learning support that our children require; for instance, in procuring specialist professional services such as Educational Psychologists, greater flexibility to offer high-quality professional development to all our staff, drawing on the best practice of all our schools, as well as ensuring that through co-ordinated purchasing for normal day to day running costs we achieve greater economies of scale.
Will any changes to the Schools be made as a result of conversion?
We do not intend to make any major changes to our schools and the way they are run, led and managed. We see it as vitally important to all our schools that they maintain their specific identity and character. The schools in the Trust will continue to function as individual schools serving our parish communities. There are no proposals to change the names of any of the schools, nor to change uniforms, admission arrangements or the general management and planning of the school day for our children and students. The name of the new Multi Academy Trust will be the Apostle Trust.
Please be assured that the unique religious character, ethos and values of our schools would remain unchanged.
I personally believe that this is the best way to secure a successful future for our schools and to protect Catholic primary education in Croydon. After 15 happy years as Headteacher of the Infant School and 7 Years as Executive Headteacher of the Junior school, I have however reached the end of my career and so I will be retiring at the end of the school year and handing over the reins to a new senior leadership team who will take the school forward.
Mr McDonald will continue to lead the Junior School as Head of School within the new Multi Academy Trust and Miss Mitchell will be taking over at the Infant School as Head of School supported by Mrs Loughlin as Deputy Head. I will continue to support the Infant School for two days a week as a consultant to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Mrs Pears, the Deputy Headteacher of the Infant School will also will retiring at the end of term after 22 years of dedicated service to St Mary’s. We would both like to invite you to a celebration Mass on 14th July at 10.30 in the Junior School Playground.
Questions and further Information regarding the new Multi Academy Trust
We have opened a page on our Fronter secure website with frequently asked questions about Multi Academy Trusts and there will also be a questions box where you can ask any questions you may have regarding the new Trust.
Executive Headteacher/ CEO