Headlines: May 15th, 2007



The 69 pathfinder schools piloting the Trust model have been joined in the last six months by a further 140 secondary and special schools. This is double the number of applicants that were expected.

Trusts offer schools greater opportunity to create their own distinct ethos and strategic direction, working with partners and communities. They are similar to existing foundation schools, but are supported by a charitable foundations or ‘Trust’. The Trust holds the school’s land on trust for the school, the governing body employs staff and set admission arrangements. Trust schools must adhere to the National Curriculum and the School Teachers’ Pay & Conditions. They part of the local authority family of schools.

Organisations currently signed up to partner the pathfinder schools and strengthen their leadership include Barnado’s, Microsoft, the Co-operative Group, Unilever, Dyslexia Action and a range of FE colleges and universities.

The Department for Education and Skills will help with set up costs and schools who are interested in pursuing Trust status can apply for funding up to 10,000 pounds to support them through the process.

The DfEE has published a new Prospectus for 400 Academies, intended for potential sponsors, schools and local authorities. It sets out how academies can raise aspirations and transform the life chances of young people in some of the most disadvantaged communities in England. There will be more than 80 Academies open in 51 local authorities by September 2007, with a further 50 projected to open in September 2008.

The new Academies Prospectus sets out the achievements of the Academy programme so far and also points to future trends in its further development. As part of the expansion of the number of Academies the Prospectus sets out a variety of models. They include academy federations, where successful schools work with weaker schools to raise standards, Independent schools becoming Academies and local authorities planning multiple academy programmes.