Three Leighton schools look to join forces in multi-academy trust move

Brooklands and Gilbert Inglefield Middle Schools and Vandyke Upper School pupils
Brooklands and Gilbert Inglefield Middle Schools and Vandyke Upper School pupils

Governors at three Leighton Buzzard schools have announced plans to form a multi-academy trust (MAT) and are consulting parents on their proposals.

Brooklands and Gilbert Inglefield Middle Schools and Vandyke Upper School are already academies and say they plan to come together to “strengthen further their practice and provision”.

The three schools are all rated ‘Good’ by OFSTED. They would each retain their own local governing body and headteacher, and establish an over-arching trust board to set the overall strategic direction and take on some management functions.

In a joint statement the three headteachers, Julie Hodgson, Rachel Swaffield and Tim Carroll said: “This is an exciting development and one that our three schools firmly believe will help to drive the continued improvement in teaching and learning, pupils’ experience of school and their outcomes.

“We have high expectations of our pupils and are focused on pupils achieving great outcomes. We are aiming for ‘Outstanding’ and believe that by working more closely together we can strengthen leadership, share best practice, tackle challenges together and work more efficiently.”

The heads continued: “Our schools are outward-looking, working well with our local partner schools across the phases and this will continue. We hope that the success of this model will encourage other schools in time to join us.

“Our governing bodies have worked together to reach this point and staff and parents have been involved in that process. Now we want to hear from parents directly about this before deciding on making an application to establish the MAT.”

A consultation document is available on each school’s website along with details of meetings for parents. The schools also welcome the views of other interested parties in the town.