Orford Church of England Primary School, near Aldeburgh, and Wilby Church of England Primary School, near Eye, come under wing of The Tilian Partnership after academy conversion
Two religious schools have expressed excitement to be under the wing of an education trust after their conversion into academies.
Orford Church of England Primary School, near Aldeburgh, and Wilby Church of England Primary School, near Eye, are now under the management of The Tilian Partnership.
Both schools became academies on December 1 – with the trust’s chief executive welcoming staff, pupils and families.
Andrew Berry, from The Tilian Partnership, said: “We are delighted that these very strong schools have decided to join The Tilian Partnership.
“By working together, they recognise how the high quality school improvement and other services offered by the MAT will further benefit their children, whilst allowing their schools to retain their identity and autonomy.”
Gemma Cannon, the acting headteacher of the Orford school, revealed she was proud to be part of something ‘bigger’.
She said the school’s governors were keen to have it as a standalone primary for the long-term.
This comes after three unsuccessful partnerships in the past decade.
Ms Cannon said: “Our parents are very proud of what Orford has to offer its pupils and value the bespoke curriculum in particular.
“Tilian offered us all of the benefits of being in a multi-academy trust (MAT), including collaboration, support, partnerships, shared resources, whilst allowing us to continue delivering all that we do.
“The trust expressed no ambition to become large and corporate, which the governors were keen to avoid.”
Ms Cannon said the trust’s Christian ethos aligned with the school’s own, and its values of autonomy, integrity and partnership fulfilled its wishes for a partnership.
She added: “Upon meeting the team, their positive and supportive approach to school improvement meant the choice was unanimous.
“It offered useful and impactful up-front advice, support and shared practice before joining which aided the whole school’s improvement, and reinforced our thinking that this was the correct choice for us.
“As a new head leading a school with an impending Ofsted inspection, knowing that one of the team was at the end of the phone with reassurance, practical advice and solutions which can be easily implemented in a small school was invaluable.”
Meanwhile, Roisin Wiseman, the headteacher of Wilby’s primary school, said that joining a tight-knit network meant support was never far away.
Tilian’s ‘school improvement’ team have been working with and offering training to Ms Wiseman and her staff.
She said that school staff may fear joining MAT due to concerns a school could lose its autonomy – but this was not the case with Tilian.
Ms Wiseman added: “The Trust models excellence, so that we are supported to challenge good current practice and aspire for outstanding provision.
“While the trust offers operational guidance and advice, we will still maintain the integrity and independence of our school—we feel that our unique identity is highly valued and encouraged.
“Against a rapidly changing educational background, where bespoke and sustained support is increasingly difficult to procure, it’s such a relief to feel that we are no longer alone. Being part of Tilian we now feel protected and strengthened and even more excited for the future.”