About the Trust
Outer West Learning Trust (OWL Trust)
The Outer West Learning Trust (OWL Trust) is currently a formal partnership between eleven Outer West school namely: Beech Hill Primary, Lemington Riverside Primary, Milecastle Primary, Newburn Manor Primary, Simonside Primary, Throckley Primary, Walbottle Campus, Walbottle Village Primary, Waverley Primary, West Denton Primary and Westerhope Primary and Newcastle Local Authority, Northumbria University, Tyne & Wear Museums and Greggs. We are proposing that Knop Law Primary School becomes a foundation school and a formal member of the Outer West Learning Trust.
This information sheet provides a summary of the full Consultation Booklet 1 which is available from the school office and on our website www.knoplaw.newcastle.sch.uk. A second booklet which gives answers to frequently asked questions is also available on our school website. A questionnaire is attached so that you can share your views about the proposal and needs to be returned to school by noon Friday 22nd April 2016.
The consultation process.
The consultation is open to everyone who might be affected by the proposed changes: parents/cares, pupils, staff, governors, potential partners, the wider community.
The process we need to go through:
- Knop Law Governing Body undertakes an informal consultation process about becoming a member of the Outer West Learning Trust with all stakeholders (pupils, parents, staff, governors and other members of the community).This runs for 4 weeks from Monday 21st March to Friday 22nd April (12 noon)
- The Governing Body considers the outcomes of the consultation (22nd April -24th April).
- Governing Bodies draw up revised proposals if needed, and hold another consultation period on revised proposals.
- If no changes are made, the Governing Bodies will issue a Statutory Notice about proposals to become a Trust.
- Governing Bodies would then consider any response to the Statutory Notices and make a final decision about whether to proceed or not. (8 June 2016)
- Any schools deciding to proceed work through employment and land and buildings legalities.
- Proposed date for becoming a formal member of the Outer West Learning Trust is 1st July 2016.
Current Partnerships and Membership of the Outer West Learning Trust
The Outer West Learning Trust has been working successfully together as a formal trust partnership for two years and has considerably enhanced the education of children and its community. For more information log on to www.outerwestlearningtrust.co.uk. We believe that by joining the trust we can considerably enhance the opportunities and educational experiences of the children, staff and community at Knop Law
Education in England is changing rapidly with much of the change related to school governance and the changing role of the Local Authority (LA) which has significantly reduced the LA’s influence in many areas of education. In this environment the Governors of Knop Law Primary School believe that there is a real advantage in our school developing a closer and stronger collaborative relationship with the schools in the Outer West Learning Trust.
Our joint membership of the Outer West Learning Trust will mean that our excellent practice will continue. Our Governing Body and school leaders will continue to have the same responsibilities for the education of the children as now. We also believe that being a formal partner in the Outer West Learning Trust will further enhance the quality of education and care that our children now receive.
Vision and Values of the Outer West Learning Trust
By strengthening our current partnership with the Outer West Learning Trust we believe we will improve opportunities and enable every learner to achieve their best.
The specific focus of the Outer West Learning Trust is to build a shared learning community in which children, young people, staff, parents and other partners discover their talents, realise their potential, and develop a passion for learning that endures through their lives. The vision of the trust is to ensure that:
Our children will:
- be inspired to be people of character with a lasting passion for learning,
- develop an enduring core of competencies and values,
- have the capabilities to thrive in the 21st Century globalised world,
- experience a safe and joyful childhood.
All schools in the Outer West Learning Trust will:
- have high quality staff who have excellent opportunities for development
- provide a stimulating, relevant and enjoyable curriculum,
- create a learning environment that shares and reflects best practice and current educational research,
- cultivate every child's skills, enabling them to realise tomorrow’s dreams
- work with families and the wider community to enable the best outcomes for children and young people
The Outer West Learning Trust works in a way which espouses the values of self help, self responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. The Trust endeavours at all times to be honest and open and show social responsibility and caring for others.
The Trust works hard to deepen, extend and build sustainability of our partnership working so as to drive further improvements in standards and increase opportunities for pupils, staff and families.
What is a Trust School?
A Trust school is a Local Authority maintained school which is supported by a Trust. Trusts can be set up by individual schools or groups of schools and usually involve collaboration with partners.
If we became a Trust school what would change and what would remain the same?
Stay the same:
- Each school would continue to have its own Governing Body which would still be responsible for the school including the maintenance of the buildings.
- The schools would continue to teach the National Curriculum, follow the schools Admissions Code and be inspected by Ofsted. They would still receive funding from the Local Authority and be part of the Newcastle family of schools.
- Staff will be employed on the same terms and conditions.
- Each Governing Body would be the employer of the staff instead of the Local Authority.
- The buildings and grounds of each school would be held by the Trust rather than the Local Authority.
- The Trust would be responsible for appointing two governors to each school Governing Body.
If so much would stay the same why are we considering changing?
- The main reason is that we think that becoming a member of the trust will establish closer collaboration between ourselves and the trust partners which will ensure we are able to be even more effective in bringing about improvements in our own and partner schools to the benefit of the children.
- Through the purchasing power of the Trust we can create economies of scale that would enable us to get more from our budgets.
- As the Trust is a charitable organisation we would also be eligible to bid for funds which schools are not allowed to access.
- The partners bring high quality input and expertise working with the Trust Board and its schools which they are unable to offer to individual institutions.
- In the fast changing world of education being a formal member of the Outer West Learning Trust would enable Knop Law Primary School to be a full an active partner I the trust who would work with partners to ensure that the schools are well placed to embrace new challenges e.g. formation of a multi academy trust