Ratton School to become Trust

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RATTON governors have unanimously voted to opt out of local authority control and turn the school into a trust.

The school in Park Avenue will be the first in the town to become a trust school.

It is expected to happen on April 1 and Peter Lindsey, chairman of the governors at Ratton, says it has the full support of East Sussex County Council.

The decision was taken by the governors last Tuesday evening (January 18) after 18 months of planning which included two public consultation periods.

Eleven people responded to the second consultation and expressed concerns but the governors decided becoming charitable trust would improve the school.

As a trust, Ratton School’s governing body will become the employer, it will have control over admissions and own the land of the school.

It will also have six partners which have been named as St Bede’s, Brighton and Hove FC, Drusillas, Southern Water, EPIC e-learning and MacColvilles chartered surveyors.

Mr Lindsey said, “The governing body sees this as a massive opportunity to take Ratton School forward and enhance the educational journey of our students.

“We have become a trust for two main reasons - to form long-term relationships with six key partners, and to increase the leadership and governance skills.”

Although becoming a trust will give Ratton more control, Mr Lindsey said the school is not planning any changes in these areas at this stage.

He added, “We are looking at our partners and improving the skills available from within the community.

“Ratton was judged as good by Ofsted last year, but we want to be outstanding and to do that the governing body believes we need to take a huge, positive step forward.

“We are very popular in terms of pupil numbers, and also have a wonderful reputation in terms of the performing arts we offer.

“During the consultation periods, we communicated with our major stakeholders, including MP Stephen Lloyd, the county council, staff, parents and pupils.

“We did have 11 people respond to the second consultation expressing concern. But the governing body is clear - trust status is great news for the Ratton School community.”