Paston Sixth Form College and North Walsham High School have announced that they are working together on a proposal to create a multi-academy trust (MAT) with East Norfolk College in Gorleston and Flegg High in Martham.
The four institutions will be going through detailed discussions and planning before submitting a proposal to the Department for Education. Once this proposal is accepted, there will be a formal period of consultation by each school. It is hoped that the proposed MAT will be in operation for the beginning of the 2016/17 academic year.
Paston College and East Norfolk College have already announced they are in discussions about a proposed merger. Now the colleges and schools have been in discussion about raising standards through GCSE level to A-levels, as well as vocational qualifications.
The education leaders and governors of all four feel that close collaboration will offer parents and local employers a high quality option to develop the skills needed in the future.
Whilst the exact details of the structure of the new MAT has not been finalised, it is envisaged that each college and school will retain a board of local governors to ensure local accountability.
North Walsham High chair of governors at Alex Robinson said: “The governors at North Walsham High School have spent the last three months looking in detail at the options for partnerships with other providers which will benefit our students. The scale and influence of Paston College and East Norfolk, which both offer high quality teaching in many subjects, will inspire students and staff and create a sustainable local solution for our community.”
Kevin Grieve, principal at Paston College, said: “Together we all share an ambition to accelerate improvements in education using local expertise. We hope to work with like-minded colleagues and extend the proposed trust to include primary schools and more high schools. Most schools need to find economies of scale whilst keeping close to their communities. Our plans will do just that.”