Primary Alliance for Collaborative Engagement (PACE)
As a head teacher, I have come to realise how important it is that I work in partnership with other head teachers - in other schools, in order to gain the very best for the children. I have been working very closely with 7 head teachers over the past 5 years, some of whom are incredibly experienced and I have learned a lot from them! Due to increasing budget cuts within local authorities, the Government expects schools to work more collaboratively with each other, in sharing: expertise, support and resources - which is what we have done over this time; we have developed a very strong partnership. We have called our partnership – PACE, and the schools involved are: William Bellamy, Grafton, Five Elms, Becontree, Valence, Henry Green, Southwood and of course Gascoigne.
As this collaboration has been very successful, the schools within this partnership have been working with their Governing Bodies and the Local Authority in deciding how we formalise this arrangement so that the good, work we have achieved so far, may continue. Other schools across the country, you may have read about, have been forced into becoming academies and we all agree that we would prefer not to be put in this position.
The Governing Bodies and Local Authority are in agreement that the best way forward for PACE would be by establishing a ‘Trust’. Trust status links the schools together through an agreement to work in collaboration for the improvement of the schools within the Trust. It would enable us to share good practice in teaching, to share some joint costs enabling us to purchase resources we would not be able to afford alone and to access funding, which the Government will only release to schools that have a formal collaborative agreement in place.
Under Trust Status, the direction of each school would remain in the hands of the Local Authority, Governors and Head Teacher just as it does now – nothing will change.
This letter is to advise parents of the proposal to move to Trust status. The Local Authority is considering applying for DfE final approval for 1st March 2016 so that the 8 schools would formally exist as a Trust from 1st April 2016.
Please be assured that the Governing Body and I will continue to ensure our children receive the best education and opportunities possible and that they continue to attend a school they can feel proud of; this exciting development will support us in these aims.
Please feel free to speak with me about this further should you need to.