Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust (BDAT) looks set to grow to nine schools in 2016 following two more academy orders being issued by the Secretary of State.
Following local consultation and an application to the Department of Education and Diocese, Westminster Primary school in Undercliffe and Oxenhope Primary school have been given the green light to move forward with their academy conversions and will open as new academies in July this year. Both Church of England schools have opted to join BDAT, the local diocesan multi-academy Trust set up in 2012.
Speaking of the rationale for the move Chair of Governors at Oxenhope Jo Wright said “Governors spent a number of months exploring the options for academisation and consulting with staff, parents and community partners. We firmly believe the move to academy status within a Trust which shares our values, our ethos and our ambitions for our children is the right next step for the future of Oxenhope school. We have had educational support from BDAT in the past and we look forward to more collaborative working within the Trust.”
Rob Freeth, Head Teacher at Westminster Primary also expressed his delight in receiving the Academy order stating “If you had asked me two years or even 12 months ago I would have openly told you becoming an academy was not the right move for Westminster. However having worked closely with BDAT and the other schools within the Trust for most of 2015-16, I can hand on heart confirm the benefits of this partnership for both the school and our students. As a good school Westminster can bring capacity and strengths to BDAT and also access support and guidance where and when we need it”.
Westminster and Oxenhope are the 7th and 8th schools to gain academy orders within BDAT. They join three other primary schools and two secondary schools who are already open Academies within the Trust. In addition, Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College received an academy order to convert earlier in the year and Belle Vue Girls Academy are currently in the process of applying to move from a standalone academy to open as a BDAT academy later this year.
The Trust, which supports both Church and non-Church schools, has grown steadily since 2012 and remains committed to consolidating and balancing growth rather than rapid expansion. Four of the five schools seeking to join BDAT this year are Ofsted Good “schools” selected as being able to add strength and capacity to the Trust family of schools.