Since June 2013, Manor School has been part of the Didcot OPEN Academy Trust, in partnership with:
Ladygrove Park Primary School
Willowcroft Community Primary School
"Working together to provide an outstanding education for all our children."
The trust is named OPEN – Oxfordshire Primary Education Network. The decision to convert was founded in a belief in the "School Led System" as an alternative to maintenance by a local authority which is now forced to focus on schools in categories. Within the trust, each school retains its autonomy and its own budget but has signed a partnership agreement with the other schools which states that the schools will "work together and support each other by establishing the Trust to raise standards across the Schools and improve achievement levels." Each OPEN school is accountable to its own governing body but also to the trust itself. The timetable of activities for the first year of operation has included peer inspections (one day monitoring visits by OPEN headteachers and senior leaders to each other schools following the Ofsted schedule), peer to peer headteacher support for headteacher appraisal, termly joint staff meetings, SLT, SENCo and EYFS meetings and the opportunity for all teachers to observe teaching in another OPEN school.
Benefits of being an academy:
- A commitment to raising pupil achievement at Manor School through the sharing of best practice teaching expertise across all schools in the Umbrella Trust.
- Additional funding being available to support the Governing Body's commitment to small classes throughout the school.
- The development of additional outdoor positive play areas.
- The potential for Manor School to set its own curriculum to meet the Trust's objective of 'an outstanding education for all pupils'.
The umbrella trust will provide challenge and support for Manor School as well as replacing some of the functions of the Local Authority. The five schools will keep their own independence but will also commit to working together to improve teaching and learning in all schools. We are excited about the next stage of our school's journey and promise to keep you well-informed at each stage.
There is plenty of information 'out there' on Academies – in the media, the web etc. We are keen to hear your views. We have set up a dedicated email account and will respond to your comments, or you can just catch Governors in the playground for a chat as many of you do now. Mr Hawkins is also happy to make himself available to answer any queries.
You are welcome to email, drop a note or letter into the Office or speak to us personally.