Two Dudley schools to leave authority control

Monday, 29 January 2024 16:28

By Martyn Smith, Local Democracy Reporter

Dudley Council has approved the conversion of two primary schools to academies which means they will leave local authority control.

Gig Mill Primary school in Norton has been given the go-ahead to join Hales Valley Trust which currently operates five schools in the borough.

The draft decision by Cllr Ruth Buttery, cabinet member for Children’s Services, means the school, which has an Autism Spectrum Disorder Unit, is expected to transfer on March 1.

The change will affect a total of 91 staff including 32 teachers who will transfer with their current pay, conditions and pensions to the academy. The school is expected to have an operating surplus of £33,000 for the year which will be paid to the new academy. The school was rated good at its Ofsted inspection in 2020.

Withymoor Primary School in Brierley Hill is also moving to the Hales Valley Trust after draft approval was granted by the council. The school will also make the change on March 1 and 58 staff will join the academy trust.

In a joint statement for parents during the consultation process on the change, school head Alison Wooton and chair of governors, Heather Hughes, said:

“The leadership team have seen first-hand the high levels of support that schools receive after joining Hales Valley and also recognise the opportunities to further improve teaching and learning by collaboration and partnership that joining the trust would bring. 

“We have found that they share our approach to the education and welfare of pupils.”

Withymoor, was rated good by Ofsted in 2020 and has a current forecast operating surplus of £2,000.

The Hales Valley Trust was formed in 2017 at Lutley Primary School in Halesowen and has since added Lapal Primary School, Hurst Hill Primary School, Priory Primary School and Woodside Primary School and Nursery.


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