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Herons' moor students, classroom photo

What Are Academies?

We understand that with all the different guidance available, it can be a little confusing if you’re unfamiliar with academies and academisation.

We believe that academies are an exciting opportunity for schools and all their students. They offer more opportunities to work together to bring about school improvement and better outcomes for students at all phases of education.

So, why is an academy different?

Whereas in the past all state schools came under the control of the local education authority, an academy is a school that is funded directly by central government, and is therefore independent of the local authority (LA).

This independence grants academies more power to run the school how they see fit – which is a great opportunity for schools whose needs aren’t being met by the LA. This includes deciding term times, the length of the school day, the ability to develop their own curriculum and to prioritise where to spend their money. Ultimately being an academy means more flexibility and autonomy.

The majority of academies are part of multi-academy trusts (MATs), like Inspirational Futures Trust (IFT). These trusts provide support and advice for academies, including expertise in specialist areas, such as budgeting.

Won’t my child’s school lose its identity in a MAT?

Absolutely not, especially not as part of IFT. Each academy that is part of our Trust still maintains its individuality, having its own headteacher and governing board.

Ultimately, a lot of the power still remains with the school, more so than schools under LA control. The role of the MAT is providing their expertise to each individual academy based on their needs and aims.

Having multiple academies under one trust provides a unique opportunity to also receive advice from other academies and share successes.

We celebrate the individuality of all our academies and want them to achieve outstanding, so we are here to support them in any way that they need.

D of E 60th Anniversary Celebrations

Monday 16th May Christopher Sammons Headteacher and Mike Parsons D of E Programme Manager, attended the Duke of Edinburgh 60th Anniversary Celebrations at Buckingham Palace.  St Katherine’s School was invited to attend by the Duke of Edinburgh as it is a D of E ‘directly licensed centre’.

More than 1,000 young people were presented with their awards by around 60 celebrities including Anna Friel, Ben Cohen and Ronan Keating alongside Prince Philip and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Mr Sammons and Mr Parsons had tea at Buckingham Palace and met the Duke of Edinburgh who was appreciative of the hard work that has been invested in the scheme and were given a plaque by BBC’s Naga Munchetty.

Ashya is our champion!

Huge congratulations to Ashya Gray from Year 8 who won bronze for his long jump at the Sportshall UK Championship held in Manchester on April 16th.

Ashya jumped an astounding 2m 56cm and equalled the silver medal distance but was awarded bronze based on countback.  Ashya is the third best indoor long jumper in the whole of the UK in his age category.

This is a phenomenal individual achievement for a hugely talented athlete, well done Ashya!