Dear Stakeholder,

After several months of discussions, visits and explorations of potential partnerships we are pleased to announce that Combe Martin Primary School, as part of the South West Schools’ Federation, St Helen’s Church of England (VA) Primary School and The Tarka Federation are proposing to form a Multi Academy Trust this academic year.

We believe that this opportunity offers clear benefits to the communities of all of the schools, in terms of learning opportunities for children, high quality training and professional development for staff, and the ability to share skills, knowledge and resources as appropriate across the Multi Academy Trust. It is on this basis that we want to pursue this partnership, and ensure our schools are both sustainable and, through collaboration, are able to continue to deliver the best possible outcomes for children.

St. Helen’s and South West Schools’ Federation (SWSF) have had an effective working relationship for five years, and this shared working has been extended to The Tarka Federation schools through the Management Partnership with St. Helen’s. Relationships between The Tarka Federation and SWSF have also been developed through the collaboration of Woolacombe National Support and Teaching School with The Tarka Federation.

The founding of this proposed partnership is not driven by a designated catchment area but by a shared vision for, and commitment to, education and learning for all pupils and staff in our six schools. Part of this vision is respect for the unique character of each school. This means the Christian Distinctiveness and ethos of the Church Schools will not in any way be diluted through the proposed formation of this MAT and the unique features and culture of the Community schools will be respected and reflect our commitment to the local community.

We are writing to advise you that we will be starting the formal consultation process and, as such, this letter marks the start of this process.

The Governing Bodies of St Helen’s Church of England (VA) Primary School, South West Schools’ Federation and The Tarka Federation, have passed resolutions proposing to form a Multi Academy Trust during the 17/18 academic year.

How you can contribute to this consultation:

There are a number of ways you can communicate and share your views. Please address communications to the Chair of Governors of each school.

Emails can be sent to: 

Letters may be sent addressed to the Chair of Governors to individual schools.

There will also be a series of meetings the dates of which we will advise you of shortly and which you are welcome to attend.

The formal consultation process will finish on 23rd February, 2018.

On each school’s website you will find a Frequently Asked Questions document. Any further information will be placed there.

Yours sincerely,

Zoe Batten, Executive Head Teacher, St Helen’s C. of E. (VA) Primary School & The Tarka Federation (VA)

Damian Railston, Headteacher, Combe Martin Primary School

Gail Holmes, Headteacher, Woolacombe National Support & Teaching School

Gary Bladon, Headteacher, Bampton C. of E. (VA) Primary School

Martin Callaghan, Chair of Governors South West Schools Federation

Gill Marlow, Chair of Governors of St Helen’s Primary School

Martin Winter, Chair of Interim Executive Board, The Tarka Federation