Small village school becomes part of large academy trust in Milton Keynes

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The 153-pupil school is rated as Outstanding by Ofsted

A village school with just 153 pupils has become part of a multi-academy trust (MAT)

Lavendon School, which is Ofsted-rated as Outstanding school, has completed its conversion to academy status and joined Inspiring Futures through Learning (IFtL).

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The trust is based in Milton Keynes and Corby and runs 15 schools, including Olney Infants, Olney Middle, Rickley Park Primary, St Mary and St Giles, Heronshaw, Glebe Far,, Holmwood, Whitehouse, Chestnuts and Fairfields, supporting a total of 6,500 children.

Lavendon School has become the latest school in Milton Keynes to join a multi academy trustLavendon School has become the latest school in Milton Keynes to join a multi academy trust
Lavendon School has become the latest school in Milton Keynes to join a multi academy trust

The move follows a consultation with parents, carers and colleagues, and a period of due diligence.

Headteacher Lisa Watson said the school’s governing body began exploring the idea of joining a MAT in order to broker support, offer more opportunities to the children, and provide development opportunities for all members of the school community.

After extensive research and discussions with a number of MATs, the governors unanimously voted to join IFtL.

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“From the start of our academy conversion consultation, a key question was what would joining a MAT give us that is going to make us better,” said Lisa. “With IFtL, most importantly we share the same vision, values and commitment to be the very best that we can be, and Lavendon’s proximity to other trust schools, including Olney Infant Academy and Olney Middle School who we know well and have worked with previously, was also a decisive factor.

“As a rural, single-form entry school, we need support from elsewhere to ensure consistently high ambitions and standards, and working with IFtL and closely with other schools who have the same ethos and responsibilities for ensuring excellent opportunities for children will be very powerful.”

Lisa, who joined Lavendon School seven years ago, said: “We are really proud of what we have achieved at Lavendon – including being in the top 20% nationally for performance data – and it is such a special place to be,” she explained.

“Our school is at the heart of the community and we are respected within it. We offer smaller class sizes, 23/24 pupils per class, and we know each child and their families inside out..There is a very calm, purposeful atmosphere, and behaviour is outstanding.

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“Joining IFtL is part of the next phase of our journey as a community, and not only will it support our succession planning and give our school a more sustainable future, we will also be able to share our expertise with the trust.

“For our children, they will be able to access opportunities we would not be able to provide in isolation. An immediate example is the IFtL Youth Parliament, which is designed to empower pupil voice to support and inform IFtL’s organisational decision-making.”

Mike Griffiths, the school’s Chair of Governors, said: “At Lavendon School we set extremely high standards in terms of outcomes. We talk about the ‘Lavendon bar’, which is the level we set, rather than comparing ourselves to other schools. We strive to maintain our Outstanding standard.”

Sarah Bennett, CEO of IFtL, said: “Lavendon School’s exceptional community of employees and learners will continue thriving as respected members of our trust.”

"Through collaboration across our schools, it is our hope that future generations of students will receive an outstanding education that prepares them for lifelong learning. “