New academy trust for Catholic schools reveals its name
An embryonic academy trust for Catholic schools has revealed its name - and said its formation could help avoid job losses and safeguard the future of some of its smallest members.
The new organisation, which will include six primary schools and one high school across Norwich, Beccles, Bungay, Lowestoft and Gorleston, will be called the St John the Baptist Catholic Multi-Academy Trust.
The trust will be sponsored by Notre Dame High School in Norwich, but, as previously reported, its headteacher Brian Conway said this was for administrative reasons, and all the schools would be equal partners.
The trust's name is inspired by the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Norwich.
Mr Conway said: 'We wanted a name that would reflect that we are all coming together. It's not a name connected with any of the schools at the moment.
'It was also because the bishop felt that as a strong name, it represented baptism and new life and it's to do with youth. I think it fits well with young people and growth and spiritual renewal.'
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The formation of the trust comes at a time when the Institute for Fiscal Studies forecasts that per pupil spending for schools will fall by 8pc in real terms by 2020.
Mr Conway said the schools in the trust would have to make savings, unconnected with the formation of the trust, but added that coming together would help them save money by achieving greater economies of scale.
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He added: 'It's exciting. Hopefully it's really going to benefit education, and in particular some of our smaller schools. If we don't do it, it makes it more likely we will have job cuts in the future.'
The trust will initially be for Catholic schools, but Mr Conway said that in the future it may be open to non-Catholic schools, who would not have to become Catholic schools in order to join.
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