Wymondham College consults parents about setting up a trust to sponsor academies

Wymondham College principal Jonathan Taylor

Wymondham College principal Jonathan Taylor - Credit: Archant

Norfolk's top-performing state high school has told parents it is considering setting up a trust to sponsor academy schools.

Wymondham College, which headed last week's GCSE league table in our region, has received permission from the regional schools commissioner to form a multi-academy trust (MAT), and has now launched a consultation about going ahead with the proposal.

The school is already an academy, and, if it formed a MAT, would join a growing number of high schools thinking of sponsoring other schools - mostly nearby primary schools.

Principal Jonathan Taylor said: 'As a high-achieving school, we are in a position of broadening our work, and potentially raising standards across the region.'

He said the move could have many potential benefits, including widening the expertise of college staff through working with other schools, helping with recruitment and retention of high-quality staff, and all members of the trust saving money by working together.

He said the proposed trust, which does not yet have a name, would be open to primary and secondary schools, and it was likely to be locally based, with the potential exception of a school elsewhere that needed help with boarding provision - a rare specialism among state schools, and one Wymondham College has expertise in.

It would not be the college's first experience of academy sponsorship. In 2010, it became one of four sponsors of Thetford Academy, which was put into special measures three years later and transferred to the Inspiration Trust.

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Mr Taylor said that was a different sponsorship model, and governors had 'reflected on that experience and will use lessons from that on the future journey.'

He said the college's decision was not influenced by Wymondham High last summer receiving permission to form a MAT.

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