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1 Sarah Tough, ippr, 2 nd February 2006 Trusts: A new future for schools? Thursday 2nd February 2006

2 Trusts: A new future for schools? The trust school concept will be widely ignored by the vast majority of heads and governors - John Dunford, ASCL [there are] fears that the Bill will lead to a fragmented and fractured education system - John Bangs, NUT

3 Trusts: A new future for schools? Becoming a Trust school is a very simple way of making relationships [with partners] more sustainable, putting them on a firmer footing and ensuring more pupils have access to a wider range of opportunities. - Trust School Prospectus Not all schools have the same flexibilities. That causes confusion in the system. … We are trying to bring some coherence to the system... - Ruth Kelly

4 Characteristics Independent state schools - trust schools, like foundation schools, will own their own assets, employ their own staff and be their own admissions authorities. Governors - trusts will appoint governors for trust schools. Trusts can appoint either a minority or a majority of governors, depending on results of the consultation process. Some external partners already appoint school governors.

5 Characteristics Power to Innovate – trusts, like existing schools, can apply to the Secretary of State for additional flexibilities (e.g. freedoms over curriculum and pay/ conditions of staff enjoyed by academies). Admissions – own admissions authorities, must follow Code, no selection by ability. Funding – trust schools will be funded by LAs, like other state maintained schools. All trusts will be charities.

6 The potential of trusts engine for real collaboration (DfES 2005) –long-term, sustainable involvement of partners in leadership –efficiency gains where trusts run more than one school –good practice and innovation spread throughout the trust schools easily –shared ethos and identity/ brands –increased access to facilities

7 Interested groups Universities: Exeter, Portsmouth, UWE, Open University Businesses: Microsoft, KPMG Educational charities Community groups Other schools Faith groups

8 Potential number of trust schools Ruth Kelly – we are working with a lot [of organisations interested in setting up trusts] Trust schools, in law, are foundation schools with a foundation or a trust. –513 foundation schools (January 2005) –some foundation schools already have their own foundation Take up of foundation status slower than hoped/ expected Firms say no to trust schools (TES 25/11/05)

9 The process (source: Trust School Prospectus)

10 Who has the strategic overview? LAsSchools AdjudicatorSchools Commissioner Major role in encouraging and brokering trusts in their area Same powers with regard to enforcing the Admissions Code of Practice Promoter and enabler – can help broker arrangements Refer schools to the adjudicator if there are concerns with a school acquiring a particular trust Settle disputes regarding the acquisition of particular trusts Target disadvantaged areas and schools Appeal to the adjudicator if they object to a trust schools proposal regarding use of assets Settle disputes between LAs and schools regarding disputes over use of assets Advise Secretary of State on powers

11 Key questions 1)Can we envisage a future where all schools are trust schools? 2)Do we like this vision? 3)What safeguards are necessary to ensure trust schools development in a positive way?

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