Pupil Council TCAT Meeting took place on Thursday 2nd February 2017 at Warrington Town Hall.
Present: Beamont Collegiate Academy, Bridgewater High School, Great Sankey Primary School, Penketh High School, Penketh South Community Primary School, Priestley College, Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School.
Chaired by: Mrs Beverley Scott-Herron
Pupils and students representing the schools and colleges met at the Town hall to share their views around the proposed multi-academy trust.
We began with some ice-breaker activities followed by sharing the positives and then concerns / questions around the proposed model. This was an open forum and every student from primary, secondary to the college had the opportunity to speak.
What are the positives of the proposed model?
Journey and pathway from primary to college
Children may get more opportunities, more subjects
Will it improve standards? (Yes! Share expertise, best chances and outcomes in Warrington)
Questions posed around the model:
How will you manage all the schools? Headteacher will still run the school with the Governing Body. Central Executive team will meet to improve own and each other and board of trustees, then members. There will be a CEO.
Would there still be governors? Priestley students – will we still have a voice on the governing body?
Equal and fair – finances? We will have a finance officer. Buy in proportionate to the numbers in the school. Money will go back into schools and first and foremost to the pupils.
Teachers- staff would there be any redundancies for staff if we are sharing teaching?
Student private data- would it be shared with others? No, data protection. Safeguarding information may be shared.
What are the cons of being an academy?
We could get over crowded, time consuming process, Heads could take eye off the ball, schools going in could be seen as a misrepresentation, reason for going into the academy, could lose identity, went to school or college because it was Priestley, not TCAT(buying into the school, college), staff spending too much money on new subjects.
- all responded to
Is TCAT planning on expanding in the future with other schools?
Would we have the opportunities to meet up with other students more often, like in competitions or other events? Sports, concerts etc.
If there’s going to be 6000 students, to make sure everyone’s voice is heard, will there be a new council?
Why these schools and not other schools in Warrington? Answer around vision and challenge, support and relationships also. Links with past ways of working. Spoke to all schools. Opened up to everybody, wider questions.
Does being in TCAT mean we will have unqualified teachers?
Worried about the same uniform. Schools will operate the same as they do now. Standards, attendance etc. all stay the same- want what’s best, high standards! Not an identical institution, unique identities.
Would the admissions policy change?
Would anything be put in place to help with choices, moving from primary to secondary?
How has the CEO been decided? (member of staff)
How would you involve others about letting them know what TCAT is? Other students?
Will we have all teachers coming together to improve our learning, or will they still meet as own school?
Following this consultation period, who has the final say of whether this can happen or not or when it will happen?
Is there a date that this going to happen?
If the whole idea is to share the ideas and resources, what is the actual need to do this?
Will idea sharing disrupt our learning patterns or processes?
Will this change our learning at primary schools?
Are our questions going to be put on the FAQ on the website? We would like that!