Royston schools transform into county’s first multi academy

PUBLISHED: 10:26 03 November 2011

Roysia head Zoe Linington, Meridian head Michael Firth, Greneway head Sue Kennedy

Roysia head Zoe Linington, Meridian head Michael Firth, Greneway head Sue Kennedy

AFTER months of delays Royston’s education system has been overhauled with three faculties combining to create the first multi-school academy in Hertfordshire.

Middle schools Greneway and Roysia and upper school Meridian this week joined together to create the Royston Schools Academy Trust, moving away from Hertfordshire County Council’s control and entitling them to more funding.

In a statement the trust outlined the new body’s vision for youngsters in the town.

It read: “It has been a lot of time and hard work for all involved as it is quite a complicated process, but we are so pleased that it is now all resolved and we can continue with running good schools for our community and go from strength to strength.

“This process has seen the formalisation of many years of co-operative working between the three schools, and the conversion process has further strengthened our close links.

“Our excellent links to the wider Royston community will enable us to strengthen our existing partnerships to fulfil this vision.”

Academy status will give the schools more freedom over their curriculum, and it is expected that teachers and sixth form students will help in the development of middle school pupils.

One governing body will oversee the three schools, but it is expected each will retain a separate identity.

Roysia head Zoe Linington said: “It means just better and bigger options for the kids, that’s the whole point.

“It’s going to be hard work. Anything worth doing is going to be hard work. As long as we keep working together I see no problems.”

Royston’s MP Oliver Heald has been working with the schools to help them with their plans and has been in close contact with senior political figures to ensure the transition to academy status, completed on Tuesday, went smoothly.

Greneway head Sue Kennedy said: I’m delighted. I think it’s going to take Royston to the higher level dimension and move us to the forefront of what’s happening to our schools.

“We’re the first multi-school academy in Hertfordshire and I feel it’s highly exciting for the young people of Royston.”

Problems with the application pushed back the launch of the trust, which was scheduled for September.

But despite delays, Meridian’s head sees a bright future for education in Royston.

Dr Michael Firth said: “With increased resources and autonomy, the trust will continue to improve the high standard of education for Royston’s students.”

A Hertfordshire County Council spokesman said: “We support any school that looks to assume greater autonomy by seeking academy status when it is right for them.

“We will work with all schools becoming academies to ensure a smooth transition to the new arrangements, and to guarantee best use of scarce financial resources.

“We are also confident that academy schools will wish to remain engaged in their wider role of promoting high educational standards for all children in Hertfordshire, and working with other local schools and the county council in breaking down the barriers to learning, whether social, physical. or emotional.”

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