What opportunities does being part of Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) bring?
The new academies would be part of the Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) network. This would provide the academies with access to a significant body of expertise built up over many years of experience successfully working in partnership with academies across the country. In particular this would allow the academies to benefit from:
- access to school improvement and CPD opportunities for staff
- shared best-practice from other academies and educational experts
- economies of scale gained by sharing resources across the Trust’s academies
- access to exciting extracurricular/enrichment opportunities, such as staff and student exchange, international trips and educational events
- support when Ofsted visits – before, during and after
- access to a range of strategic support services and tools e.g. HR, finance and marketing
What impact will this have on the schools? Will the schools retain their identity?
Both schools will become part of the OAT network. They will retain their own identities, however the branding/logo will be updated to reflect changes to the names of the schools. Both schools have their own individual strengths which can be shared with other academies in the network and likewise both schools will benefit from support and resources.
What can OAT offer the schools?
OAT also offers a school improvement service which we can use to make rapid improvements to teaching and learning and support our journey to becoming outstanding graded academies. This includes access to subject specialists and strategic advisers.
What is Ormiston Trust?
Ormiston Trust is a charity which aims to improve the life chances of children. Ormiston Trust founded Ormiston Academies Trust in 2008. Further details about Ormiston Trust can be found at www.ormistontrust.org.
What is Ormiston Academies Trust?
Ormiston Academies Trust is a not-for-profit academy trust sponsoring 37 primary and secondary academies across the country.
OAT champions the excellent academic achievement and all-round wellbeing and development of the 27,000 young people it serves. OAT's vision is for all young people to have access to the highest academic, social and practical skills required to achieve their full potential, whether going on to study at a leading university or entering the world of work. OAT is determined to become the Trust that makes the biggest difference, both inside and outside the classroom.
Further details about Ormiston Academies Trust can be found at www.ormistontrustacademiestrust.co.uk.
What will happen to the schools' budgets?
The two schools will continue to be funded from the DfE using the same formula. The schools would also have access to the OAT procurement framework.
Will you follow the national curriculum?
One of the reasons for becoming an OAT academy is that you can be selective on curriculum offer. The academies will offer a broad and balanced curriculum that meets each young person’s needs.
Will after-school clubs remain?
OAT is a strong supporter of enrichment and out-of-school activities and sees them as a highly important part of any academy's offer to parents and students alike. It is hoped that after-school clubs and other activities will not only be maintained but will be improved upon after gaining academy status. The programme of activities will be reviewed regularly to ensure they reflect pupil and staff interests.
What will happen to the admissions procedure?
OAT has an inclusive approach to admissions. It is non-selective and follows DfE guidance to keep both schools for the local community.
Will the uniform change?
OAT does not impose any changes to uniform, however there will be plans to alter the uniform as the name/branding/logo will affect the uniform badge. This will be phased in over time.
What qualifications are required for teachers? What is your view of unqualified teachers in your academies?
OAT respects teachers' national terms and conditions and has a signed agreement with all recognised teacher unions. There is an expectation that all OAT teachers are fully qualified and that they have access to high quality CPD throughout their professional lives. However, OAT also considers that children can benefit from working with appropriately supervised adults who are able to provide a wider perspective by sharing their skills and experience.
OAT monitors the number of unqualified teachers working in its academies and wherever possible supports the staff in gaining qualified teacher status.
Do you intend to keep to national pay agreements or would teachers’ pay be negotiated direct?
OAT adheres to national terms and conditions including Burgundy Book and Green Book terms. Teachers pay recommendations are reviewed and consulted upon centrally by the Trust on behalf of all schools. The teacher pay policy is consulted annually with the Joint Consultative Committee of the teaching and support staff unions.
Support staff pay is managed in the same manner.
Will all staff be transferred to the new academies via TUPE? How will you run the process?
All staff employed by the outgoing schools at the point of transfer have the right to transfer. OAT has a team of experienced specialists to support the transfer and will work with the school senior leaders and outgoing HR team to manage the process through to successful conversion.
Will I have to apply for my job again?
Staff do not need to apply for their jobs; you transfer as you are on the same terms and conditions in the same role.
As an academy sponsor do you still support PPA time for teachers?
Yes, OAT considers that teachers need to be well-prepared in order to be effective teachers.
Could teaching and support staff be transferred within the academy chain?
Staff who transfer under TUPE will work to their current terms of employment which may or may not include a mobility clause. If you do not have this clause in your contract you cannot be made to move but may wish to consider development and career progression opportunities within the OAT chain of academies.
Will there will be any change to the current hours of contract time – 1,265 hours for teachers and weekends/holidays?
The Trust follows national terms and conditions for working time, so no.
Some academies have extended the school day and reduced the length of the summer holiday. Can we be guaranteed that this will not happen?
We have no plans to change existing arrangements. Were such plans envisaged, they would be consulted upon with recognised trade unions as would be the case in any school.
Will maternity rights be protected under TUPE?
Yes, the terms in your individual contract of employment/maternity pay policy will transfer.
Will existing staff transfer to the academy on existing terms and conditions?
For staff who TUPE across, how long do the terms and conditions remain the same?
There is no defined time limit for TUPE protection. It is not OAT’s intention to alter any terms and conditions unless by joint agreement with staff.
Would pay bands remain the same?
Yes, unless for example the governing body were to decide upon a staffing restructure. This would be at the behest of the governing body not the OAT Board.
Regarding pensions – do you continue to contribute the same percentage employers’ contribution to the pensions scheme?
There will be no change for staff who have a teacher’s pension or a local government pension scheme as Ormiston has admitted body status.
I have opted out of the pension scheme. Will I have to be opted back in again?
As OAT will be the new employer they will be required to opt everyone who qualifies and isn’t currently in the scheme into the pension, this is called auto-enrolment, you will however have the option to reconsider and opt out if you wish.
Will my tax code be affected?
As you transfer you will be joining a new employer and move to their corresponding tax code, all staff will receive a letter with the details, there is no effect on pay but you will have a new number in case you need to contact HMRC.