What opportunities does being part of Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) bring?
The school would be part of the Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) family. This would provide the school 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 school 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
In January 2019 OAT's Board of Trustees agreed a five-year strategy for OAT. This strategy sets out OAT's mission, values, core purposes and priorities for change. The Trust is also constantly refining and improving the way in which it supports and challenges academies and has four strands with a model for school improvement in its school improvement strategy, delivered through subject support, the OAT Institute of Education and the intensive support for ‘high risk’ academies.
What impact will this have on the school? Will the school retain their identity?
The school will become part of the OAT network. It will retain its own identity however, the branding/logo will be updated to reflect changes to the name of the school. The school has its own individual strengths which can be shared with other academies in the family and likewise the school will benefit from support and resources.
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 2009. Further details about Ormiston Trust can be found at www.ormistontrust.org.
What is Ormiston Academies Trust?
Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) is one of the largest not-for-profit multi-academy trusts in England. We educate 29,000 pupils across six English regions, in 30 secondary schools, seven primary schools and one special school. We are one of the longest established trusts and have been sponsoring academies since 2009. As an educational charity our mission is 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.ormistonacademiestrust.co.uk.
What will happen to the school budget?
The school will continue to be funded from the DfE using the same formula. The school would also have access to the OAT procurement framework.
Will you follow the national curriculum?
At Ormiston Academies Trust the purpose of the curriculum is based on our purpose as a Trust:
- Teach – the curriculum sets out the knowledge and skills pupils are entitled to.
- Develop – the curriculum sets out how pupils will develop socially and emotionally.
- Change – the curriculum should be designed so that any pupil can excel, so that no one is disadvantaged
The Trust is developing a curriculum statement and set of principals in collaboration with its schools, to ensure it meets the needs and requirements of our teachers and pupils. Their view of the curriculum is that:
- It extends between the ages of 2 and 19.
- It includes both the formal timetabled curriculum and all the informal learning and development that occurs outside the timetable.
- It is a plan or strategy for progression for our pupils: how we move them from a state where they have not acquired specific knowledge, skills, experience and dispositions, to a state where they have acquired these.
- It encompasses everything that pupils acquire: what they know, what they can do, what experiences they have had and how they are likely to behave.
- It involves a deliberate choice to select, from all the possible knowledge, skills, experiences and dispositions, those which we believe pupils should acquire.
- It responds to well-designed assessment which tells us whether pupils have acquired what was intended.
The OAT Curriculum Statement is available on our website.
Will after-school clubs remain?
OAT is a strong supporter of enrichment and out-of-school activities and is committed to raising aspirations and broadening horizons, enriching the lives of pupils across the OAT family. They are seen as a highly important part of any academy's offer to parents and pupils 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 the school for the local community.
Will the uniform change?
OAT does not impose any changes to uniform, however, the school has decided to update the uniform as the name/branding/logo will affect the school badge. More information will follow as it becomes available.
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, unqualified teachers, 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 school 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 transfer.
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 individual terms and conditions, should the need arise in the future, any changes would be managed through the appropriate process of consultation.
Would pay bands remain the same?
Current staff will transfer and retain their current pay bands. Post-transfer new staff or new posts will be appointed to the OAT pay policies and pay scales.
Any changes to pay arrangements for staff, if deemed necessary by the school or the Trust in the future, would go through the appropriate consultation process.
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.
When is pay day at OAT?
All OAT employees are paid on the 19th of each month, pay slips are issued electronically via personal access to a portal.