As you know, following our Ofsted review, Sun Hill Junior School was placed under a “Directed Academy Order" by the Department for Education (DfE). This requires us to become an academy and be “sponsored” by an existing, preferably local, academy as soon as possible. Perins was approached by the DfE and, as of Friday afternoon, has been appointed by the DfE as our “Preferred Sponsor”. This means that Perins will form a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) and Sun Hill will convert into an academy and join the MAT.
This is a very exciting plan for both schools. It makes sense for all stakeholders and will enable us to work together to build on the strengths of both schools within the community and to collaborate on offering the best possible teaching and learning opportunities to staff and pupils at both schools.
The process of joining forces will take about six months. The planned date for Sun Hill to be adopted into the Perins fold as an academy is 1st September this year. Most importantly, I want to reassure you that the governors of Sun Hill will do everything we can to ensure that your children’s lives here will continue smoothly during the process.
As you can imagine, there will be some hard work to be done in the conversion process, including recruitment of a new Head Teacher, other teachers if necessary, and continuing work already started by Chris Reilly on our school improvement. The governors will work closely with Hampshire County Council (HCC) and Perins to undertake the conversion work; indeed, we have already started! The staff will continue to focus on teaching and learning and the welfare of your children.
I am aware that there have already been some changes here over the last few months, but the governors feel strongly that joining Perins should bring significant benefits for everyone, staff, pupils, parents at Sun Hill, as well as for the wider community. We can develop further links between the schools, ensuring a seamless transition for our pupils from junior to secondary school. There will be opportunities for staff at both schools to gain cross-stage experience and share resources, knowledge and expertise. Most importantly, we can work together as a community to offer all our pupils from the age of 7 through to 16 the best possible teaching and learning opportunities with a shared ethos and vision.
You may have some questions about this exciting new development for our school – and we have attempted to answer some of them in the Q&A below. In addition, do come to a meeting of Sun Hill parents on Tuesday 31st January at 6.30pm in the school hall when we will try to answer any further questions you may have.