STAR (Sherburn, Tadcaster & Rural) Learning Alliance
As you may be aware, current government policy is driving a number of significant changes to education provision throughout the country and this is presenting a lot of new challenges for schools and for school governing bodies. With the reduction in funding available to Local Authorities limiting school support resources, there is now a significantly increased expectation on schools working together and supporting each other. Against this background, being part of an active collaboration centred on improvement, but reaching to any area that could improve outcomes for children and young people, is now becoming a formal expectation with authorities.
Over many years the primary schools in the region centred on Sherburn and Tadcaster, along with the two high schools, have worked informally together in many different guises, with headteacher’s and staff sharing training, resources and facilities as opportunities arose. However, with the government’s increased focus on schools working together to help each other to improve and with the growing pressures on Local Authority resources, it has become clear that our schools will benefit from a more robust system of partnership. In this last academic year, governors and headteacher’s have carefully explored ways for our schools to work together in a way that goes beyond simple sharing of resources and commits us to a strategic plan of transforming school improvement in our locality. We want to ensure that every child and young person in education in the Sherburn, Tadcaster and surrounding rural areas achieves to the best of their abilities and leaves our school system fully prepared to play an effective role in society. Our conversion to academy status in the future will not affect our involvement with this collaboration in any way.
The collaboration is to be known as the Sherburn Tadcaster and Rural Learning Alliance: the STAR Learning Alliance. Each school will continue to have their own unique identity, and will remain governed by their own governing body, but we are formally partnering together to plan and provide the best possible education for all children in our area. At this stage, this involves improving communication and coordination, introducing support, monitoring and challenge between schools and working together on specific projects. In the future the Alliance will increasingly work to deliver a broad range of educational benefits, staff development opportunities and cost efficiencies. At this time there is no material cost to member schools and future financial commitment to the Alliance will be balanced with cost savings achieved by efficiencies and group purchasing.
We are very lucky in our Alliance that we have such a broad mix of schools each bringing their own strengths and character to the group. Together we have the scale and the diversity to achieve real benefits and to work in an efficient partnership both together and with the Local Authority and other organisations that will provide services to the members. This is an exciting and important opportunity for all the Alliance schools and we will keep you updated on progress in the coming months.