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Multi Academy Trust Consultation

Following a recommendation from the Governing Body to investigate the advantages of belonging to a Multi Academy Trust (MAT) and for Chantry to convert from a Single Academy Trust (SAT) into a newly established MAT called the Pioneer Learning Trust, a decision has been made to go out to consultation. This decision has been made because we believe that being part of the MAT will strengthen the future education of our children.


Whitefield and Southfield Primary Schools would convert to become academies at the same time, joining Chantry in establishing the new Pioneer Learning Trust. Other Luton schools are currently in discussions to join at some point in the near future.


This change in status will have very little noticeable impact on the day to day operation of our school. The name of the school will remain the same and so will the current school uniform.

Formal consultation will begin on Tuesday 18thSeptember 2018and end on Monday 29thOctober2018.


If you have any questions or concerns, please e-mail


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. Will the catchment area remain the same as it is now?

We do not anticipate significant changes to admission arrangements in the future.


2. Will you automatically be accepted if you live in the current catchment area?

As above


3. What procedures will be put in place to ensure that pupils with special educational needs are admitted to the Academy on a fair basis?

As above


4. Will the Academy’s exclusion policy change?



5. How would SEND students be catered for and can you give an assurance that current levels of SEND support would be maintained?

The school is not seeking to change the way SEND students are supported as a result of academy conversion, but national funding changes may lead to a review in the future.


6. What will the Academy’s relationship with neighbouring schools be?

The school will continue to work collaboratively with neighbouring school partnerships including the West Area Partnership at Chantry and the North Improvement Partnership at Whitefield.


7. What effect will academy’s conversion have on the curriculum?

No detrimental effect. The school will continue to offer a broad curriculum defined by quality and the best interests of the children. The school values the importance of the National Curriculum and will continue to support all pupils regardless of need or ability to achieve their full potential.


8. Will teacher representatives be included on the governing body?

Yes. Each academy in the Trust will have its own Local Governing Body (LGB) and staff are part of the membership.


9. How will parents’ views be represented?

Parent representatives are elected to the LGB.


10. How will parents’ and stakeholders’ views be considered when a decision is made?

As now, through responses to consultation


11. Can you confirm what percentage of people opposed to the academy it will take to stop the proposal going ahead?

There is no percentage. The decision to proceed to academy status will be defined by the potential advantages to our pupils and careful consideration of any disadvantages.


12. Will the school uniform change if we convert to academy?

The schools do not intend to make any change to their school's uniform. Uniforms will remain as they are – the subtle change to the Whitefield school logo (School to Academy) will be phased in over time. Parents will just buy new uniforms as usual as children outgrow them.


13. Will the school's name change if we convert to academy?

Chantry’s name will not change, however Whitefield Primary School will become Whitefield Primary Academy


14. Will the leadership of the school change?

The headteachers of all the schools will remain the same as they are now but Mrs Corisande Bateman will take on the role of Chief Executive Officer, responsible for running the MAT on behalf of Members and Trustees.


15. Will the school day change again because we convert to become an academy?



16. What are the benefits for my child if the school's convert to a MAT?

The pupils will benefit from strengthened links across Trust schools with true collaboration focused on driving up educational standards and a clear emphasis on achievement for all, shared expertise and greater opportunities for pupils.


17. Will the schools continue to work with the Local Authority?

The school will continue to work with services provided by the local authority where effective.


18. Who will make the decisions in each school?

The Headteacher of each school will be responsible for the day to day business of the school, as at present, the Governing Body will continue to exist, however, in a slightly different way and will be referred to as the schools Local Governing Body, and a board of Trustees will Govern the Trust.


19. Will the Academy have an anti-bullying policy?

The schools will maintain all current policies on conversion but in the future, in order to save on work load, we will look to harmonise most policies across the Trust. This will be done through an appropriate process of consultation and collaboration.


Staffing Related FAQs

Staffing Related FAQs

20. What is the effect of TUPE?

The TUPE Regulations provide that the current employer's "rights, powers, duties and responsibilities” under the contract of employment of any transferring member of staff would be transferred automatically to the new employer, in this case the PLT.


21. What obligation does the Local Authority have to employees who do not want their contracts to be transferred to an Academy? Do we have any right to be re–deployed and remain employed by the Local Authority?

If an individual employee does not wish to transfer, the LA has no obligation to seek alternative employment for them. This is likely to mean that they will resign and seek employment elsewhere.


22. For current employees, TUPE conditions will apply. Can you give a guarantee that you would not re-negotiate teachers’ terms and conditions under “reorganisation”?

All qualifying staff would transfer from their current employer (the local authority or another academy trust) to the employment of PLT. Qualifying staff are generally those who would have been employed at the school on the date of conversion to PLT. This transfer would take place within the TUPE regulations for staff transfer, which ensures that staff retain all of their existing rights, terms and conditions and pension arrangements, including continuity of service. Pension rights would also be maintained as part of any conversion. The school will always work to secure the best possible terms of conditions for all staff. For teaching staff, this is defined by the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD). We are not seeking to change staff’s terms and conditions.


23. Would the Academy pay scales remain in line with national agreements, and would future employees be offered the same terms and conditions as transferred staff?

The Trust works to national agreements.


24. How will parents’ and stakeholders’ views be considered when a decision is made?

As now, through responses to consultation.


25. Can you confirm what percentage of people opposed to the academy it will take to stop the proposal going ahead?

There is no percentage. The decision to proceed to academy status will be defined by the potential advantages to our pupils and careful consideration of any disadvantages.


26. Will staff be asked/required to work at our partnership schools permanently in teaching roles other than when doing support/INSET i.e. can a member of staff be moved to another school without a choice for the majority of their working time?

New school employees will be asked to work at other schools across the Trust if required and current employees will be given the opportunity to work at other schools where a development opportunity arises, however this would be subject to agreement by both parties. The opportunity to do so will provide excellent CPD for many staff.


27. Having read the document re pensions and it says that pensions will be maintained in accordance with national expectations, but can you advise further – will my pension with council be maintained or does it now cease?

All pensions are maintained by the Trust. You will continue to pay into the pension scheme in the same way.


28. Who will be my employer?

You will be employed by the Pioneer Learning Trust (PLT).


29. What are the terms and conditions of employment for new staff within PLT?

Existing staff will TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) into the Trust on their existing Terms and conditions. The Burgundy Book (which applies to teachers) and the Green Book (which applies to support staff) are collective agreements and will transfer as current, any future changes will not be binding on the Trust. The Trust intends to continue to apply the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document (STCPD). The Trust will mirror changes as documents are amended over time, this includes pay awards.


30. Will the staff terms and conditions remain the same?

It is anticipated that all school staff will transfer from the Local Authority to the Trust and retain their existing terms and conditions and continuity of employment. However, it is intended that the school will not have a two-tier workforce and new school employees will be offered terms on the same basis as employees transferred to the Trust from the school with one exception. New teachers joining the Trust (but not any transferring teacher and not any teacher seeking an internal promotion) will be subject to a probationary period of 8 school weeks. This period could be extended by the school for a further 8 school weeks. During the probationary period both the teacher and the Trust could terminate the employment on 1 weeks’ notice. Successful completion of the probationary period would be confirmed in writing and once confirmed in writing the notice provisions for the teacher would follow the Burgundy Book. Although subsequent changes are possible following a TUPE transfer, none are planned by the Trust and can only be made if the reason is an ‘economic, technical or organisational reason’ involving changes in the workforce or workplace.


31. Will Job Descriptions be re-written?

Job Descriptions will be reviewed in the same way as currently, if necessary following appraisal or due to restructure or a change in business needs.


32. Will the length of the school day change?

There are no plans to change the length and timing of the school day.


33. Are we going to work longer hours?

There will be no increase in the maximum directed time of 1265 hours that is determined in STPCD.


34. Will the term dates change?

Term dates will be determined by the PLT.


35. Who is the Headteacher accountable to in the new structure?

In the multi academy structure, the Headteacher is line managed by the LGB, like now, but on an executive basis by the CEO. However, the CEO has to abide by the scheme of delegation.


36. Will the unions continue to be recognised?

Unions will continue to be recognised. We have strong relations with the Unions and no history of conflict. The Trust can confirm its intention to purchase trade union facilities time for at least the next year (All academies have the option annually to purchase trade union facilities time) The Trust will continue to consult with recognised trades unions via their HR Provider, a continuation of consultation arrangements is in place currently.


37. Will we receive the same salary?

Yes, under TUPE you will be paid the same, and we honour School Teachers Pay and Conditions documents.


38. Who will be paying our wages?

The Pioneer Learning trust.