Select Committee on Education and Skills Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum submitted by Dr Melvyn Kershaw, Head Teacher Haybridge High School and Sixth Form


  It may help for me to say that as a practising head teacher I understand the thoughts and rationale that I guess was behind many of the questions. I hope your report can recommend ways of negating unhelpful divisions within the system, whether between faith schools and non-faith schools, schools in challenging environments and those in middle class areas or between pupils who are disadvantaged and those who have favoured circumstances.

  Trust status will in my opinion unleash energy and initiative from schools, their governors and head teachers in the same way that the introduction of school based financial management did some years ago. I believe that the majority of schools will wish to work in partnership with their LAs and surrounding schools for the benefit of all pupils and I am sure you can enshrine in legislation, protection against the very few who may have an exclusive and selective agenda.

  I see Trust status as a way of reinforcing collaboration, not reducing it. I use, as an example, my position as a leading school in two contexts :

    (a)  as a member of a "soft" collaborative of six other secondary schools, two special schools and an FE College wishing to use the Trust school mechanism to move us forward. We have embraced the collaborative agenda of the 14-19 White Paper and hope that this White Paper will support us taking the next step, and

    (b)  as the secondary school in a semi-rural locality that is the major destination of six feeder primary schools. We would see the Trust status as providing a convenient mechanism for us to collaborate in a more structured way bringing more efficiency and co-operation to our work, helping children to make the transition more easily and successfully.

December 2005

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