Academy Consultation

20 October 2017

Dear colleagues and members of the Linden Lodge community,

Consultation to join a Multi Academy Trust

There are significant changes ahead for Local Authorities and the governing body is committed to ensuring that the Linden Lodge Community which includes Wandsworth Sensory Support Services (including the Hearing Support Centres) retains their identities and places them as one of the UK’s leading special school/services specialising in sensory impairment.

In response the governing body has been carefully considering a range of options to ensure the school and service can continue to go from strength to strength. As you are probably aware the government has asked all schools to consider conversion to an Academy suggesting that there are advantages in terms of school budgets and school improvement.

The governing body is keen to ensure that the Linden Lodge Community can chart  their own destiny and has looked in detail at various models and also consulted with the Local Authority and DfE to ensure that all options are thoroughly explored. The group now feels that conversion to an Academy and joining a Multi Academy Trust would be in the best interests of the school and service but before making a final decision wants to consult with all stakeholders.

The advantages for the Linden Lodge Community would include:

  • Maintaining the school/service’s sensory specialism, ethos and values and commitment to providing first class education for visually and sensory impaired children and young people
  • Access to capital funding to pay for much needed repairs and improvements e.g. lifts and renovations
  • Increased capacity to provide parent education and support
  • Increased learning and equipment resources and opportunities for pupils
  • Training, continuing professional development and career progression pathways for all staff
  • Sharing of expertise to support the school/service in its journey to Outstanding
  • The freedom to set our own fee structure so that we can remain financially viable
  • The potential to create a strong sensory specialist provider identity through our special school, resource units and outreach service

The governing body have discussed a range of MAT options and at present due to the strong long standing partnership in school improvement and its links with the Hearing Support Service through its centre based there, Southfields Academy is the preferred option. The governing body is also aware that by joining the MAT at an initial stage there is a greater chance of influencing the MAT and ensuring that the Linden Lodge Community benefits as much as possible particularly in terms of retaining the school/service’s sensory specialism.

The governing body now want to hear the views of our community:

  • Parents
  • Staff
  • Pupils
  • Local Authority
  • Local community groups
  • Linden Lodge Charitable Trust
  • Wandsworth Local Authority
  • Health partners

Emails should be addressed to Letters should be marked Private and Confidential  / Consultation and given to Louise Greenwood.

Please be reassured that both the governing body and school/service leaders are keen to consult fully as we agree how to ensure that the Linden Lodge Community has a strong sustainable future.

We want you to be able to come and find out more so we are holding two meetings one in the day time and one in the evening.

Monday 13 November at 6.30 - 7.3 0 pm

Wednesday 15 November at 10.30 - 11.30 am

Q & A can be viewed here

Presentation by Jackie Valin (Southfields Principal)

The consultation period ends on Friday 24 November 2017

Yours sincerely

Mel Cosgrove, Co Chair    George Dryja, Co Chair    Deborah Rix, Headteacher