Weston and Burnham schools could feature in new academies trust

St Joseph Catholic Primary School & Nursery School on the B3139 Oxford Street in Burnham-on-Sea - Google Maps - 180122

St Joseph Catholic Primary School & Nursery School in Burnham on Sea - Credit: Google Street View

Five Catholic primary schools across Somerset will become academies under new proposals.

Schools in Burnham-on-Sea, Bridgwater, Wells, Wincanton and Yeovil will form a new multi-academy trust following an academy order by education secretary Nadhim Zahawi MP.

If the move is approved, the new trust will include those five, along with Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School, in Weston.  

Under the Academies Act 2010, schools which are performing well can choose to become ‘converter academies’ if their governors deem that such a move would be best for their pupils.

Of the 125 academies currently operating in Somerset, 85 are converter academies which have chosen to go down this route.

The five schools – which have all been rated either ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’ by Ofsted – will all transition to academy status on March 1, according to documents published on Somerset County Council’s website.

The five schools which will be affected by the new academy order are:

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  • St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Park Avenue, Bridgwater (rated ‘good’ in November 2019)
  • St Joseph’s Catholic Primary and Nursery School, B3139 Oxford Street, Burnham-on-Sea (rated ‘outstanding’ in July 2008)
  • St Joseph and St Teresa Catholic Primary School, Lovers Walk, Wells (rated ‘good’ in November 2011)
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Primary School, B3081 South Street, Wincanton (rated ‘good’ in May 2017)
  • St Gilda’s Catholic Primary School, Mary Street, Yeovil (rated ‘good’ in June 2012)

The schools will form the new Dunstan Catholic Educational Trust, which will be run by the Clifton Diocese.

Under the changes, all land and properties of the existing schools will be transferred from the council to the new trust under a 125-year lease.