College's future 'uncertain' as changes revealed

PUBLISHED: 07:00 31 October 2018

North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College. Picture: Google Maps

North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College. Picture: Google Maps

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A union teacher fears for a Weston school's 'uncertain' future after it was announced it would make big changes.

It has been revealed North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College (NSETC), in Beaufighter Road, will require a new partnership and will welcome children from 11 years old and up from September next year.

It was announced through North Somerset Council’s e-bulletin that the college would be looking for a new multi-academy trust (MAT) to join and it would no longer be a 14-19 school and pupils will now be admitted to the establishment in year seven.

Multi-academy trusts had until the end of September to raise look for sponsors and the results will be revealed by the end of December.

The document said: “Any future decisions about the provision of post-16 places will be taken by the regional schools commissioners, in consultation with the new provider, local authority and the community, and be based on improved quality, local need and parental/student choice.”

But North Somerset’s National Education Union secretary, Jon Reddiford, has said the change is likely to be ‘very disruptive’ to learning.

He added: “Leadership and management of the school will be meeting with the chief executive officers from other MATs, considering the ethos of the MAT, then they are no thinking about leading teaching and learning in the school – or some of their focus is diverted – so that is not good.

“So for the students and staff currently there, this is going to be an incredibly disruptive period to their learning, which may impact on exam results.

“There is just uncertainty. In and environment where no one knows what is going to happen, where staff do not know if they will have a job this time next year – and are possibly looking for work and leaving – it is difficult to see how it is an environment where prioritising students’ needs can be done as highly as in other institutions.”

The Mercury revealed in January the MAT which ran NSETC, the Inspirational Futures Trust which is sponsored by Weston College, could cease to exist as other schools in the trust, including Herons Moor Academy and St Katherine’s School in Pill, began looking for new MATs to join.

The paper asked the college and trust for comment but received no response.

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