FALMOUTH SCHOOL'S new trustees have reassured parents that there is "no threat" of closure.

Following a termination warning notice issued on July 5 by the regional schools commissioner for the south west, the school's future was shrouded in doubt.

However, the newly-appointed MAT trustees, of which there are currently four, have written to parents explaining the situation.

The letter states: "This [termination] notice is a formal mechanism which either signals that the school could be closed (which only happens in very rare circumstances), or ‘re-brokered’.

"Re-brokering is a process to find an alternative organisation Multi Academy Trust (MAT) to take on responsibility for the school. Since becoming trustees we have been in constant dialogue with the Regional Schools Commissioner’s office to seek clarification about the process and the likely timeline.

"The Regional Schools Commissioner has now confirmed that they consider it to be in the best interests of Falmouth School to be re-brokered to another trust. There is therefore no threat of closure for the school."

The letter adds that the RSC office will invite local multi-academy trusts to register their interest in working with the trust and Falmouth School, and a process for submitting proposals will be sought for taking on responsibility of the school.

The RSC will consider these proposals at the headteacher board meeting on October 21 and a decision on the preferred trust will be made.

The goal will be for the school to formally transfer to the preferred trust no later than September 2020.

The current MAT includes King Charles and St Francis Primary Schools.

The letter continues: "The strength of our MAT is that it provides joined up education from age 2 to 18 and enables the three schools to share facilities and work closely together. It is not feasible for the two primaries to continue as a multi-academy trust without Falmouth School. We will therefore be consulting with the governing bodies of the two primaries on whether they should transfer with Falmouth School into the same MAT.

"Whilst many of you will find the news disappointing, we cannot stress enough that both the Regional Schools Commissioner on behalf of the Department for Education and ourselves on behalf of the Trust are keen to find the most appropriate home where our schools can flourish.

"Whilst the trigger here is the re-brokering of Falmouth School, which is out of our hands, many small multi-academy trusts up and down the country, including in Cornwall, are having to merge in order to be sustainable and reduce back office costs to ensure maximum money goes into frontline teaching. We know that our organisation would have faced this issue at some point in the near future anyway."

"As a last thought it should be remembered that each school is its own community, led by a headteacher, supported by amazing teaching and support staff and aided by a local governing body representing the community and working for the children and young people’s best interests.

"In that respect, which multi-academy trust a school sits in is less important than the fantastic work that goes on every day and the phenomenal things our children and young people achieve in the spheres of sport, music, drama, dance, academics and civil duty. All of these things will continue and our school communities will go from strength to strength, albeit in an organisation of a different name but with aligned ethos and values."

"In the meantime, it is important that we maintain a 'business as usual' approach for the sake of your children and the staff responsible for educating them. Thank you for your continued support."

The letter is signed by the four trustees, Phil Orwin, Karen Bond, Bill Stuart-White and Dave Baker.

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