Highnam Academy was formed on August 1st, 2011 from the former Highnam Church of England Primary School (Voluntary Controlled). The school community and the Governing Body debated the benefits of the change and then implemented the decision to go ahead, the whole process taking nearly a year. The clear benefits were that the academy would be able to decide its own priorities and use its resources as it saw fit for the benefit of our pupils. In addition there was the ability to tailor the National Curriculum to the needs, enthusiasms and interests of our children. We would still be able to co-operate with the Local Authority and buy services through them if we saw these as giving value for money.
The Governing Body were mindful of the future for the academy. At present there were highly skilled and experienced governors but this might not always be the case. The way forward was to collaborate and co-operate closely with others. The benefits included opportunities for governors to share best practice, for staff to learn from other’s experiences and approaches, for subject leaders to liaise, for pupils to work together e.g. in gifted and talented sessions and for Headteachers to share communal activities and have beneficial support.
The collaboration was to be a centre of excellence, reflected in the three Church of England academies who agreed to work together, Highnam, Staunton & Corse and Redmarley. It was agreed to form a Limited Company, Primary Quest (Quality Education, Standards and Teaching in the Primary Sector) to formalize the new relationship www.primaryquest.co.uk.
The National College for Teaching and Learning were impressed with our collaborative vision and provided the finance for an Academy Business Manager to work across our three academies. This was another advantage as before becoming an academy we had not been able to fund such a post to relieve the Headteacher of some routine administration.
Primary Quest is focussed both on academy improvement for ourselves as well as being willing and able to support other schools. Thus the strategic aim and vision of Primary Quest is:
To deliver sustainable, outstanding educational learning opportunities for all within the three academy communities.
To use the experience and expertise within Primary Quest to work alongside other schools/academies to support school improvement.
Important Highnam Academy documents