A new and potentially exciting development for education in our town has emerged in the past two days. Parents and students have been formally advised this week of the Governing Body’s proposal for Brentwood County High School (BCHS) to become a Trust school.
Current parents and those sending their children to the school in September have received a letter, signed by Chair of Governors Rosemary Lovatt on behalf of the Head and the Board, advising of the intention to implement a new Trust starting in November this year. BCHS will continue to be part of the local authority family of schools but will be supported by the Charitable Trust.
An accompanying booklet explains the rationale behind the proposal:
“Brentwood County High School proposes to become a Trust school based on the values of the Co-operative Movement and to create a long term partnership of organisations interested in supporting our work. We believe that the core reason for such a partnership is to support further school improvement.”
The proposed new partnership will be called the Brentwood Community Learning Trust. The following partners are already confirmed as initial members but further local business and community groups are in discussions to join:
- Anglia Ruskin University
- Brentwood Borough Council
- The Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society
- Essex County Council
“At Brentwood County High School we are focussed on ensuring that we provide an exceptional education for our students and facilitating the improvement of lives for young people in our community. We believe in the limitless potential of all who come into contact with us.
By setting up an educational trust we aim to champion collaboration in our community to enhance the educational opportunities for our young people. This can be achieved, for example, by working with local employers to enhance employability skills, coordinating with local universities and colleges to widen horizons, working with our local council to improve community involvement and understanding and collaborating with other local educational organisations to improve educational opportunities.
We are extremely excited about the opportunities that establishing an educational trust gives us and our students and we hope you will support our vision.”
Further detail behind the plan, an extensive Q&A booklet and a downloadable questionnaire for feedback are available via the BCHS website at the following link:
A public consultation has begun into the plans and the wider community are actively encouraged to review the proposals and respond with their views through a questionnaire. The consultation runs until midday on Wednesday 3rd July. The Governors will then review the responses to the questionnaire before deciding whether to proceed on the path to Trust school status.
A set of meetings will be held at the school on Tuesday 18th June. Four sessions will be provided which includes a public meeting at 5pm.
Educating Brentwood welcomes the open and willing engagement with local residents on these plans and we are grateful to the headteacher, Mr Stephen Drew, for clarifying who can contribute:
“The trust consultation, and overall process, works on the idea of stakeholder groups. In our case this is students, parents and carers, staff, governors and the local community.
The meeting at 5pm on 18th June is open to anyone who falls into the community stakeholder category, which applies to anyone in Brentwood and the local area who is affected by what our school does”
In common with other interested parties in Brentwood, we will be reviewing the published plans over the coming days before giving our view. We are heartened by the open nature with which these proposals are being presented and discussed and welcome the emphasis on collaboration over competition which is implicit in the statement from the school.