On-line Parents and Carers Q&A for CET-MET Merger

As indicated in the update sent out on 22nd May we are pleased to be able to provide details of an on-line Q&A session on the proposed merger between the Morris Education Trust and the Cambridgeshire Educational Trust. You can find the background to the proposed merger, and a discussion of why the trustees are proposing it, at www.cet.tmet.org.uk.

The session is scheduled for 7.30pm on Thu 18th June and you can join it through this link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89345197757 which we will also publish on our feedback website www.cet.tmet.org.uk. The session will be recorded and will be available to be viewed later also via the feedback website.

We are allowing one hour for this, but if we don’t manage to cover all issues adequately, we have the opportunity for a follow-up session on Tue 30th June also at 7.30pm.

The session is primarily intended to address questions from parents/carers, though anyone is welcome to attend. We will run a session to cover staff-specific questions separately.

The session will run as a panel interview led by Ruth Jackson, who is a community governor at Chesterton (as well as being a parent). She will ask questions, based on those already received via the feedback website and as well as others of her own. The panel will consist of Martin Rigby (proposed chair of trustees) and Lucy Scott (proposed CEO). You will have the opportunity to ask questions “live” via a text Q&A system, but it would help if you could email any you have in advance (to hello@cet.tmet.org.uk) so that we can ensure they are properly addressed.

We look forward to welcoming you on the 18th.

With best wishes

CET & MET

CET and MET Merger

20 March 2020

Dear staff, governors, parents, carers and students,

The trustees of the Morris Education Trust have been in dialogue with those of the
Cambridgeshire Educational Trust, about a proposal to merge our Trusts. We are writing to you now to share our reasons for proposing this, describe the process, and invite you to contribute.

What is being proposed?

CET (which includes Chesterton Community College and Downham Market Academy) and MET (which includes Impington Village College and Witchford Village College) are both small multiacademy trusts in North Cambridge, with a strong track record of excellence. We are proposing that we merge CET and MET to form an enlarged multi-academy trust. The Chief Executive of the merged trust will be Lucy Scott, currently CEO of CET, Ryan Kelsall, principal of IVC, will be deputy CEO.

Why is the proposal attractive? Why now?

The discussions between the trustees are the result of collaboration and a deepening
relationship between Chesterton Community College and Impington Village College that began in 2017. The reason for thinking about it now is that Rob Campbell, after thirteen years as principal of IVC and then CEO of MET, is fully relocating to Cumbria this summer.
As the discussions between the trustees progressed it became apparent to all of us that the combination of our schools and resources would create an organisation that could significantly enhance the quality of education provided for all students in our trusts. For example, we could offer a broader curriculum and enhanced student support services; and we would cover a geographically coherent area to the north of Cambridge.

What is the process that will be followed?

Before any merger can go ahead we will follow a series of steps to ensure that the decision is carefully considered and that the views of stakeholders have been taken into account:

• The trustees of both CET and MET must carry out due diligence.
• The Regional Headteacher Board, chaired by the Regional Schools Commissioner, must agree.
• We will carry out a consultation with stakeholders, including staff, governors, parents and students, during April.
• We hope to make a final decision in time for any new arrangements to be in place for the upcoming academic year, which starts in September 2020.

The great strength of our schools is the skill and professionalism of our staff and governors, and the commitment and engagement of our students and their parents. To be really successful, a merger needs the informed support of all these stakeholders. The trustees are conscious that this is a stressful and uncertain time for families and staff alike and did consider delaying the merger process. However, the advantages of being able to start the new academic year with the merger complete, and the benefits that this will provide to students’ education, outweigh the challenges.
In normal times we would have held a series of face-to-face meetings to allow all stakeholders to ask questions and provide feedback, but this is not possible under the present circumstances. Instead we have set up a website (www.cet.tmet.org.uk) with a comments section where you can ask questions and provide feedback. Those questions and the trustees’ responses will be visible to everyone accessing the website.

Yours sincerely

Martin Rigby

Chair of Morris Education Trust

DfE announce approval

News release:  Wednesday 12 April 2017
The Department for Education today announced that The Cavendish School is one of eight new free schools that have been approved to open in Cambridgeshire.  The new special school, which is being set up by the Morris Education Trust, is due to open on the site at Impington Village College in 2019.

The school has been approved to offer specialist provision for children with autism spectrum condition aged 9 to 19.  The Trust has been working in partnership with Cambridgeshire Local Authority from the outset to develop the proposals which will offer local children and families excellent state provision and to meet rising needs.  The Trust will partner with the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University to ensure leading edge research can support the school as it opens and grows.

Robert Campbell, CEO of the Morris Education Trust and Executive Principal at Impington Village College said: 

“This is wonderful news for the local area and for the families that the new school will serve. It was the Cambridge News who notably highlighted the need for specialist provision for children with autism. As soon as we started our work last year, it was clear there was real support there from the Local Authority, from other schools and especially from families whose children have the condition, which we were able to build on and use to develop our plans. The news today is a great tribute to those involved, the wonderful education professionals based here at Impington along with the parents who offered great insights into what might be needed for their children with autism spectrum condition. The phrase that we developed to sum up what The Cavendish School hopes to achieve is ‘Enabling the self’. We are one hugely important step closer to fulfilling that vision today.” 

Toby Young, Director of New Schools Network, said:

“The application process to set up a free school is extremely rigorous so it is a testament to the Morris Education Trust’s hard work that they have been approved to open. This is the largest ever cohort of free schools to be approved, a sign of this Government’s commitment to extending the benefits of the free schools policy to all parts of the country.

“This is a big day for free schools. With 800 either opened or approved to open, providing 400,000 places when full, free schools are now a permanent part of England’s educational landscape.” 

Interested parents can find out more at www.thecavendishschool.org.uk or contact hello@tmet.org.uk

Editors’ notes

  • For more information about The Cavendish School, a special free school for children with autism spectrum condition (aged 9 to 19), please contact Robert Campbell on rcampbell@tmet.org.uk
  • Free schools are state funded schools that are independent of local authority control. They have the freedom to decide the length of school day and term, their curriculum, teacher pay and how they spend their budgets.
  • Today’s announcement means there are 430 free schools currently open and 373 approved to open, which will create 400,000 places when full.
  • 81% of free schools that have been inspected by Ofsted have been judged Good or Outstanding. They are more likely to be judged Outstanding when compared to other state schools.
  • New Schools Network is an independent charity that provides support to groups wanting to set up free schools: newschoolsnetwork.org

DfE announce approval

News release:  Wednesday 12 April 2017
The Department for Education today announced that The Cavendish School is one of eight new free schools that have been approved to open in Cambridgeshire.  The new special school, which is being set up by the Morris Education Trust, is due to open on the site at Impington Village College in 2019.

The school has been approved to offer specialist provision for children with autism spectrum condition aged 9 to 19.  The Trust has been working in partnership with Cambridgeshire Local Authority from the outset to develop the proposals which will offer local children and families excellent state provision and to meet rising needs.  The Trust will partner with the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University to ensure leading edge research can support the school as it opens and grows.

Robert Campbell, CEO of the Morris Education Trust and Executive Principal at Impington Village College said: 

“This is wonderful news for the local area and for the families that the new school will serve. It was the Cambridge News who notably highlighted the need for specialist provision for children with autism. As soon as we started our work last year, it was clear there was real support there from the Local Authority, from other schools and especially from families whose children have the condition, which we were able to build on and use to develop our plans. The news today is a great tribute to those involved, the wonderful education professionals based here at Impington along with the parents who offered great insights into what might be needed for their children with autism spectrum condition. The phrase that we developed to sum up what The Cavendish School hopes to achieve is ‘Enabling the self’. We are one hugely important step closer to fulfilling that vision today.” 

Toby Young, Director of New Schools Network, said:

“The application process to set up a free school is extremely rigorous so it is a testament to the Morris Education Trust’s hard work that they have been approved to open. This is the largest ever cohort of free schools to be approved, a sign of this Government’s commitment to extending the benefits of the free schools policy to all parts of the country.

“This is a big day for free schools. With 800 either opened or approved to open, providing 400,000 places when full, free schools are now a permanent part of England’s educational landscape.” 

Interested parents can find out more at www.thecavendishschool.org.uk or contact hello@tmet.org.uk

Editors’ notes

  • For more information about The Cavendish School, a special free school for children with autism spectrum condition (aged 9 to 19), please contact Robert Campbell on rcampbell@tmet.org.uk
  • Free schools are state funded schools that are independent of local authority control. They have the freedom to decide the length of school day and term, their curriculum, teacher pay and how they spend their budgets.
  • Today’s announcement means there are 430 free schools currently open and 373 approved to open, which will create 400,000 places when full.
  • 81% of free schools that have been inspected by Ofsted have been judged Good or Outstanding. They are more likely to be judged Outstanding when compared to other state schools.
  • New Schools Network is an independent charity that provides support to groups wanting to set up free schools: newschoolsnetwork.org

Application submitted to DfE

Today, after months of hard work, we formally submitted our free school application for The Cavendish School to the Government Department for Education (DfE).  Comprising over 140 pages, the bid is detailed and authoritative.  We are very hopeful that it will be successful.

dav
Robert Campbell, Executive Principal, Morris Education Trust

It has been a busy and exciting period.  The new  multi-academy trust that will oversee The Cavendish School has been developing.  The Morris Education Trust has been named to reflect the influence of Henry Morris, Chief Education Officer for Cambridgeshire from 1922 – 1954, who believed that education should lastingly improve people’s lives.  His vision for education was for schools to be an intrinsic and highly valued part of their communities.  Last Thursday the regional Headteacher Board approved the Morris Education Trust application to be what is called a ‘sponsor’. This means that the Trust is seen by the Department for Education as a strong organisation with the capacity and capability to work with other schools, including the proposed new special school.

In relation to The Cavendish School application, the process now includes several stages.  Firstly we expect to find out in 6-8 weeks whether our application has been shortlisted to progress.  If successful, at this stage we will be invited for interview at the DfE to present our case and to answer specific and detailed questions about our plans.  This should take place before Christmas and we will learn the outcome in early 2017.  If we are successful at this stage then the DfE will approve our application to progress to the pre-opening stage.  The Secretary of State will not confirm an opening date until an application is established in the pre-opening stage, but our ambition is to complete building works in time for the school to open in September 2018.

Thank you to all the colleagues, parents, young people and professionals who have contributed so far to help shape the vision for our new school.  We continue to need your input and support.  We will update you on progress, as well as opportunities to get involved, as we move forward.