De Aston considering Priory federation invite

PARENTS at Market Rasen’s only secondary school are being asked to have their say on its future.

De Aston became an academy in March last year and has now been invited by The Priory Federation of Academies to join their family of schools.

Governors have this week opened up the proposal to consultation for everyone concerned with the school to gauge opinion before a decision is reached.

“De Aston has thrived for almost 150 years because of its ability to adapt to the circumstances it finds itself in and seize opportunities that enhance its ability to provide for young people,” said chairman of governors the Rev Canon Alan Robson.

“It is only right that we give serious consideration to the proposal that we join The Priory Federation of Academies to examine whether this is just such an opportunity.”

A leaflet has been sent out to parents outlining the context of the proposal, as well as the potential benefits and changes it might mean at De Aston, should governors decide to proceed.

The Priory Federation of Academies Trust was formed in September 2008 with a mission to raise the educational standards and improve the life chances of students in Lincolnshire.

There are currently four Academies within the Federation – The Priory Academy LSST, The Priory Witham Academy, The Priory City of Lincoln Academy and The Priory Ruskin Academy.

If De Aston joins the Trust, the name of the school would alter and it would be known as The Priory De Aston Academy.

The range of policies and practices would also change, and it might be argued that De Aston would lose some of its independence in federating, something governors say they will need to consider carefully and balance against the potential advantages.

Joining the Trust would give the opportunity to pool resources and so share some costs, helping secure the financial stability of the school.

De Aston would also benefit from a major premises project to improve facilities, the nature of which would be decided at a later date, as well as access to federation facilities here and abroad, including an equestrian centre and a residential educational facility in France.

“We will publish the outcomes of the consultation, consider them carefully and then decide the best course for the school’s future,” added Mr Robinson.

The consultation period closes at 9am on Monday, February 20.