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Wellfield School could join multi-academy trust if plans approved

Mar 8, 2023 | Local News

Councillors will be asked to agree proposals which will set out a sustainable future for an East Durham school next week.

Durham County Council’s Cabinet will hear proposals to secure a positive outcome for Wellfield School, in Wingate.

The plans would see the school join an established multi-academy trust, with the council contributing to plans by writing off the school’s current budget deficit.

A Durham-based multi academy trust, New College Durham Academies Trust (NCDAT), which also has academies in Consett and North Durham, has worked with the school and gained the support of the governing body in pursuing a conversion.

The Department for Education (DfE) and Regional Schools Commission has approved the proposals, with an academy order now issued for the school.

To enable the transfer to happen the council needs to write off the budget deficit so that the transition to NCDAT is financially viable.

Cllr Ted Henderson, Cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “Wellfield School plays an important part in the county’s education offer and provides a good standard of education to the communities it serves. With consistently strong attainment outcomes, it is essential that we help to secure a sustainable future for the school.

“The most effective way to do this is for the school to convert to academy status. This will allow Wellfield to maintain its strong education outcomes and to continue to grow its pupil numbers.”

If the council chooses to write-off the current deficit, it would be met from the council’s School Reserve, which is in place to serve this purpose.

Should Cabinet approve the proposals, the academisation of Wellfield will take place this year.

*** Picture for illustrative purposes only. ***