Comfort reiterated AET’s support for the school and its importance to the organisation whilst answering questions from parents, who themselves expressed a broad range of opinions about the MAT idea.
A series of meetings between Headteachers, Chairs of Governors and their deputies from RPA, East Sheen and Barnes Primary schools began in mid-May and is set to continue through June and July: the meetings’ purpose is to flesh out what a prospective MAT might look like, what its educational vision might be and how it may be governed. The decision on whether to proceed with the proposal, and so put it to wider parent and community consultation, will be taken by the respective Governing Boards of the three schools.
As the authority of RPA’s governing body is delegated to it from AET, any request on the school’s part to form a MAT would need to be ratified by the AET board. In forming a multi-academy trust RPA would have to leave AET.
Ian Comfort told parents he ‘personally would take some convincing’ that a MAT could deliver positive change for RPA that could not be achieved from within AET, but that he would listen carefully to any proposals from the local governing board.
RPA Chair of Governors David Heath promised to keep parents updated on the progress of talks.