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Five Islands 'won't become an Academy this year'

Five Islands School is unlikely to become an Academy for several months.

However, the chair of the Interim Executive Board stressed that the process is going ahead and there are no problems.

Jackie Eason told This is Scilly that sorting out final land and leasing issues "is taking longer than we would have liked".

She said the conversion is most likely to happen on April 1st 2019, although she is trying to stop giving dates as "we keep passing them quite spectacularly".

There will be a MAT board meeting this Tuesday when the decision will be finalised, after which information will be sent out to parents.

Jackie said: "The decision is not to convert the school until every bit of legal paperwork has been sorted. I’m trying to step away from giving actual dates as that's not within my power but we can assure everybody that there's absolutely nothing to worry about. The school is in the MAT anyway in all but name, we're all working together so well."

Five Islands Academy will join the LEAP Multi-Academy Trust (MAT), which includes Mounts Bay Academy and proposed additional partners Ludgvan, St Hilary and St Buryan Academies.

The islands' school was originally intended to convert on May 1st 2017 but has been recognised by the Department of Education as one of the most complicated conversions it has had to oversee.

The IEB is currently corresponding with parents on St Martin's about the future of the off-island schools after Academisation.

Jackie said of the parents' concerns: "There is so much common ground in our positions, we're really just talking about wording. They're asking that if a base does close, the MAT can’t sell it. Not only did it never really occur to me that a MAT would ever do that, I don’t think it's actually allowed.

"We're happy to make sure the wording we put into the MAT agreement is enough to stop people being concerned. I absolutely see where those concerns are coming from but I don’t see any issue as long as we continue to talk about it. We just need to communicate with each other."


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