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Agreement reached over future of off-island schools

St Martin's parents are "very pleased" that a clause protecting the off-island school bases will be included in the new Academy agreement.

Parents on the island had written to the Isles of Scilly Council, as well as the school IEB and Diocese of Truro, expressing their concern that the off-island schools be protected from future closure when Five Islands converts to an Academy.

They requested that a clause from the original Five Islands federation agreement ensuring the future of the off-island schools and teachers' houses also be included in the new Academy agreement.

The original clause reads: "In the event that an island has no school children for a period of time, the site may be used for educational and community related purposes. If the building is not used for its prime purpose, it shall be kept in good repair and order and reopened as soon as practically possible when needed. Preparation will commence to re-open the school site as soon as it is apparent that it is required for one or more children.”

Cllr Joel Williams confirmed in yesterday's Full Council meeting that the LEAP Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) has now agreed that the original words from the federation agreement will be reflected in the documents establishing the new Academy.

He told Members: "That's obviously a huge step forward so thanks to St Martin's parents for bringing that to the attention of us. Hopefully they'll be satisfied by that particular outcome. There's also certainly a willingness from the IEB and MAT to go to off-island bases on the different islands to have conversations with parents."

Cllr Jonathan Smith, who represents St Martin's, said: "I'd certainly like to thank all involved for a lot of hard work in trying to get this wording right to satisfy the parties. Just reporting back from what I've heard from St Martin's parents they're very pleased that the wording of the previous federation agreement has been adopted by the Academy Trust so that's an excellent outcome. And also that the IEB will be coming to St Martin's to discuss with parents any issues they have and progress of the Academy is all very welcome."

>> Read the original letter from St Martin's parents

>> Read the reply from the IEB and the parents' subsequent response


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