Parents who know the recent history of the school will be aware that we became an Academy in April 2011. This was followed in September 2014 by our conversion into a multi-academy trust which we called the East Midlands Education Trust (EMET). We created this trust in response to the Department for Education (DfE) who wanted us, as a high performing outstanding school, to support other schools in need of some assistance. Consequently our first partner in EMET was Mill Hill School who we renamed as the Ripley Academy.
In September of this academic year we were delighted when the South Wolds Academy and Sixth Form in Keyworth decided to join EMET. South Wolds, as an OfSTED rated good school, did not need assistance to raise standards but instead joined our trust to work in partnership with us for the mutual benefit of our children.
Our fledgling partnership quickly attracted the attention of other schools as the benefits for schools to work within multi academy trusts became clearer. Not only are the DfE offering incentives to encourage this but it does allow academies to make much needed savings in our back office functions which in turn enable us to keep staff at the sharp end of the business, in the classroom. Consequently the Kimberley School joined us last November and the John Flamsteed Community School now have an academy order in place with a view to joining us on 1st April.
Once a multi-academy trust contains five schools and at least 3,000 pupils, the DfE offer a direct capital grant which a stand alone academy cannot attract. For our group of schools this will amount to about £1m per year which we can target in any way we see fit for the purpose of improving our buildings. With the John Flamsteed school joining EMET will become eligible for this grant.
EMET continues to attract interest from other schools and we are presently in dialogue with a number of other secondary schools. We have, however, never seen ourselves as a secondary only club and as the incentives for primary schools to join increase we have attracted the interest of a number of primary schools who may join our trust shortly.
EMET has, within a short space of time, garnered the respect of the Regional School Commissioner who has asked us to sponsor a number of under performing schools. However, we have resisted these calls preferring instead to grow our partnership with good and robust schools whose combined strengths can benefit still further all of the children in our charge.
We are determined, as a group of schools, to develop EMET still further but in a manner which ensures that in these most difficult of financial climates we maximise our resources for the benefit of our pupils.