St Osmunds to join Wessex Multi-Academy Trust

St Osmunds to join Wessex Multi-Academy Trust

Published by Maria Greenwood at 12:01am 29th February 2020. (Updated at 9:14am 29th February 2020)

St Osmunds C of E School in Dorchester will join the Wessex Multi-Academy Trust from tomorrow. (1st March).

The school was rated inadequate by Ofsted in 2018 and placed into special measures.

A monitoring visit last year found effective action was being taken and the school's action plan was  fit for purpose.

St Osmunds has now chosen to work with the Wessex Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) which Thomas Hardye School and Damers First School in Dorchester are a part of.

child in school


Saira Sawtell is the Head Teacher for St Osmunds, she told Wessex FM it's been a complicated process which started in July last year: 2019:

"It’s a requirement of an inadequate status to change to an academy.

"But now we have the benefit of having had another monitoring visit, which we had last September which was immensely positive.

"We feel like the next stage of the journey is a secure improvement, it has opened forward solutions and suggestions."

Thomas Hardye School 2
Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester is part of the Wessex Multi Academy Trust

The school work closely with Mike Foley, head teacher of Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester and Chief Executive of the Wessex MAT and Saira says the team at ST Osmund's C of E  knew very quickly it was the best fit for the school.

"Working closely with other schools in the area means that we will have a wealth of experience, support, knowledge and leaderships available to us.

"There won't be any changes to the school that you can perhaps identify as the value of MAT, it allows the school to retain it's individual character and for us that's a Christian character with Christian values.

"None of those will change but what it will do is enhance our teaching and learning because we'll pull in the experience and knowledge from our partners in the MAT, helping us make our teaching and learning to be better."

school pupils

'What does being an academy mean?'

  • An academy is a school that operates outside local control and a multi-academy trust is a family of schools working together. 
  • Schools would usually look to their local authority to provide support.
  • The purpose of an academy model of school is a self-supported, self-sustaining system.