Newton Village Academy celebrates joining Furness Education Trust
This week, the newly named, Newton Village Academy joins Furness Education Trust. Newton becomes the fifth school to be part of Furness Education Trust, alongside Yarlside, Victoria, Parkside and Furness Academies, and the South Cumbria School Direct teaching training provider that is also a member of the Trust.
The process for Newton to become an academy and join Furness Education Trust began in March this year, following a successful consultation period with staff, parents, students and the local community. Headteacher, Mrs Lisa Fell, listened to feedback from all members of her wider community before proceeding with the application. Lisa said of the process, “It was important for me to talk through such a big change with the people of our community. As a small village school, we are very much a family and I wanted to make sure that any decisions I made were in the best interest of my school and for my students, but also supported by our village community.”
I was so pleased that they supported me and trusted my decision to join Furness Education Trust. The Trust services team supported us throughout every step of the application process, and we are already seeing the benefits of working with this team, only a week into the new term. We have new IT equipment, a clearer finance system, support with marketing, communications and recruitment, additional site management and so much more There is a strong focus on curriculum collaboration and sharing of good practice and expertise for the schools within the Trust.”
As part of the process of becoming an academy, Mrs Fell chose to change her schools name from Newton Primary School to Newton Village Academy. Although not a requirement when becoming an academy, Mrs Fell surveyed her staff, governors and children who all felt that a new name was appropriate to mark the start of a new chapter in Newton’s history. Lisa said, “Our identity as a village school is an important part of who we are, and the process of academizing gave us opportunity to include this part of our identity in a new name, as part of our move from a school to an academy. It is important for us to recognise how being a village school is an important part of our culture and character and we believe our name change further embeds this”.
Mr Simon Laheney, Chief Executive Officer of Furness Education Trust, said “All our schools maintain their own identity and character when joining our Trust, so it has been important to ensure that the village culture of Newton Academy continues to be strong. We are pleased to welcome Newton Village Academy to Furness Education Trust, bringing its own distinct identity and expertise that we welcome. It is a true village school, serving its community with values that closely align with those of our Trust and our schools and are a welcome addition to our growing Furness Family.”