School’s academy bid has Turkish support

Dr Annabel Kay headteacher at Warriner School
Dr Annabel Kay headteacher at Warriner School

Parents are being informed of a plan to make The Warriner School and two primaries an academy, sponsored by a Turkish-backed organisation.

The primary schools are Sibford and Hornton. Parents have been sent letters by Warriner head teacher Dr Annabel Kay and chair of governors Mandy Morris extolling the virtues of the plan and an open meeting was held to answer questions.

The organisations involved, BAU Foundation and Mentora Academies Trust, are new and were only accepted and registered with the Department for Education (DfE) in August.

If the schools leave Oxfordshire County Council – the local education authority (LEA) – they will be funded centrally. It is not known how much the allowance will be but the Mentora Academies Trust will give the academy a ‘token’ £150,000 a year and it is understood the academy would be better off.

Dr Kay, an unpaid director of the BAU Foundation, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to access national best practice to support all our schools in providing the very best outcomes for all our children.

“The directors are a group of highly-skilled people who want to work with us to be the very best we can.”

Academies organise and pay for their own management and administration with input from their sponsor and can reorganise pay scales and conditions to suit their priorities.

Spokesman John Price Williams said: “Mentora has a number of private schools in Turkey. What they get out of it is the prestige from their extended global reach. They don’t need to make money from their UK schools; they quite understand they will be established and run under a trust. The point is the credibility. The benefit for the schools is additional investment and support. Running English schools in England is prestigious for any international educational group.”

The proposal is in a consultation period until December 11.