Backwell School becomes sixth to join academy trust

Jon Nunes.

Jon Nunes. - Credit: Archant

A North Somerset secondary school and sixth form has joined an academy trust.

Backwell School joined the Lighthouse Schools Partnership at the start of January, taking the trust’s schools to six, after governors voted in support in November.

Schools across the country are converting to academies or joining academy trusts because local authority funding for education has been withdrawn.

The Government decided in 2016 it would prefer to give money directly to schools rather than councils, and many North Somerset schools have already made the switch.

The Lighthouse Schools Partnership (LSP) will now have two secondary schools – Backwell and Gordano School.

Backwell School headteacher Jon Nunes said: “I am extremely pleased we are joining an organisation which has, at its heart, a very strong core of values around education which are shared with Backwell School and enshrined in the Backwell Charter.

“Joining the LSP will allow us to carry on working in this school with great autonomy while being able to benefit from close links with local primary schools and support and challenge from like-minded secondary colleagues.

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“Above all, this is a fantastic development for the young people in the local area who will, in the future, be able to benefit from a fully joined-up three to 19 education based on a shared ethical commitment.”

MORE: Jon Nunes appointed as Backwell headteacher.

In the near future, the LSP could more than double in size to take on 14 schools.

Four schools in Portishead and one in Portbury are already members.

In February or March, Backwell Junior School and West Leigh Infant School, both in Backwell, may join.

Schools in Yatton, Flax Bourton, Long Ashton and Nailsea are also planned to join at a similar time.

The LSP started in 2016 and its prospectus says: “Each school retains its own culture, and the leadership team in each school has the autonomy to manage their school in the way which serves their particular context best.

“Lighthouse Schools Partnership stays in the background as we want families and employees to focus on the school as the place where almost all decisions and activity take place.”