North Devon school aims to join successful Academy Trust

Posted on: 19 January 2016

Pilton Community College has announced plans to consult on joining a successful Multi-Academy Trust.

Pilton’s directors say they want to join the Trust later this year and are holding an information meeting for parents next month along with wider consultations.

The Primary Academies Trust (PAT) is run by Chief Executive Officer Gary Chown and currently consists of 10 schools throughout Devon, including Orchard Vale in Barnstaple.

If Pilton decides to join the Trust, it would be the first secondary school in PAT and the directors say it would be in a strong position to shape the Trust’s future direction.

A recent Ofsted report on one of PAT’s schools concluded: “The Trust structure provides an over-arching framework that is enabling rapid and sustained school improvement to the benefit of all pupils.”

Pilton is already an academy which means it is directly managed by the Department for Education rather than the local authority.

In a letter to parents, the directors say:

“We are currently rated good by Ofsted and are constantly seeking to improve further in order to benefit our students.

“In order to do this, we are proposing to join a multi-academy trust which is a group of academies who retain their own identities but are formally linked and are able to work together to improve outcomes for all our young people.

“Pilton Community College is already rightly proud of its current broad and balanced curriculum and its inclusive ethos.

“Pilton currently enjoys very positive working relationships with its feeder primary schools, neighbouring secondary schools as well as the local authority.

“None of this would change were we to become part of a multi-academy trust.

“It is the intention of the directors to make decisions that will secure and improve what we already do so well and not to change our ethos or the many opportunities available to our students, as a result of joining a trust.”

Mr Chown said:

“We are a growing and successful Trust committed to educational excellence for all the young people and families we serve.

“We would be delighted to welcome Pilton to our family of schools as we broaden and develop our work to include all school-age young people.”

There will be a consultation evening for parents at the school on February 1 at 7pm. Parents can also book a one-to-one conversation about the change on February 8 through the school or ask questions via email on

The consultation will end on February 22 after which the directors will make a formal decision whether to join the trust.

Posted in: Education