Significant change proposal Steiner Exeter Academy
Consultation on the proposal to extend the forms of entry into the secondary phase of Steiner Exeter Academy from the current two forms to three forms of entry from September 2021 and to four forms of entry from 2023.
The Academy Management Committee for Exeter Steiner Academy and the Avanti Schools Trust (AST) Board of Trustees are jointly proposing to extend the forms of entry into the secondary phase from the current two forms to three forms from September 2021 and to four forms of entry from 2023. The capacity of the academy will increase to 1020 pupils (from the current 720). The Published Admission Number (PAN) for the primary phase will increase from 52 to 60 and in the secondary phase will increase to 90 from 2021 and then to 120 in 2023.
Steiner Academy Exeter was inspected by Ofsted in November 2018 and found to require special measures. The Secretary of State for Education decided in June 2019 that the academy should, following a rigorous due diligence process, join Avanti Schools Trust (AST). As part of the due diligence process AST was asked to review the academy’s two-form entry all-through operating model and consider whether it was both educationally and financially sustainable in the longer term. The Steiner Academy Exeter has a pupil admission number of 624. As of September 2019, there are 356 pupils on-roll, the school is therefore just over half full. The school faces significant financial challenges and the fall in pupil numbers is a cause for concern. In recent months AST has undertaken detailed and extensive analysis of the two-form entry all-through operating model at the Steiner Academy Exeter and the two other state funded Steiner Academies in the SW region. This has involved consultations and discussions with the Department for Education (DfE), the Education Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA) as well as with some other multi-academy trusts that maintain all-through schools. AST’s conclusion is that the two form-entry in the secondary phase is not sustainable financially and the small numbers of pupils admitted into the secondary phase necessitates a much narrower set of curriculum options when compared to other secondary schools in our MAT and locally. AST’s preference therefore is to extend the forms of entry into the secondary phase from the current two forms to three and then four forms, this will make for a much more sustainable financial model and allow for the introduction of greater breadth in regards to the KS 3 and KS 4 curriculum offer.
Basic feed for additional secondary school places in the Exeter area
The table below indicates that by 2021 there will be a significant need for additional secondary school places in the Exeter planning area of Devon LA. The planned expansion of the school to four forms of entry will help address this shortfall.
The change proposed: To extend the forms of entry into the secondary phase of Exeter Steiner Academy from the current two forms to three forms from September 2021 and to four forms of entry from 2023.
The objectives of the proposal are primarily to ensure that:
- Parents have access to a coherent, broad, balanced and well-planned education in both the primary and secondary phases.
- Provision offers pupils the highest standards of education whilst maintaining the nurturing and well-being of all children.
- All children have access to an exciting and innovative curriculum provision that meets a full range of diverse needs and supports every child in achieving their full potential.
- The school continues to operate as a viable and financially sustainable state school.
Implementing the age range changes
Currently, Steiner Academy Exeter has the following numbers of pupils on roll:
Numbers on roll: changes from September 2020 onwards
|Year Group||September 2020||September 2021||September 2022||September 2023||September 2024||September 2025||September 2026||September 2027|
Process of consultation
In order to engage in meaningful and informed consultation we will be providing the opportunity for individuals and institutions to make written submissions about the proposals as follows:
Via an online form: Click here
In writing to:
Significant Change Team
Avanti Schools Trust
We will also be holding a consultation meeting in the school which is scheduled to take place on Tuesday October 1 2019 between 11.00 and 13.00. If you would like to attend this meeting, please book a place by return email or telephone the school on 01392 757371
The period of consultation for the changes to the age range of Steiner Academy Exeter will run from Monday September 30 2019 to Monday October 28 2019.
Update: Statement from Avanti Schools Trust in relation to exemptions to KS1 testing
As parents and staff are aware the three Steiner Academies in the SW (Bristol, Frome and Exeter) are in the process of transferring into Avanti Schools Trust (AST). Currently all three schools have an exemption written into their funding agreements which means that KS1 pupils are exempt from testing. At the date of transfer to Avanti, the three Steiner Academies will become part of AST and will therefore be bound by the clauses of the AST Master Funding Agreement, which does not hold this exemption. Avanti will not be making a case to the RSC/DfE for exemptions to be included as there is no compelling and exceptional reason to do so and, as is the case with all academy transfers, DfE’s expectation is that the current model funding agreements be used in full.
You are also aware that AST is planning a curriculum review across all three schools in the coming months. This review will focus on the content of the schools’ current curriculum models and their alignment with and to the principles that underpin AST as outlined in the Avanti Way document. We want to make clear at this stage that reviewing the requirement for KS 1 testing will not be part of the review. However, we will be asking the review team to look into best practice in AST schools and nationally regarding how these tests are sensitively administered in the future.