St Andrew’s CofE Infant School in Farnham has become the tenth school to join the Diocese of Guildford’s Good Shepherd Trust as a Church School Academy.
The move has been welcomed by the school's chair of governors, Chris Hyland, who said the small school now had an opportunity to 'not just survive but thrive'.
The infant school, located next to St Andrew’s Church in the town’s historic centre, left local authority control on March 1st to join the multi-academy trust which receives direct funding from the Department for Education.
Chief Executive of the Good Shepherd Trust Dr Peter Simpson said: “We are delighted to welcome St Andrew’s Infants to the Trust and to have been given the opportunity to work with pupils, staff, parents and the local community to ensure the highest possible standard of education for all pupils.
“The school is at the heart of a close-knit community and we look forward to drawing on the support of the church, local organisations and businesses to enhance the experiences and opportunities provided for the pupils.
“We want to see primary education secured in the centre of Farnham and will continue to explore ways forward so that parents have a real choice for their children.”
Chris Hyland said: “I am delighted that St Andrew’s has joined the Good Shepherd Trust. As the education landscape continues to change, it has become increasingly difficult to see how small schools like ours will be able to survive and the future of our school has been far from certain in recent years.
“I am therefore very pleased that St Andrew’s is now looking to not just survive but to thrive. We can look ahead to developing our already rich curriculum and exploring new ways of teaching and learning within the freedom that academy status brings.
“The Good Shepherd Trust believes as we do in the value of a child’s development as a whole and has the structure and connections to support and challenge us as we enter this exciting new era helping to deliver top class education in the centre of Farnham.”
The Good Shepherd Trust was ranked 17th out of 218 local authorities and academy trusts in league tables published in July 2016 based on pupils’ outcomes.