A SHAKE-UP following a landmark decision could affect how thousands of schoolchildren in the Truro area are educated.
Richard Lander School and its ten partner primary schools may move to co-operative status, leading to reduced Cornwall Council control, as opposed to those taking up academy status which break away entirely.
The proposal would involve hundreds of staff being employed by the governing body set up to run the trust rather than the local authority.
Steve Mulcahy, head teacher at Richard Lander, said: “What attracts me to the trust model rather than other models of school status is that this is essentially about schools working with other schools to the benefit of the whole community.”
Governors of Richard Lander and the primaries – Blackwater, Bosvigo, Chacewater, Cusgarne, Mithian, Mount Hawke, Shortlanesend, St Agnes, Threemilestone and Treyew – met and voted on July 5 to explore trust status.
The schools are consulting with staff, parents and the community, with a final decision expected in the autumn.
Mark Lees, head teacher of Threemilestone School, said: “The benefits of partnership in joint procurement may mean significant cost savings in a number of areas.
“Working as a trust will also give us a degree of control over our future and the kind of educational community we want to be in 10 or 20 years and after that.”
Land and assets would be transferred from Cornwall Council to the schools.
The newly-formed governing body would determine admissions arrangements but have to consult with the council on any changes.
Schools could save money through sharing specialist teachers and resources.
Helston Community College became a co-operative trust a year ago. Penair School and the Roseland Community College have become academies, funded directly by central Government.
Cornwall Council guidance on trust status says parents, pupils, staff and other stakeholders can have a say in how the trust is run.
Councillor Neil Burden, portfolio holder for children’s services at Cornwall Council, said: “This is very much a change in the culture in Cornwall … a way of schools being given more autonomy.”
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