News Blog

Polam Hall to join Woodard Academies Trust

The Governing Body of Polam Hall School is pleased to announce its plans for the school to join the Woodard Academies Trust, a multi-academy trust, at the end of the spring term 2017.

The Woodard Academies Trust (WAT) is sponsored by the Woodard Corporation, the largest group of Church of England independent day and boarding schools in the country. The Trust currently has 5 schools within its MAT, including Kings Priory School in Tynemouth.

Kings Priory was formed in September 2013 upon the merger of The Kings School, an all-through independent school, and the Priory, a maintained primary school. This summer their students achieved the best “5+ GCSE inc Eng and Maths” results in the North East with 92% of their students attaining this benchmark.

The Governing Body believe that joining WAT will bring opportunities and benefits that are currently not available to Polam Hall as a stand-alone school. This in turn will help Polam to deliver the best possible education to pupils. These include:

  • Economic advantages including enhanced opportunities to bid for capital investment, economies of scale and greater flexibility to focus funds where they are most needed
  • Greater financial stability at a time when funding for education is decreasing in real terms and stand-alone academies are being encouraged to consider joining a MAT
  • Sharing best practice with staff at Polam Hall working closely with colleagues at Kings Priory to help embed the changes required to drive up standards, improve results and ensure that Polam thrives as an Ofsted inspected state school
  • Access to WAT’s expertise in all support functions including finance, HR, systems policies and procedures
  • Polam Hall will be joining a family of schools with a similar ethos, vision and values. Woodard schools offer a 21stcentury education routed in the vision of Nathanial Woodard, a vision which challenges the belief that education is simply a matter of teaching and learning certain skills.  The education of the whole person, to foster the unique potential of each individual is the ‘Woodard way’. It has long been the Polam Hall way too.

The Woodard Academies Trust is therefore uniquely placed amongst MATs to understand Polam Hall School, the journey we have been on and what still needs to be done to deliver on our vision as a free school.

The proposal for Polam Hall School to join the Woodard Academies Trust has been approved and welcomed by the Boards of both the Woodard Academies Trust and the Woodard Corporation.