Langley Park schools agree to merger

Langley Park School for Boys’ board have voted in favour of the merger with Langley Park Academies, which will see the two form a new Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) – a move designed to make the schools more “financially efficient”.

The trustees and governors, who agreed the merger on Tuesday night, will now move ahead with an application to the Department for Education to form Langley Park Learning Trust.

The new MAT will bring together Langley Park School for Girls, Langley Park School for Boys, Clare House Primary School, Hawes Down Primary School and Langley Park Primary School into one single legal entity from September 2018. The schools themselves will remain separate.

A Multi-Academy Trust is a charitable company responsible for the running of the schools within it. It takes control over all the land and other assets and becomes the admissions authority for its schools. It is also the common employer for all staff in each of the schools.

The Beckenham schools are currently facing financial challenges and although collectively LPA holds over £1 million reserves, these are “insufficient to balance our budgets even a year ahead”, say the trust. LPSB has £1.8 million in reserves but these are also diminishing.

Without the merger LPA will be in a structural deficit by August 2020 and LPSB by August 2021. Merging to form a single trust is expected to generate potential savings of £800,000 by 2020.

A Langley Park School for Boys Academy Trust spokesperson told News in Beckenham: “Bringing together three local primary schools and two secondary schools will provide an opportunity for greater collaboration and sharing best practice which will enable the new Trust to provide a world class learning environment.”

In a staff consultation carried out in January the issue of redundancy was raised. A trust spokesperson said: “We reiterate there will be no changes to staffing structures during this academic year. Through the course of 2018/2019 we will be reviewing structures and provision with a view to making some efficiencies. We will be aiming to avoid redundancies wherever possible.”

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