Gosport school finds sponsor that’s a perfect fit

THRILLED Headteacher of Bridgemary School, Richard Carlyle celebrates finding a sponsor.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves (110118-1)
THRILLED Headteacher of Bridgemary School, Richard Carlyle celebrates finding a sponsor. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (110118-1)

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A teacher training specialist has been chosen as the sponsor of a Gosport school.

Bridgemary School is set to ally with The Kemnal Academies Trust (TKAT) – just months after the trust was named sponsor of Havant Academy.

The partnership followed an ultimatum from Hampshire County Council to find a sponsor before the new year or get paired with one.

Head Richard Carlyle says after research, he has found the right one that will respect the school’s identity and trouble-shoot areas of weakness rather than remoulding everything from scratch.

And as the TKAT brand comes with teacher school status, Bridgemary is already sharing its own expertise in areas of financial budgeting and sports.

Mr Carlyle said: ‘TKAT isn’t driven by any faith and it doesn’t have a curriculum blueprint.

‘It’s got a broad church of schools from outstanding to being in notice to improve.

‘By researching the sponsors we’ve found the one that’s best for us and that will replace a declining education service in Hampshire.

‘We’re already benefiting from the expertise in maths, which was our primary concern in last year’s results.

‘It’s a school-on-school approach rather than consultant-led.

‘I’m glad we’re part of a group with a proven track record of school improvement.

‘I feel schools going down the route of converting to academy status on their own leaves them vulnerable both financially and in terms of developing capacity to raise standards for all children.’

Like Havant, Bridgemary was failing to hit the national benchmark for GCSE results.

Last year, its good GCSE pass rate with English and maths dropped to 31 per cent – below the 35 per cent threshold.