Schools part of Gosport Multi-Academy Trust including Bay House School to join with King's Group Academies

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Five Hampshire schools will officially be run by a new academy trust from this month signalling a change to the way they will be run - as well as being given new names.

King’s Group Academies is set to take over the five schools currently run by the Gosport and Fareham Multi-Academy Trust (GFM) meaning Bay House School and Sixth Form, Brune Park School, Gomer Junior School, Lord Wilson School in Southampton and Rowner Junior School will be renamed and have new uniforms.

A multi-academy trust is where one trust will be in charge of operating multiple education settings and they are directly funded by the Department for Education. A multi-academy trust is also independent from its local authority.

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Pictured: Nick Cross with (left to right) Charlie, Sophia, Alex, Amelia from Gomer Pictured: Nick Cross with (left to right) Charlie, Sophia, Alex, Amelia from Gomer
Pictured: Nick Cross with (left to right) Charlie, Sophia, Alex, Amelia from Gomer | KGA

The GFM announced that it will join King’s Group Academies which currently operates nine schools including King's Academy College Park in North End, and King's Academy Northern Parade in Hilsea, as well as seven other settings across the country.

The GFM school websites say: “We are pleased to let you know today that we are planning to join another multi-academy trust, called the King’s Group Academies, which has a total of nine schools.  

“The Department for Education formally approved us joining King’s Group Academies during the October half-term break and we are really looking forward to becoming part of a larger, well-established multi-academy trust. The planned date for formally joining the King’s Group is April 2024.”

As a result of the change, Bay House School and Brune Park will also see a change in the school uniforms which will be introduced from September. There will be little change to the uniform at the two junior schools, Rowner and Gomer. Lord Wilson will have a new uniform that reflects the context of an SEMH school, a letter to parents said.  But concerns have arisen from parents regarding the new uniform as they have expressed worries about the impact of new school uniforms on pupils that have special educational needs. Financial concerns were also raised about how parents are expected to afford new blazers and ties.

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Interim CEO of the GFM Geoff Walls said: “We are very pleased to announce the cost of blazers for next year’s 8, 9 and 10 students will be fully funded by the King’s Group Academies (KGA)” “We will work with families to find a solution to any issues that may arise with the new uniform for children with sensory needs. As part of our commitment to sustainability the blazers are carbon neutral and are made from 100 percent recycled material.”

The news of the GFM joining King’s Group comes as Bay House School and Brune Park School have received ‘requires improvement’ and ‘inadequate’ Ofsted ratings following the recent inspections.

KGA has a strong record of school improvement having previously taken ‘requires improvement’ and ‘inadequate’ schools to Ofsted rated ‘good’. The group has already begun supporting the GFM schools, most notably at Bay House during its recent monitoring Ofsted where the HMI Inspector recognised a new behaviour policy, leadership support and a new reward system were already having a positive impact.  

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Nick Cross, CEO of KGA said: “We share a similar ethos to the GFM. Like them, we believe in local identity and want our academies to serve their communities.  We have already begun working alongside staff at GFM, and therefore growing a strong understanding of the local context. This will continue and bring significant experience and expertise to our already well-established team. This collaborative approach will allow our schools to focus on what really matters: teaching, learning and curriculum.”

As well as changes to the uniform at Bay House and Brune Park, there will also be new logos and a change in the names of each school to reflect the new beginning by adding King’s Academy as a prefix to their existing names.

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