Academy Status2020-12-16T00:17:56+00:00


Khalsa Primary School given go-ahead to convert to academy status

The outstanding school is set to begin the next phase of its exciting journey.

Following a recent application to the Department for Education, the governing body at Khalsa Primary School (KPS) is pleased to announce that they have been given the go-ahead in the form of an ‘in principle’ decision to convert to academy status. As an academy, the school will
be operated by the newly established Sikh Academies Trust (SAT). The change is projected to take effect from 1st February 2021.

As part of the due diligence and decision-making process, the governors scheduled 6 consultation sessions with parents and the local community as well as an online consultation form where an overwhelming majority of individuals stated that they support the academy conversion.

Converting to an academy trust will provide the opportunity to maximise expertise and best practice for the benefit of the school, and the ability to use resources more efficiently and effectively for the benefit of all pupils, staff and parents.

The governors of KPS believe that some of the benefits of converting to an academy will include:

  • Ability to broaden the curriculum to enhance opportunities for children
  • Greater Control with regards to how finances are spent
  • Management of school budgets more effectively and creatively to support pupil progress
  • Control over the development and growth of the school.

The academy conversion will help the school build on its successes in recent years. The school has been rated as the ‘Best Primary School in Slough’, In January Khalsa Primary School was once again graded as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted. The school is oversubscribed with a large waiting list of prospective pupils. In September KPS teachers won Silver Awards in the award for Teacher of the Year in a Primary School and, the award for Headteacher of the Year in a Primary School. Pupils have also benefited from a stream of new facilities including a new library, a state-of-the art food technology room, outdoor gym, a new IT suite and refurbished toilets throughout the school.

Warm regards,
Governing Body of Khalsa Primary School

Should you have any questions or would like to discuss further please contact:
Jujar Singh (Chair of Governors)

Following the recent consultation, below you will find our responses to questions and comments which were brought to our attention.

Once we do become an academy, how will you ensure safeguarding measures are kept in check with the increased number of children + staff?2020-12-15T23:51:43+00:00

KPS have excellent safeguarding procedures in place, as confirmed through various external reviews. As we grow the new Trust will use external consultant where necessary to advise the school on enhancing the safeguarding policies. The teachers will have regular courses to go on. All staff will be tested on the various aspects for good safeguarding procedures.

We are extremely concerned that the head teacher and many staff will leave KPS.2020-12-15T23:50:06+00:00

There are no plans for the head teacher to leave the school once it becomes an academy. At the same time we are not expecting staff to leave KPS as there will be far more opportunities for Staff to develop their careers. KPS will still be delivering outstanding education to all the children.

Every effort will be made to ensure once KPS becomes part of a Multi Academy Trust (MAT) that standards are not compromised.

I understand staff may want greater movement between the schools for personal development which should always be available. How will this be balanced against what is best for the pupils of the schools?2020-12-15T23:47:32+00:00

In an academy it makes it easier for teachers to support each other across the group of schools by sharing, drawing on and learning from good practice, taking on increased responsibility for specialist subjects and acting as a coach. In a MAT, teachers can plot clearer career paths which will help to attract, retain and support the improvement of high quality teachers which ensure that this is in the best interest of pupils.

Will there be job losses?2020-12-15T23:48:23+00:00

No school can guarantee there will never be any job losses. However, when a school converts from a local authority maintained school to a new academy, all permanent staff are entitled to transfer to it under the same, current employment terms and conditions.

There are no plans for any redundancies as part of the school transfer to an academy. In line with all Academy Trust Boards, there are regular reviews of staffing structures to ensure they remain relevant to the school’s current needs and priorities and its future vision, strategy and direction.

How will the curriculum change?2020-12-15T23:41:59+00:00

The curriculum at KPS will not change as the school moves forward with academisation. A broad and enriched curriculum will be maintained in line with the changes made to support the new Ofsted curriculum.

As an Academy will the school be operated by a business giving large payouts to directors?2020-12-15T23:36:37+00:00

The trust will not have any paid directors except the Executive Head and Finance Director. All other directors will be working on a voluntary basis and will under no circumstances be paid.

Do Academies take money out of the council’s education budget meaning less resources for Special educational needs?2020-12-15T23:35:10+00:00

Academies get the same level of funding for each pupil as local authority schools in the same area; their notional SEN budget is worked out in the same way; they can get top-up funding from the local authority in the same way. MAT’s do not affect the local councils SEN budgets in any way.

How will you ensure there are robust governance and accountability processes to prevent the good reputation of KPS being sabotaged when changes in personnel take place?2020-12-15T23:32:19+00:00

The team have already begun to create a strong and robust governance framework that will provide a clear structure to make informed decisions, provide transparency across all areas of the school, integrity and accountability throughout. We are very conscious of the excellent reputation that Khalsa Primary School has earned and we want to retain and grow on this success.

The final board composition will be announced in the coming weeks. For now we are a single academy, in the future we aspire to take on more schools if they are a good fit to what we currently run. Separate consultations will be undertaken if and when this occurs.

Khalsa Secondary Academy has been earmarked for the Sikh Academies Trust to take over and operate under their leadership however, we await the outcome of the due diligence that is currently being undertaken.

At present there are no other schools that the Sikh Academies Trust are looking to bring under their control.

How does the consultation process work, has the decision already been made?2020-12-15T13:39:58+00:00

The consultation is a mandatory part of the conversion process for all academy transfers. It was undertaken with all identified stakeholders and the feedback was scrutinised to ensure that all concerns had been carefully risk assessed and impacts considered.

Becoming an Academy creates significant loss of accountability to parents, to communities and to those who work in them.2020-12-15T13:40:27+00:00

As an academy, the trust will communicate with parents and the local community as we do currently do at KPS.

Parking is currently a problem, how will this be addressed?2020-12-16T10:00:56+00:00

Parking at most schools has always been an issue. However, we are more fortunate than most schools as we are one of few schools that have on-site parking available. Over £220,000 has been spent to improve parking facilities. Becoming an academy will not have any impact on parking.

The ethos and performance levels seen at KPS were a big part of the decision to send my son to the school and I do have a concern that these will be eroded.2020-12-15T22:53:19+00:00

Our objective is to build on and enhance both ethos and performance. SAT’s primary outcomes are detailed below:

Ensure all learners achieve their best through:
– Becoming good human beings rooted in values/virtues;
– Being enabled to commit to and practice their faith/belief through inspirational knowledge and understanding;
– A love of learning expressed through enquiry and curiosity.

Will you keep the current ethos and teach pupils a balanced Sikh faith at the school?2020-12-15T13:23:28+00:00

“The aim is to do just that in line with Sikhi principles and the Sikh Rehat Maryada (SRM) as they are at KPS. SAT Vision for values and ethos:
To empower children with values to enable them to excel academically and spiritually, enabling them to serve humanity selflessly, with love and without discrimination. ”

Will be the mission statement or vision of the academy and how will it effect KPS?2020-12-15T22:47:09+00:00

The ethos of KPS will not be changed. The vision and ethos of Sikh Academy Trust will also follow the same Sikh ethos guided by the Sikh principles.
Contemplate and reflect upon knowledge, and you will become a benefactor to others – “Vidhiaa veechaaree taa(n) paraupakaaree”, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee, Ang 356”.

My concerns include whether the same standards would be maintained or compromised under a multi academy trust with its finances being shared with other schools?2020-12-15T22:46:06+00:00

The leadership team at KPS is strong and will remain so, even when KPS becomes an academy. The finances which are given from the Department of education are dependent on the number of pupils, and therefore this will remain the same for KPS regardless of whether KPS is and academy or a maintained school.

Research by the Education Policy Institute last year concluded that turning schools into academies doesn’t automatically improve standards, this is my concern.2020-12-15T22:45:11+00:00

Not all schools who join academies automatically do well. However, we can assure you that the education of our children is paramount to the vision and ethos of the school. A proportion of governors from KPS will be joining the new Trust to ensure continuity in maintaining high standards. The new structure has also been thoroughly scrutinised and vetted by the Department of Education to ensure that it has the capacity to support KPS and any future schools.

How will the academy ensure that KPS maintains its current excellent standards and nurturing learning environment. As naturally focus will be on 2 schools and in particular the failing school initially meaning time, resources and focus will be split.2020-12-15T22:42:32+00:00

KPS will have its own identity with focus on standards, spiritual philosophy and Sikh ethos. The focus of the school will not be compromised. KSA will have its own team . The Trust who sit above the schools will ensure that the smooth transition and standards are not compromised.

At the moment, school is doing very well at primary level. Will they still be able to maintain their outstanding status after becoming an academy?2020-12-15T22:41:17+00:00

We can assure you that standards at KPS are a priority of the governing board and will continue to be to ensure that these standards are maintained and do not drop. KPS also has a highly effective leadership team with very experienced staff. Recently KPS was judged as outstanding and the Trust will put all their efforts to make sure standards are not compromised.

How will you ensure that the children are the number 1 priority?2020-12-15T22:40:25+00:00

The governing body and as a new Trust, we only have one focus and that is, our Children. Our students are very important to us. We will make sure that the standards and spiritual understanding remains our main focus.

Will the standard of teaching be maintained?2020-12-15T22:39:54+00:00

We can assure you that standards at KPS are a priority of the governing board and will continue to be to ensure that these standards are maintained and do not drop. KPS also has a highly effective leadership team with very experienced staff. Recently KPS was judged as outstanding and the Trust will put all their efforts to make sure standards are not compromised.

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