Castledown Primary plans to join academy trust


Castledown Primary School, in Hastings, has announced plans to join the Ark academy trust.

Governors said they were "excited" by the prospect of joining the trust, which already runs Little Ridge and Blacklands primary academies, William Parker and Helenswood secondary academies and Ark 6th Form East Sussex.

A consultation into the proposal will run until early March. The school hopes to become an Ark academy from September 1.

Richard Sage, chairman of governors at Castledown, said: "We are excited at the prospect of joining the Ark network. Results at the school haven’t been what we would hope in recent years and we believe robust action is needed to secure the school’s rapid improvement.

"We felt the best way to achieve that was to pursue joining a successful academy sponsor such as Ark who have delivered significant improvements in other local schools such as Ark Blacklands."

The trust has already proved beneficial to one of its schools. Blacklands Primary had been placed in special measures but was rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted soon after joining the trust.

A statement from the governing body said Castledown would remain a standalone school, but would benefit from strong links with Ark’s other primary schools.

It would take both boys and girls, would still be non-selective and non-denominational, and current staff and pupils would transfer over to the new school.

Lucy Heller, chief executive of Ark said: "Ark has been working in Hastings for several years now, and we understand how passionate the community is about education.

"We look forward to working with parents and other local stakeholders, to provide the highest standard of schooling for the students of Castledown."

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