Drake’s and Otterton begin new era with Links Academy Trust

PUBLISHED: 17:05 14 December 2019 | UPDATED: 17:05 14 December 2019

Drake's Primary School and Otterton Primary Schol. Picture: Google

Drake's Primary School and Otterton Primary Schol. Picture: Google


Two Otter Valley primary schools have joined an educational trust – becoming academies in the process.

Drakes' Primary School, in East Budleigh, and Otterton Primary School have joined in the Link Academy Trust.

The schools had formed the Raleigh Federation which, as a result of the school's new status, has been dissolved.

Becoming academies means the schools will no longer be accountable to Devon County Council - the local education authority.

It also means they will have access to a central budget while children and parents will have access to an inclusion hub which provides support for children with special needs.

Behind-the-scenes functions, like human resources, will also be handled centrally.

Nicky Dunford, chief executive officer of Link Academy Trust, said: "The advantage of our trusts like ours is that we bring a central team to each school.

"We have a school improvement team. We can support the heads in school improvement.

"Our academy heads are solely responsible for teaching and that's why our schools are doing really well and why we are able to give the best education."

The Links Academy Trust was launched in 2016 and to date has more than 14 schools.

Drake's and Otterton are the first in East Devon to join.

The change in status means Drake's and Otterton primary schools effectively closed as they were and re-opened as academies.

Peter Halford, who was executive headteacher of the Raleigh Federation, will continue as the executive academy headteacher.

He confirmed that the school's joined the Links Academy Trust at the beginning of December.

He said: "In the current education climate, schools are needing to work together much more to provide their schools with more opportunities.

"The Link Academy has only small schools so we all share the same benefits and challenges and this helps us work together so all of our children get the best educational experience.

"The staff have already benefited from a range of training ensuring they are up-to-date with current practices but working alongside others who are in the same school setting.

"I really feel this is an exciting new chapter for the schools moving into the future."

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