Vision for future of education in Lewes

Priory School in Lewes
Priory School in Lewes

There has been a significant development in the future of education in Lewes this week.

Priory School and Western Road Community Primary School have completed an initial four week consultation, which took place in October last year, with parents and pupils, staff, local partners and the wider community, on changing their legal status from ‘community school’ to ‘foundation school’.

This week sees the publication of the statutory proposal to establish a charitable trust based on Co-operative principles, to hold the two schools’ land and assets in trust – and formalise and strengthen their existing collaborative arrangements with other learning providers in the town. The proposed trust would create a long-term partnership that brings together the Co-operative Movement and East Sussex County Council, as the education authority, together with many of the primary schools in the town with the aim of improving the learning environment for the benefit of pupils. Over time, the current partners hope to welcome a number of other organisations into membership of this innovative partnership.

The partner schools which have already committed to being founding members of LCLP include the primary schools of Iford and Kingston, Pells, Rodmell, South Malling and Southover.

The schools will remain a part of the local authority family of schools but will be supported by the Trust, a key objective of which will be to help the drive for achieving the best possible outcomes for local children and young people by engaging more strongly with the wider community.

Ken Caplan, Chair of Governors at Western Road Community Primary School, said: “Our aim is to provide the very best education possible by working together more effectively. We are keen to share the best practice and learning across all of our schools for the benefit of all the children and young people in our community.”

Pauline Quinton, Chair of Governors at Priory School, said: “The co-operative trust model enables everyone involved in our schools – parents/carers, staff and students – to become engaged in shaping the strategic direction of education through membership of the Trust. It will allow us all to work together and build a great future for a great future generation.”