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De-Amalgamation Consultation Letter

Consultation for Horizons Education Trust to de- amalgamate the two sites at Riverside Meadows Academy into two separate Academies as part of the Trust and remove sixth form placements. 

1.    Riverside Meadows Academy would remain at St Neots for SEMH mixed pupils age 11 – 16

2.    Riverside Meadows – Wisbech Green part of Riverside Meadows to become a separate Special Academy for mixed pupils age 11- 16.


This separation of the two existing sites would create a division which is known as a de- amalgamation. Each Special Academy would have their own separate Department for Education (DFE) unique number and Pupil Allocation Number (PAN) as part of Horizons Education Trust. Each Academy will have their own Head Teacher, separate local governance (Academy Advisory Group) who report to the Board of Trustees and supported by CEO and separate Ofsted Inspections. 
Following the Consultation report the CEO will consult with Board of Trustees for agreement to submit a full business case and evidence to DFE to make these Significant Changes within Horizons Education Trust. 
Consultation period (three weeks) 29 April to 20 May 2024 
Horizons Education Trust transferred the SEMH special school known as Unity School in to the Trust on 1 May 2021. A decision to design and build a replacement school site for Wisbech was concluded and opened 1 September 2023 and expanded the Pupil Allocated Number (PAN) from 30 pupils to 60 pupils as part of a build up plan to increase the number of SEMH placements in Wisbech and Fenland and surrounding area of Cambridgeshire. Meanwhile, the main site at St Neots continued with a PAN for 60 pupils.

In 2022- 2023 the Trust decided to appoint Co – Head Teachers for each site due to the geographical distance, for safeguarding and support to pupils and staff on a continuous basis. Both sites have aligned policies and procedures ready for de- amalgamation. The team at Wisbech has grown in numbers and now have readiness to become an Academy to meet local demand for SEMH and support their community as part of the Trust. 
Our proposal. 

We propose to submit a full business case for significant change (Tier 3) to the DFE to de- amalgamate the two sites of Riverside Meadows Academy (St Neots and Wisbech) into two separate Special Academies designated for pupils with SEMH (Social, emotional and mental health provision) for mixed pupils age 11 – 16. 

All pupils will have EHC plans and admission arrangements to the Academies will be unchanged by the Local Authority. 

All existing pupils will continue to attend their current Academy location unless there is application through Cambridgeshire Local Authority as part of the Annual Review process. 

Most staff will remain at the current location but the Mobility Clause will remain to support all Academies. The employment conditions of service, contracts and continuous service and pay will remain unchanged with the same employer. Any staff affected by the de- amalgamation will be consulted on an individual case basis. 

It is our proposal that ‘Riverside Meadows Academy’ operating at St Neots maintains the current name and DFE unique reference number. A new SEMH special Academy will be created at Wisbech to be called ‘Wisbech Green Academy’. 

The existing Academy uniform and Kingfisher logo will be unchanged with same Wisbech Green label to reduce costs to parents. The Riverside Meadows uniform will remain unchanged at St Neots. 
The Riverside Meadows SEMH Academies will continue as partner schools within the Trust but continue developing their separate identities overtime to reflect their local community as part of the Trust. 
Both Academies will be designated for secondary age range 11 – 16. It is our proposal to remove sixth form with a supplementary funding agreement with DFE. Neither Academy site has 6th form pupils on roll or accommodation to provide appropriate education provision for pupils at this age range to attain educational progression. At the last Ofsted, it was advised the Trust would clarify this anomaly. There is no impact to current or future pupils, as a sixth form does not exist to prevent this significant change. 
In terms of governance, both Academies will remain part of Horizons Education Trust and continue to share the same statutory policies and procedures approved by the Board of Trustees. Both Academies will have an Academy Advisory Group (Local Governing Body) who report to Board of Trustees and have support of the CEO and the central team. 

What would and would not change? 

No change: 

Relationship with CEO and Trust and central team. 
Policies and procedures 

Core Curriculum 
Staff contracts of employment or pay with same employer, which is the Trust. Individuals who may be affected will be consulted on an individual basis
Hours and term time dates 
Mobility clause between Academies and mobility of leaders within Trust

This would change: 
Separate Academy Improvement plans and School self - evaluation 
Separate accountability for standards with CEO and Trust. 
Curriculum reasonable adjustments based on local arrangements 
Curriculum options to meet needs of pupils 
Unique reference number for Wisbech Green Academy (WGA) 
Supplementary funding agreement for funding for WGA. 
School signage at WGA to be amended. 

Opportunities for local decisions with Academy Advisory Board (AAG) both sites. 

Your feedback is important to us. 

Please answer the following question and add any comments. We will not accept anonymous feedback. 

Consultation Question: 

Are you in agreement with the Horizons Education Trust proposal to separate Riverside Meadows Academy into two separate Special Academies and remove sixth form placements as follows: 

  • Riverside Meadows Academy would continue at St Neots, Almond Road, St Neots. PE19 1DZ for SEMH mixed pupils age 11 – 16
  • Riverside Meadows – Wisbech Green part of Riverside Meadows to become a separate Special Academy for mixed pupils age 11- 16 called Wisbech Green Academy located at Barton Road, Wisbech. PE13 4TG due to de- amalgamation
  • Yes/No
  • Comments & Feedback 

Please submit your feedback via the link below, by 20 May at 3.00pm; 

Any additional comments may be in writing in a confidential email to also by 20 May at 3.00pm.

Anonymous feedback will not be accepted. Please do not ‘reply all’ to this email. 

After consideration of any comments received, a report will be collated by the Trust to add as evidence for the ‘Full business case’ to the DFE for their final decision. Our report will be published online. 

Kind regards, 

Kim Taylor 
CEO – Horizons Education Trust