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New Schools Sponsorship, Sherford, Devon

Section 6A to the Education and Inspections Act 2006 places the Local Authority under a duty to seek proposals to establish an academy/free school where there is a need for a new school.

Devon is an area of growth with approximately 80,000 new homes planned over the next 15-20 years. The Education Infrastructure Plan 2013-2031 sets out the County’s strategic objectives, methodology, policies and principles for meeting the needs of Devon’s children.

In South Hams a new Community is being established at Sherford which is likely to see growth to 5,500 dwellings by 2026 and potentially a further 1,500 dwellings post 2026. The following will be required:

420 primary places with early years provision potentially to be open by September 2018, subject to rate of development.

UPDATE: Ivybridge Academy Trust has been given Secretary of State approval to sponsor the proposed new primary academy in Sherford under section 6A of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 (the ‘free school presumption’). The school will be called Sherford Vale Primary School.

Summary of Applications Received

Ivybridge Academy Trust

Ivybridge Academy Trust (IAT) passionately believes in providing a local solution to local need.  The inspirational new development at Sherford is right on its doorstep and within its learning community.  IAT has a long established, proven track record for excellence, rigour and continuous self-improvement at primary and secondary level.  This makes its academies the first choice for many in the South Hams, and will attract new families to the Sherford community.

The relentless pursuit of excellence, equality and enjoyment will pervade all aspects of school life at IAT’s Sherford Primary Academy (SPA). An innovative STAMP curricula, and outstanding teaching (based on evidence and well informed by research) will inspire, engage and motivate its children to give their best and enjoy their learning journey from 2 – 11 years, well equipped for a seamless transition to an outstanding IAT secondary. SPA will be staffed with high calibre professionals, whose individual needs will be carefully assessed and tailored to professional development and progression ideally within IAT.

SPA will develop its own unique identity, but will not be an educational island. IAT has forged a strong, effective network of multi-agency relationships and partnerships to which SPA will be well connected, where support, collaboration and challenge will be on hand in equal measure. SPA will benefit immediately from IAT’s strong governance and accountability structures, and its skilled, professional leadership and central services team who will release SPA’s management to concentrate on, and maximise resources dedicated to, teaching and learning not administration.

But SPA will not be ‘just a school’. It will be the heart of the newly formed community, pivotal to delivering Devon’s aspirational vision for Sherford. It will be celebrated as a beacon of success, a hub of the community and a portal of information to which other local services are signposted.


The Primary Academies Trust

The Primary Academies Trust is a highly successful family of ten Devon primary schools that work very closely together to improve the life chances of all our children. Our proposal enables the new primary provision to open within the supportive context of this established and well-regarded family of schools.

The Primary Academies Trust is the largest primary MAT in the South West and has a rich depth of primary experience and capacity both from a school improvement and financial perspective to ensure the success of this important project.

We have a strong track record of high quality governance, outstanding leadership, teaching and learning and pupil outcomes. All Ofsted inspections in our schools over the last year have judged leadership to be ‘Outstanding’. Ofsted had the following to say about the work of our Trust this year: –

“The senior leadership team is highly effective. Their vision of the setting is inspiring and their exceptional motivation to continually improve the provision is first class”

“The school, along with its parent Primary Academies Trust, has a strong reputation for its work in supporting other schools on their own paths to improvement.”

“Governors provide outstanding support for the school and challenge the leadership constructively. The Primary Academies Trust also supports the school very well, providing excellent opportunities for the staff to improve their professional skills and for pupils to enjoy increased opportunities in activities such as sport.”

The Primary Academies Trust is committed to the development of regional clusters within a wider Devon framework of schools and we would seek to develop a mature regional cluster, which would include Sherford and South Brent (one of our current schools) from the outset.

As a Trust we would welcome the opportunity to expand upon any aspect of our bid with any interested parties.


Specification, Background Info and Maps


Background Information

Map including Schools within the Area