History of the EPA
Bartholomew School became a converter academy on 1 March 2012, having been assessed as an outstanding school by Ofsted in May 2009 and May 2013, and was formally appointed as an academy sponsor in 2013, sponsoring one primary school to date.
There had been a long standing close working relationship between Bartholomew School and its direct feeder primary schools that had been fostered and developed over many years and, against that background, the Eynsham Partnership Academy (EPA) was duly founded on 1 May 2014 to provide the best possible education for all young people in our communities and for those outside of our communities who choose to attend our member academies.
The trust currently comprises Bartholomew School, Eynsham Community Primary School, Standlake Church of England Primary School, Stanton Harcourt C of E Primary School, Hanborough Manor C of E School, Freeland Church of England Primary School and St Peter’s Church of England Primary, Cassington.
What were the challenges?
The Eynsham Partnership academy was the first multi academy trust nationally that comprised of a community secondary and primary school, and voluntary aided and voluntary controlled church schools. This required a significant amount of detailed preparation and negotiation but left us with a unique set of articles of association that provides the trust with stability and an effective governance structure.
Since the trust’s formation, all schools have been working closely together under the guidance and direction of a single joint Board of Directors who work closely with the local governing bodies at each school. In addition, the trust has benefited from the involvement of the Oxford Diocesan Board of Education as a corporate member.
With only one secondary academy and several small primary academies, the EPA faces significant financial challenges to establish a long term sustainable position given the changing national funding picture. Against that background, trustees have been looking at all viable options to expand the trust since December 2015 and on the 25 April 2017 announced that they had formally agreed to embark on discussions with the Faringdon Academy of Schools about the possible merger between the two academy trusts.