Newbury News Ltd. Print-Digital-Social

Thatcham school welcomes new head and becomes an academy

Francis Baily Primary joins Kennet School Academies Trust

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

Thatcham school welcomes new head and becomes an academy

FRANCIS Baily Primary School has become an academy and joined the Kennet School Academies Trust (KSAT).

The school converted to academy status on September 1 in a move which will allow Francis Baily and Kennet to share resources and expertise. 

Francis Baily welcomed new headteacher Yvonne Standing this week, who said the partnership with Kennet would benefit both schools, as staff would be able to work closely in the best interests of all children.

On her appointment to Francis Baily, she said: “It’s an excellent school to come to – amazing staff and team there and good children.

“It’s fabulous, they have been so welcoming to me.

“I’ve been overwhelmed by how friendly and lovely they all are and perceptive.

“They have been very receptive of the ideas that I have already spoken to them about.”  

Executive head of KSAT, Gemma Piper, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Francis Baily into the Kennet School Academies Trust.

“As a family of schools, we prioritise pupils’ life chances through academic and character education, a vibrant school life and the very best opportunities to extend themselves to achieve beyond what they thought was possible. 

“We look forward to furthering the ties we have as the vast majority of pupils transition from Francis Baily into Kennet School. 

“We look forward to the collaborative approach to school development in order to give the young people of Thatcham the very best opportunities through education.”

Francis Baily joins Whitelands Primary School under the Kennet academy. 

Headteacher at Whitelands, Matthew Irving, said the school had benefited by being “able to share expertise between primary and secondary level”.

He said Francis Baily joining would allow the school to learn from Whitelands “and perhaps give them opportunities to learn good things from us too”.

The chairwoman of governors at Francis Baily, Ginette Kilroy, said: “At Francis Baily we aim to reach the highest possible standards, so our pupils are ready for all the opportunities and challenges their futures will hold. 

“We are really excited to be joining the Kennet School Academies Trust to enable us to achieve our aim to provide a high standard of education to all children who are within the Trust. 

“As the majority of our students go on to Kennet we hope to ensure achievement right through their education from foundation through to sixth form and look forward to the benefits this will bring for young people in Thatcham.”

Francis Baily was rated good by Ofsted in 2016.

However, on converting to academy status the existing school closes and a new school opens in its place, meaning Francis Baily as an academy is considered a new legal entity.

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Newbury Weekly News

Characters left: 1000