"Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust" advertises for Principal and two Heads

The "Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust" are advertising for a Principal and two Headteachers for their proposed Beccles and Saxmundham schools.

The adverts have appeared in the TES and on the school's websites interestingly whilst the statutory "consultation" is still ongoing. Cambridge Education who are the so-called "independent" organisation conducting the consultation are also the same people who the applications forms need to be returned to for these vacancies.

The Principal's post is offered at a salary of between £82 000 and £93 000 although this is likely to increase if there are further schools beyond the initial two and the Heads will get £66 000 to £75 000. A total of between £214 000 and £243 000 a year.

Click to enlarge
The posts and the application pack give us a clearer idea about how Seckford plan to run their Free School "empire". There will be a "Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust" which will be formed by Seckford's Board of Trustees who will have a majority on the Trust. The Principal will be accountable to the Free Schools Trust and the School Heads to the Principal. I have produced an organisation chart to illustrate this:

Ixworth and Stoke by Nayland shown for illustration,
Headteacher posts not yet advertised
It is notable that there is no mention of the Headteachers of any of the schools being accountable to any kind of a local governance body. They report to the Principal who reports to the Free Schools Trust. It is clear that the Principal is really the person in charge as the Job Description for the Head says:
With the Principal provide the leadership and management which enables the Saxmundham/Beccles Free School to give every pupil high quality education and which promotes the highest possible standards of achievement and well being
In many ways it seems to be a large split site school of the sort the Ixworth Free School group seem so opposed to at Thurston Community College.

It's clear there is an intention to share both staff and resources across the schools:
Work closely with the Principal and Heads of other Free Schools to ensure there is a commonality of approach and sharing of educational and human resources.
Again members of the Ixworth Free School group have criticised plans for Thurston to share some staff between Beyton and Thurston two sites some 4 miles apart. All of these schools are much further apart.

In addition to that these staff have a role in promoting Seckford's other activities:
Use every opportunity to promote and support all the Free Schools in the Trust, and the work of other elements of the Seckford Foundation, including the Almshouses, Apprenticeship Scheme and Woodbridge School
So it is part of the Principal and Headteacher's job to promote Woodbridge School at "every opportunity" whilst working in the free schools.

The whole pack gives the impression that these schools are definitely going to open and only in really small print are applicants told:
Actual Size
Sadly the Seckford Foundation continue its inaccurate and unpleasant talking down of local schools. In the Beccles Free school information page it says:
Despite this growth and opportunity there is still only one secondary school in Beccles and the two schools which achieve good academic outcomes are both oversubscribed and up to half an hour away by bus.
This is clearly a comment on Sir John Leman's academic outcomes. The latest (Nov 2011) Ofsted report however has this to say:
In summer 2011, the proportion of students gaining five GCSE grades C or above including English and mathematics was in line with the national average. The school’s assessment information predicts that current Year 11 students are on track to do better than this. Data shows that students make good progress during their time in this school. Lesson observations confirm the picture of good progress, although some subjects are more successful than others.
In addition I could not find any oversubscribed school's near Beccles other than the brand new Pakefield school in Lowestoft. The nearest school with higher academic results is Bungay High which is currently undersubscribed but does intend to reduce its admissions number.

And in respect of the curriculum the Seckford Foundation are continuing to repeat their error about the English Baccalaureate saying:
the curriculum is designed to provide a solid foundation for success in the EBac certificate.
Firstly there is no such thing as a certificate for the English Baccalaureate. As the DfE make clear it is a performance measure for schools not a qualification. Secondly the abbreviation is "Ebacc" not Ebac".
Seckford Foundation 7521687144177305993

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