Proposal to become an Academy and join the
Greenshaw Learning Trust

The Governing Body of Sir John Hunt Community Sports College is proposing that the school should become an academy and join the Greenshaw Learning Trust.

The governors and school leaders have been carefully considering the future of Sir John Hunt Community Sports College and exploring different partnerships that will support continued school improvement. They concluded that it would be in the best interests of the students, staff and wider community to take advantage of the closer collaboration and stronger support it would get by being part of a multi-academy trust; and, having evaluated the options, that it should join the Greenshaw Learning Trust.

As part of the Greenshaw family of schools the school will benefit from and contribute to a close collaboration of like-minded schools – both primary and secondary – whilst retaining its character and its place at the heart of the local community.

The Greenshaw Learning Trust has a similar ethos to Sir John Hunt Community Sports College. The Trust understands the community the school serves and the strengths and needs of its students, and has the skills and experience that will help the school give them the best start in life.

If the proposals proceed to plan and the necessary formal arrangements are agreed between the school, the Greenshaw Learning Trust, the Department for Education and Plymouth City Council, it is expected that Sir John Hunt Community Sports College will join the Greenshaw Learning Trust on 
1st September 2021.

About the Greenshaw Learning Trust

The Greenshaw Learning Trust has eight primary schools and twelve secondary schools in Plymouth, Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire, Surrey, Berkshire and South London; they are popular local schools and have shown significant improvement since they joined the Trust.

The Greenshaw Learning Trust is an established and successful multi-academy trust, a charitable company responsible for, and with the sole purpose of providing education through, a group of state-funded schools - which continue to follow the same regulations as other state schools and are funded on the same basis.

The Trust shares Sir John Hunt Community Sports College’s values; it works in similar communities to those of Plymouth and understands its young people’s strengths and needs. The Greenshaw Learning Trust provides an effective structure for schools to collaborate and share expertise and resources. It provides quality and cost-effective support services to its schools and has a track record of school improvement.

Why do it?

Schools can tackle the challenge they face and better secure the support and services they require by working together and sharing expertise and resources within a structured group of schools – and being part of a multi-academy trust provides the most effective structure for that.

Sir John Hunt Community Sports College, along with a number of other school in Plymouth, has informally worked with the Greenshaw Learning Trust and this collaboration has helped deliver school improvements. The Greenshaw Learning Trust has the skills, experience and capacity to give the school the support they require to ensure they can provide the best education to all students and are the local schools of choice in which to work and learn.

As part of the Trust, Sir John Hunt Community Sports College will benefit from stronger school-to-school collaboration as part of a community of schools that work closely together and support each other. The school will be able to secure better value for money and free up resources to use for the school’s own priorities. Joining a larger family of schools that share a strong moral purpose and work closely together to support each other will protect the provision and ethos at the school and
improve opportunities for pupils and staff.

How would it affect Sir John Hunt Community Sports College?

The Governing Body’s decision for Sir John Hunt Community Sports College to become an academy means there will be a need for the school to defederate from Whitleigh Community Primary School. Whitleigh Community Primary School will continue to be a Local Authority maintained school and the schools will continue to work closely together on joint strategies and shared facilities.

By becoming an academy, the school’s admission arrangements will not change – the same students will come to the school as would have done otherwise. The school will continue to collaborate with other local schools, for example to coordinate term dates, and with the local authority over provision for special educational needs and place planning.

The school will receive the same level of per-pupil funding as it would as a locally maintained school, but will benefit from additional efficiencies and economies of scale available to the multi-academy trust. The land and buildings used by the schools will continue to be used by the school and control of them will transfer to the Greenshaw Learning Trust on a long lease.

The Greenshaw Learning Trust will become the employer of the school’s staff – all current staff will transfer to the Trust under TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) regulations, retaining current pay and conditions. Teachers will remain in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and support staff will remain in the Local Government Pension Scheme as they are now; the employers’
contributions will be maintained by the Greenshaw Learning Trust. The Trust will offer greater development opportunities to staff and help Sir John Hunt Community Sports College recruit and retain good staff.

Further information

There is more information on the school website and on the Greenshaw Learning Trust website at:

Update: 26 July 2021

Following a stakeholder consultation, Sir John Hunt Community Sports College in Plymouth, has been granted approval by the Regional Schools Commissioner to join the Greenshaw Learning Trust. Many key steps required for the school to convert to an academy and transfer have been completed. However, the school is on a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) shared campus, which increases the complexity and number of legal processes to be completed. The conversion project team will continue to drive this forward to ensure the transfer takes place as soon as possible. The Greenshaw Learning Trust is working closely with the school, and the staff and students are already being treated as part of the GLT family ahead of the transfer.