Parents consulted on Pilton Community College plan to join ‘multi-academy’ trust

Pilton Community College in Barnstaple. Picture: Andy Keeble

Pilton Community College in Barnstaple. Picture: Andy Keeble - Credit: Archant

Barnstaple school bids to become first secondary school member of Devon-wide primary academy trust.

Pilton Community College has been designated a 'centre of excellence' as part of a new global learni

Pilton Community College has been designated a 'centre of excellence' as part of a new global learning programme. - Credit: Archant

Pilton Community College has announced plans to consult on joining a multi-academy schools’ trust.

Directors at the school say they want to join the Primary Academies Trust (PAT) later this year and are holding an information meeting for parents next month along with wider consultations.

If Pilton decides to join, it would be the first secondary school in PAT, which currently consists of 10 schools throughout Devon, including Orchard Vale in Barnstaple.

Pilton is already an academy, which means it is directly managed by the Department for Education rather than Devon County Council.

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In a letter to parents, directors said: “We are currently rated good by Ofsted and are constantly seeking to improve further in order to benefit our students.

“In order to do this, we are proposing to join a multi-academy trust which is a group of academies who retain their own identities but are formally linked and are able to work together to improve outcomes for all our young people.

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“Pilton Community College is already rightly proud of its current broad and balanced curriculum and its inclusive ethos.

“Pilton currently enjoys very positive working relationships with its feeder primary schools, neighbouring secondary schools as well as the local authority.

“None of this would change were we to become part of a multi-academy trust.

“It is the intention of the directors to make decisions that will secure and improve what we already do so well and not to change our ethos or the many opportunities available to our students, as a result of joining a trust.”

PAT is run by Chief Executive Officer Gary Chown, who said: “We are a growing and successful trust committed to educational excellence for all the young people and families we serve.

“We would be delighted to welcome Pilton to our family of schools as we broaden and develop our work to include all school-age young people.”

A consultation evening for parents will be held at the school on February 1 at 7pm. Parents can also book a one-to-one conversation about the change on February 8 through the school or ask questions via email on

The consultation will end on February 22 after which the directors will make a formal decision whether to join the trust.

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