Whitleigh Community Primary School, Lancaster Gardens, Whitleigh, Plymouth, Devon, PL5 4AA

Tel: 01752 706383

Main Contact: Lisa Richards


Chair of Governors: John Bale

Whitleigh Community Primary School

Children at the heart of the school - School at the heart of community

Proposal Information


The Whitleigh Community Primary School and Sir John Hunt Community Sports College Federated Governing Board, in Plymouth, is proposing that Whitleigh Community Primary School should become an academy and join the Greenshaw Learning Trust.


The governors have been carefully considering the future of Whitleigh Community Primary School and exploring different partnerships that would support the school’s improvement. They concluded that it would be in the best interests of the pupils, staff and the wider community to take advantage of the closer collaboration and stronger support that would be secured by being part of a multi-academy trust (MAT); and that the best MAT to join is the Greenshaw Learning Trust. 

It has already been agreed that Sir John Hunt College will become an academy and join the Greenshaw Learning Trust. The Greenshaw Learning Trust is supporting Sir John Hunt to complete the process and providing school improvement resources and expertise before the college formally joins.


The governors are confident that joining the Greenshaw Learning Trust is the best way to ensure that Whitleigh Community Primary School continues to thrive in the local community and in the current educational climate.  The Greenshaw Learning Trust can provide the expertise and support the school needs. As part of the Greenshaw family of schools, the school will benefit from and contribute to a close collaboration of like-minded schools, whilst retaining its character and its place at the heart of the local community.

The Greenshaw Learning Trust has a similar ethos to Whitleigh Community Primary School. The Trust understands the community the school serves and the strengths and needs of its pupils, 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 Whitleigh Community Primary School will join the Greenshaw Learning Trust on 1 March 2023.


About the Greenshaw Learning Trust


The Greenshaw Learning Trust has eleven primary schools and thirteen 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 Whitleigh Community  Primary School’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.


To find out more about the Greenshaw Learning Trust, please visit www.greenshawlearningtrust.co.uk


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.  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 pupils and are the local schools of choice in which to work and learn. 


As part of the Trust, Whitleigh Community Primary School 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 Whitleigh Community Primary School?


By becoming an academy, the school’s admission arrangements will not change – the same pupils 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 lease until the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract expires and then the freehold will transfer.


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 Whitleigh Community Primary School recruit and retain good staff.


Your views and questions

We would like to hear your views and answer your questions about the proposal that Whitleigh Community Primary School should become an academy and join the Greenshaw Learning Trust.

Consultation meetings are being held where you can hear more about the proposal and ask questions:

  • Parents / Carers of Whitleigh Community Primary School

Tuesday 18 October 2022, 2-3pm in the Art Room

Tuesday 18 October 2022, 6-7pm virtual meeting


  • Staff of Whitleigh Community Primary School

Tuesday 18 October 2022, 3.30-4.30pm, in the hall.


  • Staff unions

Tuesday 18 October 2022, 5-5.45pm, virtual meeting


The virtual consultation meetings will be held on Zoom and details will be emailed to stakeholders; if you have not received the meeting details please contact consultation@greenshawlearningtrust.co.uk.


There will be an opportunity to ask questions at the consultation meetings.  However, questions and feedback can be raised in advance by:



Please let us have your views before 11 November 2022.

The proposal will require the approval of the Regional Schools Commissioner, acting on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education. Representations may be made by writing to rsc.sw@education.gov.uk. and including the following information:

  • your relationship to the school
  • your views on the proposal to transfer (insert name of school)
  • if they have any alternative proposals
  • any other comments on the school’s future