Skip to content ↓


After careful consideration, the governing body of St Michael’s Primary School, Steventon are seeking to convert to an academy. We are applying for an academy order from the Department for Education to convert in the late autumn or early winter this year, 2024.

In seeking to convert to an academy, our priority is to ensure we continue to provide a high-quality education for our pupils. We believe joining an academy trust will provide the freedom to make effective financial decisions, securing our future and further enhancing education quality and improvement.

We are aiming to join Abingdon Learning Trust, which is a small, local trust operating Rush Common (primary) School and two secondaries – Fitzharrys and John Mason Schools. All three schools are all Ofsted graded good, with secure finances, and are popular. Abingdon Learning Trust (ALT) follows the principles of local decision-making by local governors and headteachers; and local responsibility with whole trust accountability.

We would be joining the ALT ‘family of schools’ which offers resilience available as part of a larger organisation – joint procurement saves money bringing those savings back to the children; we can bid for additional funds/grants not available to local authority schools; or support for H&S with the site staff, catering and cleaning, IT, payroll and HR, or supporting staff career aspirations through high quality training and development. Positive and open educational relationships across the Trust lead to improved pupil experiences and better outcomes – whether at the end of the Early Years or in the phonics check or KS2 SATs. 

Our staff will have no change to their contracts as ALT follows Oxfordshire’s pay and contract arrangements and our school would have the support when needed, and the challenge to ensure that we keep our high expectations and to further raise the bar for our children. Most importantly, we will retain our own identity and autonomy to provide the education for the children in the community we serve whilst benefitting from all of the above.

ALT is set up to add value to its communities, as a charitable company - for example they have invested in accommodation for Preschool children to ensure high quality places available for community; resurfaced school sports facilities for school and community use; are leading on carbon reduction through our net zero ambitions; and have donated funds to Abingdon Partnership of Schools for joint working on education priorities but most importantly we feel the values of our school are well-matched with ALT’s values.

Before proceeding with the conversion, there will be a formal consultation in which we invite you to share your views and ask any questions you may have. This commences on Monday 15th April 2024 and lasts for 4 working weeks, ending on Friday 10th May 2024.

There are a number of ways you can take part in this consultation:

Open meeting: This will be held at Wednesday 17th April and 6pm in the school hall. This will include a presentation from ALT as well as the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have. 

In writing: Please address any letters or emails to the Governing Body and send via Ms Leyshon. The email address is

This is an exciting opportunity to shape our future and bring about positive change in the way we run our school, develop our vision and values, and continue to drive the best outcomes for our children. Please don’t hesitate to contact us as detailed above with any comments and questions you may have.


Hayley Leyshon and Robin Conway

Headteacher            Chair of Governors