IT’S a new chapter for one Southampton school as it joins one of the city’s largest academy trusts. 

School leaders at Sholing Junior School say the children will benefit from “strength in numbers” after working as a local authority school had become “increasingly difficult”. 

Head teacher Marc Parnell, who has been at the school for 12 years, said: “We needed to academise to secure our future. The ability of the local authority to fund schools has decreased in the last few years. 

“We are already a cluster of schools but it will help with general things like technical support and the infrastructure of the buildings.” 

The school has grown in the last few years, taking 30 more pupils each year for the last three years, and growing from 250 to 360. 

Mr Parnell is proud of being able to offer four residential trips a year to the Isle of Wight, Wye Valley and Wales, and a trip to Dartmoor with help from King Edward VI School. 

Mr Parnell said: “We’ve managed to keep them going despite the changes in the curriculum. Sometimes the core subjects take up the most of the curriculum – but they are really important so we have made the effort.” 

Teachers from the school and others in the Mayflower Partnership will be working together this week to share expertise and resources. 

In May 2017 inspectors said the school required improvement but that it was “good” in personal development, behaviour and welfare.