The board of directors of Crawley Free School Trust is considering merging the trust with Aurora Academies Trust. It is seeking your views on this proposal through a formal consultation period from 14th September 2015 to 12th October 2015. After the consultation period the board of directors will consider the responses to the consultation and take a final decision.


Q: What is Crawley Free School Trust?


A: Crawley Free School Trust is the charitable trust that was set up in 2012 to run The Gatwick School. It owns the building and employs the school staff .The board of directors of the trust are legally responsible for running The Gatwick School.


Q: What is Aurora Academies Trust?


A: Aurora Academies Trust is another charitable trust that was set up in 2012 to run schools. It took over four primary schools in East Sussex in September 2012. Later that year it was involved in the application to open The Gatwick School and provided educational services during the pre-opening phase. Since opening, Aurora has worked closely with The Gatwick School including sharing senior staff and conducting joint staff training.


Q: What are the advantages of merging?


A: The trusts already work very closely together and share a number of key staff. The trusts believe all five schools across the two trusts would benefit from being part of a formal group of schools sharing expertise and resources. The merger will allow some cost savings to be made, for example in relation to audit costs and as part of a group of schools, The Gatwick School should benefit from economies of scale when purchasing consumables.


Q: How will this affect The Gatwick School?


A: There will be no change to the day to day running of The Gatwick School. The governing body will remain in place. All staff will remain in post but will be employed by Aurora Academies Trust rather than Crawley Free School Trust. Behind the scenes, the board of Aurora Academies Trust will become legally responsible for running the school and eventually Crawley Free School Trust will be wound up.


Q: Will my child at The Gatwick School be affected?


A: No. You will not notice any difference in the day to day running of the school. All staff will remain in place. The name of the school will not change and the uniform will remain the same. The board of Crawley Free School Trust is keen that the school shall retain its own identity and build on its good reputation in West Sussex.


Q: Are there any disadvantages in merging?


A: The board of Crawley Free School Trust does not believe that there are any disadvantages in merging. There will be some legal costs associated with the merger but these are not significant.


Q: What will happen next?


A: When the consultation period has closed, the board of the Crawley Free School Trust will consider the responses that have been received and make a final decision as to whether the merger should go ahead. The Department for Education will then decide whether to grant permission for the merger. If permission is received the trusts will merge in early 2016.


How do I respond to this consultation?


A: We welcome your views on the proposal by email to, by post addressed to Tim McCarthy at The Gatwick School, 23 Gatwick Road, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 9TP or by telephone on 01293 538 779.