Further to our letter to you on 8th June I want to keep you updated as to the progress we are making towards a new opening date for public use of the sports hub.
We have had to review all of the circumstances surrounding public access and use of the sports hub at Fowey River Academy since Adventure Learning Academy Trust (ALAT) took responsibility for the academy and the sports hub as part of the academy conversion on 1st June 2014.
Although historically grants from various agencies were given to the local council to fund the sports hub, the responsibility for the safe operation of the hub now rests with ALAT. Although we recognise the important part the hub plays in the delivery of community facilities to the public of Fowey, the Trust’s primary responsibility is the delivery of a safe environment for the academy’s students and an improving education outcome.
There is no subsidy nor grant from any agency to subsidise the use of the sports hub so all running costs need to be met from the Trust’s budget for the academy. This budget is under enormous strain as we continue to improve the educational standards at the academy.
The reviews already carried out by the Trust have detailed serious concerns regarding the operation of the sports hub to date and the Trust is tackling these issues:
- The safeguarding of the pupils at the academy was not robust enough. New opening hours for public access will be outside of school opening hours so that we can maintain the appropriate controls to protect both students and hub users. This requires consultation and agreement from the hub’s current employees.
- A fob entry system has been installed together with CCTV so that a safer environment can be delivered.
- The financial viability of the hub is seriously under strain. The current membership levels and fees do not cover the direct overhead of the centre and the Trust is not in a financial position to continue to subsidise its public use. A review of membership banding and fees is underway.
- The health and safety systems in place for induction, safe monitoring of users and equipment is being updated. This will require adequate staffing and flexibility from the current staff.
As you can see from the above, we do have a lot of work to do and as soon as we have assessed the requirements of the sports hub and calculated the cost neutral position for the public use of the hub, we will write to you again setting out clearly the requirements and costs of membership.
At this stage, we anticipate that this information will be communicated to you by the middle of July 2015.
Once again, I thank you for your patience.
On behalf of Adventure Learning Academy Trust