North East Connected

High-ranking primary school looks to the future by joining education trust

AN expanding North-East education trust says it has been “strengthened and enriched” after adding a high-performing school to its portfolio.

Preston Primary, at Eaglescliffe, has joined Lingfield Education Trust, which already has six other schools across the Tees Valley, plus another in North Yorkshire.

The Trust’s chief executive, Nick Blackburn, said: “We are thrilled to have Preston Primary as part of our growing family of schools, and we look forward to an exciting future together.”

Sue Richardson, who has been head teacher at Preston Primary since 2014, added: “Despite our excellent results, we never want to stand still, and joining the Trust gives us the opportunity to develop further.”

Preston Primary’s results put it in the top five per cent of schools in the country for Key Stage 2 education. In its most recent Ofsted report, it was rated as “outstanding” for leadership and management, personal development, behaviour and welfare.

The school has been working collaboratively with the Trust for the past two years, and that relationship has now been formalised.

Mr Blackburn said: “We are passionate about working with head teachers who are committed to making their schools even better, and that is certainly the case with Preston Primary. We want to work with staff collaboratively, to maximise their potential, while using accountability as a framework for excellence rather than a stick to beat them with.

“Lingfield Education Trust and Preston Primary have so many shared values, founded on strong, compassionate leadership, and inclusion. Our aim is to give every child the best possible education, and being joined by Preston Primary has strengthened and enriched us.”

The Eaglescliffe school was established in 1907 and has 219 pupils, including a nursery. It also has an additional 20 places for hearing or visually impaired children, complementing the Trust, which has other resource bases for a range of special needs.

Mrs Richardson started her teaching career at West View Primary School, in her hometown of Hartlepool, where she became deputy head at Brougham Primary School before joining Preston Primary.

“We are a strong, successful school but the pandemic has further underlined the benefits of being part of a Trust. It means we can share expertise and resources, and it gives us the capacity to grow,” she said.

As well as Preston Primary, Lingfield Education Trust has five schools in Darlington – Mount Pleasant Primary, Hurworth Primary, Heathfield Primary, Northwood Primary and Corporation Road Community Primary – plus Hemlington Hall Academy, in Middlesbrough; and Cambrai Primary in Catterick.

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