North East Connected

Multi academy trusts unveil merger plan

TWO of the Tees Valley’s best known multi academy trusts (MATs) are planning to merge to boost learning opportunities for young people and career development for staff.

The Education Village Academy Trust in Darlington and Endeavour Academies in Middlesbrough are looking to join together to form an enlarged trust – Endeavour Schools and Academies Trust (ESAT).

Plans have gone out for a four-week consultation on the move, which would see seven schools and almost 4,000 children aged two to 19 and around 600 staff come under one organisation.

The Darlington schools involved are Haughton Academy, Beaumont Hill Academy, Springfield Academy, Marchbank Free School and Gurney Pease Academy. These schools will work together with Middlesbrough schools, Macmillan Academy and Archibald Primary School, creating a unique range of primary, secondary, post-16 and special education provision all within one trust.

Over the past three years several of the schools have been working together on projects in English, maths and leadership development, many of which have been delivered through the Macmillan Teaching School Alliance.

The aim of the formal merger is to combine governance, leadership and teaching expertise, to provide the best education possible to children and improve standards further, as well as be more financially efficient.

EVAT Chief Executive Mike Butler said: “We have had a close relationship with Endeavour for a long time, which has been to mutual benefit. When I see the amazing work being produced by their pupils, I can’t wait for us to work even more closely.

“The new arrangement would be a twin hub model, ensuring that local needs continue to be met locally. With five good schools, including two offering specialist provision, and two others which are rapidly improving, the emboldened trust would be more attractive still to anyone else looking to join a successful MAT.”

Endeavour Academies CEO Phil Latham added: “EVAT and Endeavour have worked together for a number of years and merging formally is a logical extension of the shared practice currently being developed across the two trusts.

“As the system of MATs develops, it is clear that larger trusts will be able to provide a greater range of opportunities for staff and students. We are excited about the prospect of working together and extending our partnership further.”

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