• Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

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Top school looks towards a bright new era in learning

ONE of the region’s most successful school and sixth forms is exploring becoming a multi-academy trust to boost life and learning opportunities for countless children.

Richmond School & Sixth Form College would join equally successful schools, sharing its expertise, raising standards even further and cementing its reputation for excellence.

The move would also benefit teaching and support staff offering unrivalled opportunities for continual professional development.

MAT status is seen as an integral part of a vision to bolster the North by providing a skilled and energised workforce for the ever-increasing demands of local employers and national and international businesses which have chosen to locate in the region.

For headteacher Ian Robertson the move to a self-governing organisation, which is backed by governors and the local education authority, would be a parting legacy after announcing his retirement at the end of this year.

The day to day running of Richmond School & Sixth Form College will fall to his deputy headteacher Jenna Potter, who becomes head of school, while Mr Robertson focuses on the MAT initiative.

He said: “We believe that schools are stronger together and we will be seeking partners whose ethos, aims and standards match ours.

“Schools will retain their uniqueness but share common values that aim to raise standards across every aspect of life.”

This would include:

  • Continual improvement and the promotion of educational excellence in academic and extra-curricular areas, health and wellbeing
  • Greater attainment, progress, satisfaction and opportunities for students
  • Economies of scale and financial stability at a time of challenging central funding issues
  • Greater opportunities for professional development to boost the quality of teaching, staff recruitment and retention, ranging from initial teacher training to senior leadership teams
  • The sharing of best practice and expertise and action to ensure the maximum use of facilities
  • Strategic direction, planning, greater accountability and innovation
  • Wider community involvement and the spreading of a culture of inclusivity
  • The capacity to access DFE funding for capital growth and development
  • Stronger ties with FE and HE colleges and employers, greater access to work experience, mentoring and alumni support.


“Put simply, we want to find the best way forward for our students and staff to contribute the most to the region and the national and global communities,” said Mr Robertson, a headteacher for the past 20 years, seven at Richmond School & Sixth Form College.

“I have loved my teaching career and can think of no better or more exciting way to complete it than with an initiative heralding a new era of learning and professional development in the region.”

Chair of the Governing Board James Robson added: “The Governing Board was unanimous in its decision to convert the school, which has a long and rich history.

“Seeking autonomous academy status is another momentous occasion and the headteacher and I will investigate which multi-academy trusts are best aligned with our ethos and vision, before making recommendations to the Governing Body, parents, staff and other stakeholders.”