Three more Shropshire schools join academy
An educational trust has welcomed three more Shropshire schools to its team following approval from the Regional Schools Commissioner.
Shrewsbury Academy, Longlands Community Primary School in Market Drayton and Grange Primary School in Shrewsbury have officially joined The Marches Academy Trust.
Following extensive due diligence and a series of public engagement events where stakeholders were invited to comment on the proposal, the trust has said it is pleased with the decision which was made over summer.
It is now working with the Department for Education and Shropshire Council to ensure a smooth transition over the next academic year.
Staff from across the trust came together earlier this week for a professional development day.
Chief executive of the trust, Sarah Longville, and deputy chief executive, David O'Toole, spent time at Shrewsbury Academy on Wednesday welcoming students back from their summer break.
Ms Longville said: “I am pleased with the decision and look forward to working alongside the students, staff and communities to ensure these schools are all the local schools of choice in their respective areas.
"The Marches Academy Trust has developed and grown into a formidable team of schools, with a common aim of giving the children of Shropshire a first-class education. We look forward to ensuring the children gain an excellent and wide array of opportunities in the years to come."
She said the move would lead to the three schools benefitting from the resources and best practice shared between the existing network.
The schools in the trust collaborate on projects including inter-school sport competitions and trips, with visits to Switzerland, Ecuador and France currently being planned.
The trust already operates The Marches School, Sir John Tablot's, The Grove, Tilstock CE Primary and Lower Heath CE Primary.
It is also expected that Shrewsbury Academy will move to a new site in the future.
Shropshire Council is currently helping the academy find a piece of land to build a new, modern and fit-for-purpose school.
The playing fields at Shrewsbury Sports Village, in Sundorne, is one of the sites currently being considered.
However, the proposal has caused controversy with local residents who do not want to see the land developed.
David Kilby of the Shropshire Playing Fields Association is urging concerned residents to get involved in a working group, and Ms Longville said the Marches Academy Trust would support such a group.