Primary schools join together to create new trust

THIRTEEN schools in South Gloucestershire have joined together to create a new academy trust.

The Leaf Trust formally started work at the beginning of the new academic year in September.

It brings together schools which were previously local authority controlled, some of which had already formed federations to work more closely together.

Among the schools involved are Samuel Whites Infants and Hanham Abbots Juniors,  in Hanham, Cadbury Heath Primary, Kings Forest Primary nd St Barnabas.

The others are Blackhorse Primary, Emersons Green Primary, Mangotsfield Primary, Stanbridge Primary, Staple Hill Primary The Tynings Primary, Bowsland Green Primary and Wheatfield Primary.

After the government announced it wanted all schools to be part of an academy trust by 2030, the 13 schools came together to form their own.

It is the only primary school-only trust in the area, and head teachers have been working together for 18 months to get it up and running, holding consultations with staff, parents and the community.

The trust’s chief executive is Ross Newman, who was previously executive head teacher of the Forest Hill partnership between Kings Forest Primary and Staple Hill Primary School.

He said: “I am incredibly grateful to each and every one who made this enormous undertaking possible. We have spent the past 18 months planning together, and we are looking forward to making sure we have a positive impact upon all of the learners in our care, in our new family of schools.”

Mr Newman is supported by a leadership team of former Mangotsfield Primary School executive head Faye Kitchen, who has also been head teacher of Bromley Heath Junior school, Blackhorse Primary and Emersons Green executive head teacher Simon Botten, former Wheatfield head teacher Phil Winterburn and Blackhorse school business leader Debbie Beazer. 

Tynings head teacher Lois Haydon said: “the opportunity of working together in a more formal way is extremely exciting.

“The Trust values of ‘Belong, Grow, Succeed,’ align with those of the schools in the trust, and the drive for excellence for all of the children in our schools is something we wanted to be part of from the very beginning.

“These are exciting times for the children and families in our area, as well as for the staff who work in our schools.”