Schools join forces to create new trust

Schools join forces to create new trust

Ten local Wokingham and Reading schools have joined forces to co-found and co-construct a new multi-academy trust, the Orchard Learning Alliance.

Formalising this partnership in a phased approach, from 1st April, Churchend Primary Academy, Hawkedon Primary School and South Lake Primary School will officially join the Alliance and its existing school, Waingels.

Once established, the Orchard Learning Alliance will comprise nine primary schools: Churchend Primary Academy, Hawkedon Primary School, Highwood Primary School, Hillside Primary School, Lambs Lane Primary School, Radstock Primary School, South Lake Primary School, Willow Bank Infant School, Willow Bank Junior School; and one secondary school, Waingels.

Created in partnership by the ten schools, the trust will be guided by the principles of autonomy, co-design and excellence. The Trust is therefore committed to celebrating what makes each school unique, innovating through collaboration and consensus and empowering its collective community to constantly strive for improvement.

Together, the schools will build on their history of collaboration, supporting the professional development of teachers and staff, driving further school improvement initiatives and providing more learning and enrichment opportunities for the 5,000 young people they serve.

Prior to the Trust being formalised, the benefits of the Alliance are already being felt, with two schools recently hosting showcases for nurture provision and all year 6 students across the Trust enjoying a performance of ‘Invisible’ by N-ACT, a play about mental health, earlier this term.

Mrs Lou Slocombe, Headteacher at Radstock Primary School, said:

“We believe in the benefits of working with other organisations to support the teaching and learning for all the children in the community. As a result, we are delighted to be joining with the Orchard Learning Alliance, a group of like-minded schools and headteachers. We look forward to joining the multi-academy trust in a partnership where everyone thrives.”

Tom Bartlett, CEO of Orchard Learning Alliance, said:

“It has been an honour to work alongside the staff, headteachers, governors and their communities in the formation of Orchard Learning Alliance.

“As a co-founded trust, we are steadfast in our belief that regardless of their starting point in life, all children and young people deserve a high-quality education and enrichment opportunities that will help them thrive in life. We know that by working together we can build on our strong individual foundations and unlock our collective potential to secure brighter futures for our schools, colleagues and the young people we serve.”

With the support of the Department for Education and Regional Director, the remaining schools will formally join Orchard Learning Alliance over the coming year.