Northumberland school to join The Good Shepherd MAT

Dec 16, 2016

Pupils from Whitfield C of E Primary enjoy an autumn day in the school groundsThe Diocese of Carlisle’s Multi Academy Trust is to welcome its first member school from outside Cumbria.

The Trust has confirmed, that following a process of due diligence, Whitfield C of E Voluntary Aided Primary, near Hexham, will become its fifth member school.

It follows a successful community campaign to keep the 259-year-old village school open, following its de-federation from the West Tyne Federation. The school had been placed into special measures in 2014 following an Ofsted inspection.

Subject to the necessary due diligence the Trust will work closely with the staff, pupils and governors as a sponsored academy.

Michael Mill, Acting Chief Executive of the Trust and Diocesan Director of Education for the Diocese of Carlisle said: “I am delighted that we are moving to the next stage of working with the school. There is still a lot of work to do but we are confident that the school can move forward with the determined support of the governors and local community.”

It is hoped that Whitfield Primary, which has 32 pupils, will become an academy by the early summer of 2017. It will retain its Church School status, so important to many parents and governors.

In the coming months, the newly formed board of governors are looking forward to develop plans for school improvements with the Trust. This includes a programme of building works and the aspiration of establishing a purpose-built nursery/pre-school unit to open in September 2017. Staff, pupils and the wider community are also working on a new vision statement.

Chair of Governors, Amanda Stembridge, said: "We are now entering a period of optimism and we look forward to being an outstanding school for our community and wider catchment area."

The Trust’s ultimate aim is to provide robust and sustained school effectiveness, within a Christian ethos and structure. It provides like-minded schools with the opportunity to shape their future and think about curriculum innovation, as well as looking to develop new support structures focused on the needs of the schools in the Trust.

Lazonby CE Primary was the first school to join The Good Shepherd Multi Academy Trust in February 2015. It was followed by Heversham St Peter’s CE Primary School, Braithwaite CE Primary and Ambleside CE Primary.



For more information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager, on 07469 153658, 01768 807764 or at

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