Whitfield Primary joins The Good Shepherd Multi Academy Trust

Sep 11, 2017

News Release: Whitfield Primary joins the Good Shepherd Multi Academy Trust

 The first school from outside of Cumbria has officially joined the Diocese of Carlisle’s Multi Academy Trust.

 Whitfield C of E Voluntary Aided Primary, near Hexham, becomes the Trust’s fifth member school, as from 1 September, 2017. It follows a successful community campaign to keep the 260-year-old village school open following de-federation from the West Tyne Federation.

 The school was placed into special measures following an Ofsted  inspection in 2014 and since December 2016, the Trust has drawn alongside staff, pupils and governors, working through a process of due diligence prior to the school becoming a sponsored academy of the Trust.

 Katherine Ayre, the newly appointed Head of School who takes up her role this month, said: “I am delighted to be starting as the new Head of School at Whitfield. The school extensions and re-furbishment have made a great difference and the opening of the new nursery is especially exciting. Everyone is looking forward to the new year after a tremendous amount of hard work by the team at school and by the Trust.”

 The school has 27 pupils with Mrs Ayre being supported in her role by Executive Headteachers Claire Render and Rob Blake from Wreay CE Primary near Carlisle.

 Meanwhile work has been completed on construction of a new nursery building at the school, ready for the start of the new academic year. In addition the existing car park has been extended along with further internal modifications to improve facilities for staff and children. 

 A business plan for the new nursery has also been developed, with the facility seen as being key to the successful growth of the school in future years. 

 The Good Shepherd Multi Academy Trust launched in April 2014 and has five member schools: Lazonby CE Primary, Braithwaite CE Primary, Ambleside CE Primary, Lorton Primary and Whitfield CE Primary.

 It aims 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.

 Michael Mill, Chief Executive, of The Good Shepherd MAT said: “We are delighted to welcome Whitfield Primary into the Trust’s family of schools. We are pleased that the Department for Education has seen the impact our Trust is having and has given us the opportunity to work with Whitfield. This is our first member school from beyond Cumbria and so this represents an important milestone for us. Earlier this year we also saw our first non-church school join.

 “We continue to explore expressions of interest with other potential academy partners and it is heartening that school communities can see the benefits of our academy membership in terms of long-term support, encouragement and success set within a Christian ethos.”


 For further information please contact Michael Mill, CEO of the Good Shepherd Multi Academy trust, on 07584 684306, 01768 807766 or at director.education@carlislediocese.org.uk.

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