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Charlton Horethorne Primary School joins the Sherborne Area Schools’ Trust

The 1st of May 2019 sees Charlton Horethorne CE Primary School convert to an academy and become part of the Sherborne Area Schools’ Trust (SAST). The charming village school which has been at the heart of the village of Charlton Horethorne since 1887, joins our six other local primary schools as well as two secondary schools and two nurseries who are all members of the multi-academy trust.  The school becomes the first primary school in Somerset to join SAST.

Charlton Horethorne Primary has been working closely with SAST for the past 18 months and a new Head of School, Phil Sales has been at the school since September 2018. Teachers have already benefitted from joint training and development opportunities with SAST schools, and children have had the opportunity to take part in events such as maths and chess challenges at The Gryphon School which is also part of the Trust. Charlton Horethorne’s IT systems have been transformed thanks to the SAST central IT team, and staff and children are seeing the benefits of this in the classroom. Becoming a member of SAST provides new opportunities for collaboration and to grow this small village primary school whilst maintaining its unique family feel and charm.

The educational benefits for the children, staff, parents and wider community are the key factor in the decision to join SAST. The benefits are anticipated to include:

  • Helping children make even better progress and improved outcomes
  • Preserving, protecting and enhancing what we have
  • Charlton Horethorne can add to the experience, expertise and quality of the Trust
  • Even better teaching and learning
  • It will provide the resources to continue to support outstanding teaching and learning
  • High impact school to school leadership support
  • More integrated and co-ordinated support for children and families
  • Securing and managing resources and facilities to sustain high quality provision

Phil Sales, Head of Charlton Horethorne Primary said “There have been lots of positive changes at the school since the start of the academic year and our school is really flourishing.  Much of this is due to the huge support from SAST and we are delighted to now become a SAST school and continue working together with all of the Trust schools”.

The school will keep its distinct identity, character and the school’s day-to-day organisation, experiences and opportunities will feel the same for children and families. Their well established school ethos and values will continue to underpin a high quality of education for all their children, staff and community.

At the heart of SAST is the desire to work in partnership, to collaborate with others and to be outward facing for the benefit of children and staff. The schools have extensive links beyond the immediate area and are keen to extend these further. The Gryphon School was designated as a National Teaching School and National Support School in the summer of 2017 and leads the North Dorset Teaching School Alliance of which SAST is at the heart. The CEO is a National Leader of Education and the Chair of Trustees is a National Leader of Governance. The Trust is designed for all schools of any or no faith and of any age range. There is a mix of formerly maintained and Church of England schools – both voluntary controlled and voluntary-aided in the Diocese of Salisbury and Bath and Wells. SAST strongly believes in preserving schools in their local community.

This is an exciting period in the Trust’s development. It has the scale, capacity, expertise and performance to grow and develop with other schools. The Department for Education and Regional Schools Commissioner are supportive of the Trust’s growth. SAST is keen for schools to come together as partners across the Blackmore Vale area from Sherborne to Gillingham, towards Blandford and Wincanton. By September 2019 there will be 3400 children and over 550 staff working in 10 primary schools and 3 secondary schools. Working in collaboration with the school headteachers and Trust leaders it provides improvement support and background services including finance, HR, estates, compliance and IT across the Trust to raise standards even further and to deliver high quality education.

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