News

SAST welcomes two new primary schools!

The 1st July sees two schools, Okeford Fitzpaine CE Primary and Shillingstone CE Primary School convert to become academies, and join the Sherborne Area Schools’ Trust (SAST).

Lizzie Peters, Headteacher at Okeford Fitzpaine said “We are all really excited about joining SAST and working closely with Shillingstone Primary School. As a small rural school, the opportunities for working with other schools within the SAST family is something that we relish. SAST and the North Dorset Teaching School Alliance have been a great support over the past year and we look forward to continuing on our journey to outstanding with their support”.

Jane Whitehouse-Sharpe, Headteacher of Shillingstone Primary said “We are thrilled to be joining SAST.  We look forward to working with other schools in our area who have the same drive and ambition as us to continue to provide the very best education for all our children.  We are looking forward to collaborating with other schools, sharing best practice and providing our staff with excellent training opportunities”.

Steve Hillier, CEO of SAST said “SAST has seen a lot of growth over the last year, and we have welcomed schools from across the region. Many schools in rural areas can feel rather isolated, but by joining SAST they benefit from high-level support and expertise, training opportunities, and from coming together with colleagues from other schools. If any schools are interested in finding out more about joining a multi-academy trust we are always happy to talk to them”.

The Trust now has twelve schools including ten primary schools and two secondary schools. It has the scale, capacity, expertise and performance to grow and develop with other schools.  SAST has large town primary schools with over 300 children, smaller village primary schools and also nursery provision. Our popular secondary schools including a Sixth Form of over 400 students, cover both North Dorset and South Somerset. There is a mix of formerly maintained and Church of England schools – previously voluntary controlled and voluntary-aided in the Dioceses of Salisbury and Bath and Wells, which retain their Christian ethos.

The educational benefits for the children, staff, parents and wider community are the key factor in making any decision to change status. The benefits include:

  • Helping children make even better progress and improved outcomes
  • Preserving, protecting and enhancing what the school already has
  • 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

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