Sherborne Learning Centre becomes Harbour Vale School and joins SAST

Sherborne Learning Centre has as of 1st November 2019, joined Sherborne Area Schools’ Trust (SAST).  The school provides alternative education for students across North and West Dorset. It has been renamed Harbour Vale School, reflecting its location and links within the local community.

The school has a longstanding relationship with SAST, initially looking to join when the Trust was first founded in 2017.  SAST has worked closely with staff at the school and enlisted support from Ambitions Academies Trust, who have outstanding expertise in managing alternative education and have been supporting the school for the last two years.

SAST has been able to secure a number of funding grants to improve the school facilities and environment at Harbour Vale. A capital suitability grant will fund a major redesign and refurbishment project to improve the school layout and classrooms. Plans for improved dining facilities and specialist classrooms are underway, as well as sub-dividing large classrooms into smaller spaces to cater for student needs. Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 will have dedicated separate teaching areas, and there will be specialist teaching space for SEND students. External works will also be carried out to provide a multi-use games area, as well as providing outdoor seating and environmental improvements.

Harbour Vale School joins 12 other schools across North Dorset and South Somerset who are members of the trust. 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 Trust has supported the school with staff training as well as HR, finance and IT support, allowing them to focus on delivering high quality education.

Headteacher Vicci Rashleigh said, “We are very excited to now officially join SAST. Our school provides an important provision for students who have medical needs or who have been excluded from other schools. We support them to tackle any barriers to learning, gain core qualifications, and holistic life skills, which will enable them to become valued members of society. The CEO and Trustees really understand the nature of our work, and the support of SAST will enable us to transform this provision and expand to help more children in need of this type of education. The SAST ethos very much echoes our own, and we are excited to be part of a trust that invests in people and children”.

Steve Hillier, CEO SAST, said “We are delighted to welcome Harbour Vale into the Trust – we have worked closely together for many years, and especially so in the last 12 months. We have a shared vision for how we can transform Harbour Vale into a beacon of excellence for alternative education, which offers a valuable provision to students across Dorset. The experience that staff at Harbour Vale will bring to SAST will help expand the breadth and expertise of the trust, and we look forward to supporting them moving forward”.

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