News

Southern Academy Trust to join SAST

During the next few months we are looking forward to the four schools in the Southern Academy Trust (SAT) moving to join the Sherborne Area Schools’ Trust (SAST).

 

We believe this is an exciting opportunity to create a stronger and sustainable local trust serving the Blackmore Vale area of North Dorset and South Somerset.

 

There are already shared values with a history of partnership working which we want to preserve and enhance. SAST strongly believes in partnership and collaboration, the pursuit of excellence, promoting holistic lifelong learning and recognising equality and distinctiveness. These align closely to the Church of England vision for education around community, wisdom, hope and dignity.

 

Once SAT officially joins, the Trust will have 17 schools including 4 secondary schools and 13 primary schools with students from 0 to 19 years old in our nurseries to our sixth forms. There will be over 5000 children and more than 500 staff. SAST currently includes 13 schools (10 primary and 3 secondary) in Sherborne, Wincanton, Gillingham and between Blandford and Sturminster Newton.

 

There are opportunities for joint working and more improvement capacity and support. The Trust has a wealth of experience and expertise including having a National Teaching School and National Support School status. Every school in the Trust is an equal partner and we celebrate each school’s unique and individual character. Each school has its own headteacher, leaders and Local Governing Body. There will no change to the name of the school, the uniform or admissions arrangements. SAST is keen to retain the full team of teachers and staff we have in Southern Academy Trust.

 

The key vision is to sustain and develop all the schools in the Trust including the state boarding school, which provides valuable provision and enhances diversity. It gives the scale and quality of back office services with combined staff teams for HR, finance, estates, compliance, IT and governance support, providing capacity and efficiencies. Both Trusts are on a sound financial footing.

 

The proposal has been carefully considered and developed by the Trustees of SAT along with the headteachers and local governors. It is fully supported by the Trustees of SAST, the Department for Education and the Diocese of Salisbury. The South West Regional School Commissioner Headteacher Board has approved the application for this proposal at its meeting on 15 January 2020. It will take between three and five months for all the due diligence and formal consultations before the transfer is completed. Further information will be shared during the next steps.

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