Southern Academy Trust joins SAST

1st July 2020

The Southern Academy Trust, comprised  of four schools across Shaftesbury, has today joined the Sherborne Area Schools’ Trust (SAST).

Shaftesbury School, Shaftesbury CE Primary School, Motcombe CE Primary School and St Andrew’s CE Primary School in Fontmell Magna, have joined the multi-academy trust with whom they already had a close working relationship. The Southern Academy Trust organisation will be dissolved as the schools have transferred to SAST.

The Trust  now has 17 schools across North and West Dorset and South Somerset, including 4 secondary schools, 13 primary schools and 3 nursery settings, providing education from 0-19 years old.

SAST CEO, Steve Hillier has been acting CEO of the schools in Shaftesbury during this period of transition said:

“Coming together provides an exciting opportunity to create a stronger and more sustainable local trust, which will enable us to provide excellent education to all students. The staff from the Southern Academy Trust bring with them a wealth of experience and talent, as well as the expertise of state boarding which is provided by Shaftesbury School.
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”.

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 will retain the full team of teachers and staff joining from the 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.

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 approved the application for this proposal at its meeting on 15 January 2020.


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