Northampton-based academy trust to take over Blackthorn and Thorplands primary schools

Two Northampton schools left in limbo for over a year after an academy trust gave them up have now been taken on by a new sponsor.

Monday, 14th May 2018, 5:14 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:20 am
The two Northampton schools run by The education fellowship will transfer over to Northampton Primary Academy Trust, a letter to parliamentary candidate Sally Keeble has revealed.
The two Northampton schools run by The education fellowship will transfer over to Northampton Primary Academy Trust, a letter to parliamentary candidate Sally Keeble has revealed.

Blackthorn Primary School and Thorplands Primary School were among 12 schools plunged into uncertainty last March when The Education Fellowship requested to transfer all of its academies back to new sponsors.

Five of its schools were rated as "inadequate" and teaching unions had expressed concern over the way the money was being spent at the trust.

However, the names of the new academy trusts set to take over the schools in Northampton have finally been revealed.

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Rectory Farm Primary School was taken on by NPAT last April.

Parliamentary under-secretary for schools Lord Agnew, disclosed the names of the new providers in an email to Northampton parliamentary candidate Sally Keeble.

The letter reveals: Blackthorn Primary School and Thorplands Primary School will join the Northampton Primary Academy Trust.

Olympic Primary School, Ruskin Junior School and Warwick Academy will join Lion Academy trust.

Risdene Academy and Windmill Primary School will join Manor Learning Trust.

NPAT founder Julia Kedwards was given an OBE for services to education in the New Year's Honours list.

Rushden Community College will join Tove Learning Trust.

Lord Agnew said: "We are confident that these trusts have the expertise and capacity to improve education standards or these schools.

"Views shared by parents, staff and the local community have been taken into account in making these decisions.

"Our priority has always been to work quickly to provide certainty for pupils and teachers."

The academies will remain part of The Education Fellowship until they transfer over to their new trusts over the coming months.

"We are working closely with the senior leadership team at the Education Fellowship Trust to ensure the smooth transition of the schools, with minimal disruption for pupils," added Lord Agnew."

Northampton Primary Academy Trust currently runs nine schools around Northampton including primary schools in Lings and Headlands.

Its founder, Julia Kedwards, was awarded the OBE in the New Year's Honours list for services to education.

Mrs Keeble, who has been pushing the Department for education to reveal the names of the new sponsors since the start of the year, has welcomed the fact that 10 schools now have a more certain future.