Academy trusts plan to merge

Education
Education

The University of Brighton Academies Trust is hoping to merge with the Hastings Academies Trust.

The trusts run 15 academies across Sussex - in Crawley, Mid Sussex, Hastings, St Leonard's, Brighton and Hove - and aim to complete the merger by September 1, subject to approval from the Department for Education.

A consultation was launched today (May 15) and three consultation meetings for parents, carers and members of the community have been arranged.

The first will be held at The St Leonard's Academy on Tuesday June 6, the second at the Burgess Hill Academy on Wednesday June 7 and the third will be at the University of Brighton on Thursday June 8.

All meetings will run from 6-7pm.

Both trusts are sponsored by the University of Brighton and a spokesman said the boards of directors had agreed "in principle" to the merger.

Professor Chris Pole, deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Brighton and chair of the trusts said: "Our aim is for the merger to be a true blending of the trusts allowing us to capitalise on their strengths in line with the university’s commitment to supporting the trust through the next stage of its development.

“There is already considerable joint working across the trusts. The proposed merger makes sense as it would provide further opportunities to maximise our school improvement capacity and expertise, and share best practice in teaching and learning as well as achieving greater efficiencies.”

If approved, the merged trust would be named the University of Brighton Academies Trust. It would have 15 academies with 1,200 staff and 7,500 students across Sussex.

The schools involved in the merger are:

Desmond Anderson Primary and Pound Hill Infant Academy, in Crawley; The Hastings Academy, The Baird Primary and Dudley Infant Academy, in Hastings; The Burgess Hill Academy, Blackthorns Community Primary Academy and Lindfield Primary Academy, in Mid Sussex; The St Leonards Academy, Churchwood Primary, Hollington Primary, Robsack Wood Primary, Silverdale Primary and West St Leonards Primary Academy, in St Leonard's; and Holmbush Primary Academy, in Brighton.

A new secondary free school is also in development in the Brighton area.

An online questionnaire is available at www.brighton.ac.uk/trust-merger .

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