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Keswick School approved to form a multi-academy trust for central and West Cumbria

Keswick School with Skiddaw in background
Keswick School with Skiddaw in background

[T]he Regional Schools Commissioner has approved Keswick School’s application to form a multi-academy trust. The school will now prepare the legal documents to reconstitute with the aim of opening as Keswick School multi-academy trust on 1st January 2017.

The reason the school took this decision is due to the pressure being placed on schools to become academies and join multi-academy trusts. They share the concern of many that local schools being forced to join multi-academy trusts which are based outside the area will not necessarily benefit our communities. They also believe it is essential that small primary schools should continue to serve our more remote communities. It is the children who grow up in these primaries, in the shadow of the fells, who have been attending Keswick School for centuries.

Keswick School multi-academy trust will offer an alternative local solution. They will only look to partner with schools in central and west Cumbria and we will always prioritise serving the needs and interests of children in their local communities. They would hope to share the expertise that will exist between schools in their multi-academy trust in order to support children accessing the best education possible. They believe that every child should be given the opportunities and support needed to achieve their potential and that they should be happy and enjoy their time at school. They also believe that the decisions about what constitutes a good education should be taken locally.

Keswick students undertaking fieldwork
Keswick students undertaking fieldwork

Keswick School have no intention to pitch their multi-academy trust to other schools. However they are open to conversations with schools who share similar aims, values and aspirations. This should mean that they can work together as partners with common objectives and an optimistic outlook for education in their area.

Approval for a multi-academy trust follows the recent designation of Keswick School as a National Teaching School and lead school for the Western Lakes Teaching School Alliance in June.

Simon Jackson, the Head teacher, said: “This is a momentous occasion in Keswick School’s 650 year history. We’ve not come to this decision lightly and it follows a 12 month process. However the pressures on education have never been greater. We felt that we couldn’t stand by the sidelines but that we could offer an alternative local solution. Our priority will always be to maintain the outstanding quality of teaching and learning and huge variety of opportunities we offer students at Keswick School. However we are open to be approached by other schools who share our vision and values so that we can at least explore the possibility of establishing a more formalised partnership within a multi-academy trust.”

Sarah Peck, Chair of Governors, said: “I am pleased that our multi-academy trust application has been successful following consultation with staff, students, parents and the wider community. The education landscape is constantly being changed and we hope that in becoming a multi-academy trust we may be able to provide local stability for our students present and future. We look forward to working with like-minded schools whose focus is providing the best education and learning experiences for their students.”

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