Mirfield Free Grammar Academies Trust proposes joining Great Heights Academy Trust

Mirfield Free Grammar Academies Trust (The MFG MAT), a multi-academy trust comprising three schools, The Mirfield Free Grammar SchoolColne Valley High School and Marsden Junior School has announced its intention to join the Great Heights Academy Trust (GHAT), a multi-academy trust comprising five schools. 

The governing body at The MFG MAT has been considering joining another local academy trust for some months and has decided that GHAT is the right fit. All of Mirfield Free Grammar Academies Trust schools are Ofsted rated as ‘good’.

James Christian, interim CEO at The MFG MAT and Principal at Colne Valley High School, said: “From the perspective of each trust, there are real benefits to be gained from collaboration and growth, specifically the opportunity to offer a fully inclusive 2-18 education journey for our children and develop excellent curriculum practice for each key stage, supporting greater learning outcomes for all of our pupils and students.” 

Amanda Bennett OBE, CEO at GHAT agrees, she said: “We have a shared vision, it’s a vision to raise local aspiration within our community, to provide an all-through, seamless education journey for West Yorkshire’s children and young people, from ages 2 to 18 and beyond… from nursery right through to further, and into higher education.  

“It’s our shared ambition to support our young people to aim high, to give them the right knowledge, skills, and opportunities and to provide the right pathways to fulfil their potential. This joining of schools will help us to build a stronger trust with a broader education offer to our area’s children and help to secure a successful school community for many years to come.” 

However, there are still several processes for the trusts to navigate before The MFG MAT can formally join GHAT, including presenting the proposal to the locality Regional Schools Commissioner. 

Mrs Bennett said: “Consultation has started today. Joint discussions on partnership working and subsequent HR and legal reporting is scheduled for the summer term. Partnership projects could start at the beginning of September, with legal documentation processes in Autumn for potential launch January 2023. 

Carlton Midgley, Chair of the GHAT Trust Board, added: “We look forward to working in partnership with  The MFG MAT for the benefit of all the pupils in every Trust school. Local collaboration will ensure that the interests of each school and their community are at the heart of decision-making.  

“Our aim is to foster strong governance at local level to provide a secure foundation for effective Trust leadership. We value local governors’ connections with the communities they serve and their knowledge of what they expect from the schools.  

“Ultimately the main beneficiaries will be the pupils as the increased capacity of the Trust will ensure that best practice is widely shared, and standards improve further.” 

The trusts have now launched the formal consultation to gather feedback from their communities. More information can be found at https://academyconsultation.org.uk

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