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‘Big advantages in joining a bigger trust’ - four schools join large network

PUBLISHED: 19:00 04 July 2020

County Upper School headteacher Vicky Neale.

County Upper School headteacher Vicky Neale.

County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds and its feeder schools have joined a large Suffolk-based trust.

The secondary school, as well as Horringer Court and Westley middle schools and Tollgate Primary School - previously under the Bury All-Through Trust - have spoken of their delight at teaming up with Unity Schools Partnership,

The quartet, which will continue to work together to provide ‘all through’ education, join Unity’s network of eight secondary schools, two middle schools, three special schools and 17 primary schools across Suffolk and Romford.

Tim Coulson, chief executive of Unity Schools Partnership, said: “We are delighted to welcome the four new schools.

“They each bring a strong identity and reputation to our trust and we look forward to working closely with leaders, staff, students and families.

“At Unity, we offer a close network of both support and challenge while also ensuring each of our schools retain their local identity.”

The move was equally welcomed across the four schools with Vicky Neale, headteacher at County Upper School, saying it was a positive move for staff and students alike.

Mrs Neale said: “We have a really strong belief in providing an all-round education as we support our young people be the best they can be, in and out of the classroom.

“I know this vision is shared by the Unity Schools Partnership and that is why I am delighted to be joining them.

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“We can assure parents that on a day-to-day basis they will notice no change. The Bury All-Through Education, as it is now known, will continue to reinforce our commitment to a consistent education from four years old to 18.

“We look forward to working closely with Unity schools while also contributing some of the secrets of our success at the same time.”

At Horringer Court and Westley, both headteachers said the chance for staff progression was a big plus factor in joining Unity Schools Partnership.

Steven Palmer, head of school at Horringer Court Middle School, said: “We feel one of the big advantages in joining a bigger trust are the opportunities available from working with a much larger network of schools.

“I think joining Unity will ensure the sustainability of the four schools that made up the Bury All-Through Trust.”

He said it would offer huge professional development opportunities for their staff and therefore better outcomes for their children.

Ian Kearns, head of school at Westley Middle School, added: “I have been a headteacher in both primary and middle schools and I’ve taught secondary school age groups.

“I have seen all sides of the educational spectrum and I believe the vision of Unity Schools Partnership really fits into my own vision.

“I am fortunate to have great staff at Westley and I think they will only grow and grow by benefitting from what Unity Schools Partnership can offer.”

Welcoming the move, Hannah Brookman, head of school at Tollgate Primary School, said: “We are really excited about the prospect of joining Unity Schools Partnership. It is going to bring great opportunities to widen our network and relationships with other schools while continuing to promote Tollgate and our all-through approach.”


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