Schools trust merger

THE organisation that runs Downend School and Mangotsfield School is set to merge with another provider.

Castle School Education Trust, which also runs Lyde Green Primary School and five other schools in South Gloucestershire, has told parents it has “jointly explored the potential for a merger” with The Priory Learning Trust.

Priory runs three secondary and six primary schools in and around Weston-super-Mare and Burnham-on-Sea.

In a letter to parents, the two trusts said: “Our vision is to create a new organisation based on our shared values and aspirations, combining our strengths and resources to meet the educational challenges ahead.”

The two trusts are now inviting parents and all others with an interest in the schools they run to take part in a consultation, which closes on February 5.

Currently the trusts each have just under 5,500 pupils at their schools.

They say that a merger will enable them to “more easily connect colleagues and direct resources” to address challenges; will lower administration costs by merging central services, so they can ” reinvest savings in professional development for staff” and spend more money on school improvement; and “grow sustainably” so more schools can join.

The new organisation would be called Pathway Trust.

Anyone who wants to respond to the consultation should email