A new education trust for the New Forest

l-r Leanne Symonds (Ringwood), Nigel Pressnell (Arnewood), Pete Main (Priestlands), David Pover (Burgate) and Nigel Himmel (Eaglewood).

The formation of a new multi-academy trust serving the south-west of the New Forest is being discussed.

Leaders at The Arnewood and Eaglewood schools in New Milton, Priestlands School in Lymington, The Burgate School in Fordingbridge and Ringwood School have been exploring options for some months.

The schools have a history of working together, and pooling their expertise and experience more formally is a natural progression.

Furthermore, the Department for Education wants academies to work in groups of at least 10 schools by 2030.

A spokesperson for the group, said: “The creation of a new trust is something that has been under discussion for a while.

“All the schools agree it is a natural development and will formalise our already close working relationships.

“Larger trusts allow the sharing of good practice, expertise, experience and other assets in a closer and more cost-effective way.

“Being close geographically the schools enjoy similar benefits but also share similar challenges.

“Plans are at an early stage, but already there is a shared vision that puts the education of students within their communities at the heart of the proposal.

“We will continue to communicate with parents and other stakeholders as the plans progress and a timetable is created.”

The Arnewood School is a mixed secondary school and sixth form with over 1,000 pupils, and neighbouring Eaglewood School is an alternative provision school for children who find it difficult to cope in mainstream education.

Ringwood School is a co-educational secondary school and sixth form with around 1,550 pupils.

The Burgate School and Sixth Form educates those aged between 11 and 18 and has around 1,100 pupils and students.

Priestlands School is a co-educational secondary school and has around 1,250 pupils.




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