New multi-academy trust offers broadest range of secondary and sixth form options in Cambridgeshire

A new multi-academy trust, The Learning Alliance (TLA), has been officially launched with the merger of two existing successful trusts – Cambridgeshire Educational Trust (CET) and Morris Education Trust (MET).

CET (which included Chesterton Community College and Downham Market Academy) and MET (which included Impington Village College, Impington International College and Witchford Village College) each had strong track records for academic excellence and innovation. Together, they now offer the widest range of subject and qualification options of any non-selective secondary school or sixth form in Cambridgeshire. These include GCSEs, A Levels, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme, Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme, and BTECs.

Heading the new trust’s leadership team are Lucy Scott, of Chesterton Community College, which consistenly achieves in the top 1% of schools in the country for exam performance and is rated outstanding by Ofsted, and Ryan Kelsall, previously Principal of Impington Village College, which was selected as State School of the Year in East Anglia in the Sunday Times Parent Power list 2020.

Lucy Scott, CEO of TLA, said: “Our new Trust is a small purposeful family of schools, each with its own distinct identity which, combined, offer more choice than any other group of schools, enabling every student to pursue their dreams and passions. As our Trust grows, each school will retain that identity but share the same values and standards of academic rigour, excellent extra-curricular opportunities and exceptional arts and performing arts.

“What makes TLA so very different is that it is born out of an alliance between two existing trusts, not out of a need for one school to grow. Our joint commitment is to being proudly international and internationally minded, serving a diverse community of families from Cambridge, across the UK and overseas, facilitated by our host family network, with a broad, specialist and inclusive provision.

Ryan Kelsall, Deputy CEO of TLA, added: “Our new Trust offers a truly international experience for students with over 40 different languages spoken by students at Chesterton Community College alone. We value equality and promote diversity in our schools and are committed to continuing to increase the number of our students studying languages in KS4.”

Rolf Purvis, Headteacher at Downham Market Academy, is part of the Trust’s new senior leadership team and has become the new Executive Headteacher at Witchford Village College. He said: “Within the Trust’s team we really do have an enviable wealth of teaching and school improvement experience, evidenced by the success of Downham Market Academy and its Athena Sixth Form College, since they became part of CET in 2017.”

Lucy Scott concluded: “Our existing schools have long track records for supporting students in achieving their full potential in a happy, respectful and nurturing environment. They also have reputations for providing excellent professional development opportunities for teachers and staff and, through our merger, we are combining all of this knowledge, experience and insight.”

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