New leadership at town schools

From left, Bryan Stewart, Clare Savage, Liz Kinninment and Simon Taylor.
From left, Bryan Stewart, Clare Savage, Liz Kinninment and Simon Taylor.

An education trust has made a raft of senior appointments across three of its schools in Morpeth.

Taking on new members recently led to a review and restructure of leadership roles.

And now The Three Rivers Learning Trust has announced a new top position and headteachers at a high school and middle school.

Simon Taylor, previously executive headteacher across King Edward VI School and Chantry and Newminster Middle Schools, will now lead all seven of the trust’s schools as CEO.

Clare Savage, previously a deputy head at KEVI, will take up the headteacher position and Bryan Stewart will lead Chantry Middle School as headteacher, moving from his previous position as a deputy head at KEVI, from September.

Liz Kinninment will still lead Newminster Middle School. Her role will change from head of school to headteacher.

The trust expanded last year when Abbeyfields First School was welcomed as the first step in its aim to grow to around 15 schools in the next five years.

Harbottle Church of England First School, Thropton Village First School and Dr Thomlinson Church of England Middle School, all in the greater Morpeth catchment area, joined last month.

Mr Taylor said: “We are thrilled to confirm these appointments, which not only strengthen our leadership and governance, but also provide continuity across the trust for the mutual benefit of staff, students and parents.”

The expanded Three Rivers community now includes seven schools, made up of more than 400 staff and 3,000 students.

But from September 2018, Chantry Middle School, which is currently oversubscribed, is to take on an extra 30 pupils as part of an agreement with Northumberland County Council to ensure that every pupil in its catchment area is guaranteed a place at their local school.

Mr Taylor said: “Morpeth is a growing community, with demand in particular on Chantry and Newminster Middle Schools growing alongside it.

“We’ve worked with the local authority to meet this growing demand by expanding Year 5 at Chantry Middle School by 30 places from the beginning of the next academic year and if demand remains high, Newminster will also take on an extra 30 pupils in Year 5 from September 2019.”

This arrangement could continue year-on-year to support the increasing school age population as the trust works to achieve greater efficiency and excellence across all its classrooms.

Mr Taylor added: “We are now working with Northumberland County Council to ensure King Edward VI School has the necessary facilities to support the increased demand as these larger middle school year groups progress through their school careers.”

All seven of the Mixed Multi-Academy Trust’s schools are publicly funded and independent.