DD MAT launched with the cutting of the cake. L-R (F) Paul Rickeard Director of Education and CEO of the MAT, John Taylor - Chair of the MAT, Lynn Scott Head Teacher of St Aidan's Memorial CE Primary. L-R (Rear) Mary Cook Head Teacher of Egglescliffe CE Primary, Amanda Baines Head Teacher of Holy Trinity CE Primary (Seaton Carew). (Picture: Keith Blundy)

The Diocese of Durham’s Board of Education reached a new milestone this month with the formal launch of a Diocese-wide Multi Academy Trust (MAT).

The Durham Diocese MAT, at its launch, brings together three Church Primary Schools, Egglescliffe CE Primary in Stockton, with Hartlepool based St Aidan’s CE Memorial primary and Holy Trinity CE primary.

The idea was first conceived In the spring of 2016 when the Diocesan Education Board began looking at developing a Diocesan Multi Academy Trust led by the Diocese in partnership with schools in order to ensure there were options for schools who wanted an academy solution.

Early discussions with interested schools led to three primary schools choosing to join the first wave of the Durham Diocesan MAT. All three are either Ofsted good or outstanding and cross Local authority boundaries with Egglescliffe from the Stockton LA area and Holy Trinity and St Aidan’s from Hartlepool LA.

Director of Education for the Diocese of Durham and CEO of the new MAT, Paul Rickeard said: “The real focus of the MAT is on partnership working and improving already good educational outcomes. This then ensures each and every child in the MAT is able to reach their full potential whilst enabling staff, leaders and governors to share best practice and resources whilst retaining their own unique identity.

“The MAT is fortunate to have attracted a highly skilled board of directors and to retain experienced and committed local academy councillors for each school who are passionate about their local school and its distinct status within the community.”

Head Teacher of St Aidan’s Memorial CE Primary Lynn Chambers, said: “We are extremely proud of all we have achieved at St Aidan’s over recent years, but being invited to be part of such a dedicated and dynamic Multi Academy Trust at the outset, is the icing on the cake for us!

“We are on an exciting journey of collegiate working and sharing of expertise- the sky truly is the limit.”

The MAT exists to provide high-quality services, challenge and support to the increasing number of schools within the Diocese who wish to take on academy status and, since opening on 1 November 2017, will be now looking to grow and take on a second wave of schools who wish to join the MAT now it is successfully established.

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