A YORK multi academy trust (MAT) has announced its intention to merge with a Hull-based schools group.

Hope Learning Trust, York and Sentamu Academy Learning Trust, are both Church of England Trusts and will merge to form Hope Sentamu Learning Trust.

The new trust will include six secondary, seven primary and two alternative provision academies across York, Hull, Selby and Scarborough.

Hope has ten schools: Manor CE Academy, Vale of York Academy, Barlby High, Graham School, George Pindar School, Poppleton Ousebank Primary, Burton Green Primary, Forest of Galtres Anglican Methodist Primary, Baldersby St James Primary and Skelton Primary.

The projected date for the proposed merger is currently January next year.

Tony Myers, Chair of Hope Learning Trust said: “Trustees and Senior Leaders in both MATs have a clear joint commitment to ensure the flourishing of students within our communities and providing opportunities for staff to develop their own career pathways, alongside the provision of high-quality education and resources. This solution provides real strengths, creating a natural synergy.

“The key benefits of a merged Trust through increased size and scaling will lead to enhanced levels of continuous school improvement; cross-fertilisation of best practice and improved opportunities for mutual support; improved value for money within the resources available; enhanced back-office functions; and the ability to grow further.”

The CEOs of both Trusts are retiring this summer. Brian Crosby has led Hope Learning Trust York for the past ten years, and Andrew Chubb has led Sentamu Academy Learning Trust for the past five years. Helen Winn, who was announced in December 2019 as Brian Crosby’s successor as Hope CEO, will become the new CEO of both Trusts from 1 September 2020.

A Joint Oversight Group of Trustees and a Project Management Group which includes senior staff from both Hope and SALT central teams, will oversee the practical aspects of the merger. Colleagues across both Trusts were informed yesterday of the plans.

The merger will need approval from the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC), although this has been delayed due to the impact of COVID-19.

The Sentamu Academy Learning Trust currently has five academies in Hull: Archbishop Sentamu CE Academy, Aspire Academy, The Compass Academy, Newland St John’s CE Primary Academy and St James’ CE Primary Academy.