A YORK multi academy trust (MAT) has been given the go-ahead to merge with a Hull-based schools group.

Hope Learning Trust, York and Sentamu Academy Learning Trust in Hull will join together to form the Hope Sentamu Learning Trust in September 2021.

The two Church of England Trusts, who have been working in partnership for the past year, received approval for the merger from the Regional School Commissioners (RSC) on November19.

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

Hope currently has ten schools across York and North Yorkshire: 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.

Tony Myers, chairman 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 this 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 two MATs appointed Helen Winn as their CEO in September. Helen took the helm after the previous CEOs, Brian Crosby (Hope Learning Trust) and Andrew Chubb (Sentamu Academy Learning Trust) retired from their posts.

Helen said: “This exciting merger gives us the chance to continue to develop as one Trust so that everyone in our communities is given the opportunity to thrive.

"Schools across both of our Trusts have already been working together since September and so we already have a family of schools who share best practice.

"Each one of our schools has its own distinctive character, identity and strengths which it brings to the Trust so that we all benefit from each other. We have a very bright future ahead.”

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.