Hartlepool-based academy expands by adding new school to its ranks

A Hartlepool-based academy trust is set to add a further primary school to its portfolio to make it one of the biggest employers in the town.

Thursday, 31st March 2022, 4:45 am

Barnard Grove, Brougham, West Park and West View primary schools form part of the hugely successful Ad Astra Academy Trust along with two schools in Stockton and one in Middlesbrough.

From April 1, however, Sunnyside Academy, in Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough will join Ad Astra.

The trust was formed in 2015 and over the last seven years has grown across the Tees Valley, providing education for over 3,000 pupils and 500 employees.

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Ad Astra chief executive Andy Brown.

Eighty-six per cent of its schools are judged by Ofsted to be either “outstanding” or “good”.

Sunnyside Academy, which is home to 314 pupils between the age of three and 11, has been a single academy trust since 2014.

It is a mainstream school with specialist base provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), particularly those with visual and hearing impairments.

Ad Astra chief executive Andy Brown said: “We are delighted to welcome Sunnyside Academy into our family of schools and are looking forward to supporting them to further improve through the fantastic collaboration that exists across Ad Astra schools.”

Julie Sutton, the headteacher of Sunnyside Academy, added: “Our trustees have considered a number of options in the last few years, but unanimously agreed that joining Ad Astra Academy Trust would be of significant benefit to both parties and ensure that all of our children reach their full potential.

“We have clear school improvement priorities that we are striving towards and being part of a large trust will help us achieve our goals.”

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