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South Suffolk Learning Trust

SSLT Press Release

Local multi-academy trust (MAT) South Suffolk Learning Trust has been identified as the new sponsor of Colchester Academy in Essex.

South Suffolk Learning Trust is a strong, values-driven local MAT comprising East Bergholt High School, Claydon High School, Claydon Primary School and Hadleigh High School – all rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted.

It is the aim that, subject to the usual due diligence process, South Suffolk Learning Trust will formally become the sponsor of Colchester Academy from February 2019 after the Regional Schools Commissioner for the East of England and North-East London approved the proposal.

Colchester Academy hit the headlines in September when it emerged that its previous sponsor Bright Tribe was under investigation by the BBC Panorama programme. Bright Tribe and its academies have been operating under a new Board of Trustees and interim executive leadership since late summer.

Jenny Betts, Principal at Colchester Academy, is delighted at the news. “This has been a unsettling time for the children, parents and staff and I’m very pleased we now have a secure future ahead of us. The team at South Suffolk Learning Trust has been supporting me in my new post since I joined the academy this term.

‘We are an ambitious academy, striving for excellence and I am pleased that a strong local MAT will be with us on the next stage of our journey. I have previously worked with the senior leadership team at East Bergholt, and know them to be committed to maximising the learning of young people, and I look forward to a positive future for the Academy.

Sarah Skinner, Chief Executive of South Suffolk Learning Trust, says “Colchester Academy is a perfect addition to our MAT as its values and ethos are so strongly aligned with ours. Our vision is ‘excellence through collaboration’ and Jenny has been willing to work with us to share best practice and common aims since we started working together.

Sarah, who has worked in Suffolk since 2002, is looking forward to having Colchester Academy on board. “My first task is to meet with staff, children and parents and give them reassurance that the academy is now part of a well-run multi-academy trust with an excellent track record.”

Bright Tribe’s Interim Chief Executive Officer, Angela Barry, said: "I am pleased that a new sponsor has been identified for Colchester Academy.

"This is an exciting new chapter for the school under a new multi-academy trust which will
provide the pupils, parents and staff with the support, expertise and stability that will deliver a
high-quality education.”