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Cambridge academy trusts confirm merger that will ‘provide children with more opportunities’

Two Cambridge academy trusts have confirmed their voluntary merger, bringing together 28 primary, secondary and special schools.

Lesley Birch (Meridian Trust, Deputy CEO) and Mark Woods (Meridian Trust, CEO) with pupils from Hatton Park Primary School (56337418)
Lesley Birch (Meridian Trust, Deputy CEO) and Mark Woods (Meridian Trust, CEO) with pupils from Hatton Park Primary School (56337418)

Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT) and Cambridge Primary Education Trust (CPET) confirmed their merger on Wednesday (April 20) – and will be known as Meridian Trust.

CMAT’s 23 primary, secondary and special schools will join with five CPET primary schools, meaning the trust will now be educating around 17,000 pupils.

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Teaching School Hub, which is based at CPET’s Histon and Impington Brook Primary School, will also become part of Meridian Trust.

The voluntary merger was finalised following a public consultation carried out by both trusts. The outcomes of the consultation were formally presented to the trustee boards of CMAT and CPET and the merger approved by the Regional Schools’ Commissioner.

Mark Woods, CEO of Meridian Trust, said: “We are absolutely delighted to confirm the voluntary merger of CMAT and CPET which will fundamentally increase our capacity for providing high-quality teaching and learning and delivering an even stronger pupil experience.

“Collectively we operate schools across Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire and have forged strong links within these communities which we can build on, supported by CPET’s considerable leadership expertise in primary education.

“The name change itself marks an important step as it has become clear in recent years that the previous CMAT name no longer fully reflected the growth and geographical reach of our trust over our first 10 years. We all felt it was key to keep the word Meridian within our new name as it has a clear connection to our inception.

“Meridian was chosen because the Greenwich Meridian geographical reference line passes through the village of Swavesey, the location for CMAT’s first school back in 2011, and it also runs through Somersham, where one of CPET’s primary schools is situated. This presents a golden thread both geographically but also through time.”

Lesley Birch (Meridian Trust, Deputy CEO) and Mark Woods (Meridian Trust, CEO) (56337492)
Lesley Birch (Meridian Trust, Deputy CEO) and Mark Woods (Meridian Trust, CEO) (56337492)

The CMAT schools include Ely College, North Cambridge Academy, Swavesey Village College, and Bar Hill Primary Academy.

The former CPET schools to join Meridian Trust are Hatton Park Primary School in Longstanton, Histon and Impington Brook Primary School, Histon and Impington Park Primary School, Somersham Primary School and Trumpington Park Primary School.

Lesley Birch, deputy CEO of Meridian Trust, said: “This is a very significant step for CPET and one that will deliver huge benefits for our children and staff. As a result of the voluntary merger we will provide high-quality primary education for more children across the region, based on CPET’s successful 10-year model of primary school improvement, with pupils benefitting from the combined expertise and capacity of CPET and CMAT primary leaders at a time of significant recent growth within both trusts.

“There will also be more subject specialism, within and across phases, allowing children to receive an all-through, all-inclusive curriculum: this will especially benefit primaries already feeding into Meridian Trust secondaries. We can also offer enhanced SEND/special school provision for those children with additional needs, by virtue of CMAT’s capacity and expertise, and we anticipate more, and improved, opportunities for children through intra-trust challenges.

“There has always been a great amount of common ground between CPET and CMAT in terms of moral purpose, values and ambition. All staff will benefit from greater leadership, career profession and professional development opportunities, and wider sharing of knowledge and expertise.”

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Teaching School Hub supports more than 300 schools, making it the third largest hub in the country, with a range of professional development for teachers at all stages of their careers.

Visit: meridiantrust.co.uk.

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