A new year; a new chapter begins

Longdendale and Rayner Stephens High Schools join Ashton Sixth Form College under the banner of Stamford Park Trust.

On the 1st January 2021, Longdendale and Rayner Stephens High Schools transferred from the Aspire Plus Educational Trust to Stamford Park Trust, a Multi-Academy Trust established by Ashton Sixth Form College in February 2019.

The move, approved by Vicky Beer, the Regional Schools’ Commissioner and the Department for Education, sees the two schools join Ashton Sixth Form College in the fledgling Trust to form one organisation spanning two phases of education in the borough.

Anton McGrath, CEO of Stamford Park Trust and Principal of Ashton Sixth Form College commented,

“This is an exciting opportunity to do things differently, to develop collaborative approaches to teaching and learning, and to provide an outstanding quality of education to all students in the Trust. All staff working for Stamford Park Trust are committed to the vision, they support the ethos and culture of the Trust and are prepared to be innovative and do things differently so we can help realise our students’ potential. There is an enormous amount of talent and commitment in the staff at each of the three organisations in the Trust; building on this and developing networks and collaboration will help us all to succeed.” 

He added,

“there is work to do to secure improvement in the schools and address the issues identified by Ofsted in their recent inspections, but we are all ready for the challenge; we wish to include all members of the schools’ communities including students, parents and carers to bring about rapid change.”

Cllr Leanne Feeley, Tameside Council Executive Member for Lifelong Learning, said:

“This is an exciting new chapter for Longdendale and Rayner Stephens High Schools, giving them the opportunity to benefit from Ashton Sixth Form College’s learning, which is rated as outstanding by Ofsted. This collaboration under the Stamford Park Trust will support the academies’ rapid improvements, helping improve the quality of education for our young people. The council will support them throughout their development as we strive to help students achieve their ambitions.”

Stephen Foote, Chair of Stamford Park Trust said, 

“We welcome the two schools into the Trust and we will do everything we can to improve the life chances of the pupils at the Schools as well as working to improve the close collaborations which the schools already have with their local communities.”

Local MP, Jonathan Reynolds stated,

“Quality education needs local organisations with the capacity and leadership to drive up standards. The new Stamford Park Trust, led by the outstanding Ashton Sixth Form College, is an opportunity to create the first class local education we need and deserve in Tameside.”