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The secondary school, rated outstanding by Ofsted in March 2017, joins Laidlaw schools trust:

Formalising an existing advisory relationship with the trust LST’s chief executive Jane Spence said: “We are so delighted that Sedgefield Community College has decided to come on board and now that the conversion process, which began several months ago and involved our parents, pupils, staff, governors and the community has concluded, we can begin working together as a team with a collective vision for transforming the lives of children and communities.

Officials said the move will support educational outcomes, include creatio of a teaching hub and enable Sedgefield’s staff to broaden their experience.

Headteacher David Davies said: “These are exciting times for us. My governors and I are constantly reviewing our long-term plans and how best we might ensure the future of Sedgefield as a highly successful school, and it became clear that becoming an academy would provide the best all round opportunities.

“LST’s proposals were by far the most attractive of the many options considered. Crucially, it soon became apparent the we share the same ethos and believe that there is much to be gained by both parties from the opportunities this exciting new alliance will create.

“It is vital that the transition is well managed and subsequently my own role will be to lead on this as LST’s newly appointed Director of School Improvement (Secondary). Much of my working week will be spent at other LST academies, but I will be based at Excelsior Academy in the west end of Newcastle, so it gives me great pleasure to announce that Geoff Robinson, currently Deputy Headteacher (Curriculum) will be succeeding me as Headteacher at Sedgefield Community College from June 1, so I know that Sedgefield is being left in extremely capable hands.

As part of the exciting development, LST will also be investing in a multi-million pound teaching and leadership centre on the Sedgefield site. Architects have already developed plans for the centre, which have now been submitted as a planning application to Durham County Council.

Durham University is partnering with LST as its training and leadership hub for secondary school teacher training, which means that each year, 120 of its PGCE students will attend the teaching and leadership facility throughout their training year as part of their teacher training programme, with practical experience to be gained working closely with exceptional teachers from Sedgefield Community College and other LST academies.

Chair of governors Councillor John Robinson said “The governing body was unanimous in its support of becoming part of the Laidlaw School Trust and is eagerly anticipating the development of the teaching and leadership centre, which has the potential to not only impact positively upon secondary education locally, but across the entire North East region, and we are thrilled to be able to play our part in that.

“Additionally, we believe that being part of LST will not only help to improve educational outcomes across the trust but it will allow Sedgefield Community College staff to reap the benefits of working for an established, forward thinking multi-academy trust, which enjoys a well-deserved reputation for its inclusivity approach and determination to improving the life chances of children within its schools.”