University of Winchester Academy Trust welcomes three Romsey primary schools into the fold

18 Dec 2020

Three primary schools from the Romsey area have joined the University of Winchester Academy Trust.

Awbridge, Wellow and Halterworth schools have longstanding links with the University of Winchester through its teacher education programmes, which are rated 'outstanding' by OFSTED. The three Romsey schools join Barton Farm Academy in Winchester and Stoneham Park Academy in Eastleigh - brand new primary schools that opened their doors for the first time in September 2020 - as part of the Academy Trust.

The University of Winchester has also announced that Jo Cottrell has been appointed Executive Leader of the Academy Trust. Ms Cottrell, who is the executive headteacher of Awbridge, Wellow and Halterworth schools, will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Trust and manage the headteachers of the Academy Trust's five primary schools.

"We warmly welcome the staff and students of the Romsey schools and Jo Cottrell to the Trust and to the wider University of Winchester community. The trustees are looking forward to working closely with Jo to take the Trust from strength to strength," said Tommy Geddes, Chair of the Academy Trust.

"The University's ambition in setting up the Trust was to create academies which are exemplars of values-driven education with sustainability at their heart, cornerstones of their local communities and beacons of excellence in education. The excellent schools at Awbridge, Halterworth and Wellow already display all of those characteristics and they will help the Trust to flourish in the years to come."

Jo Cottrell, the new Executive Leader of the Academy Trust, said: "I am delighted to join the Academy Trust, where children have access to an inspirational curriculum as well as excellent and innovative facilities and staff. All our schools will ensure that we both nurture a love of learning and enable all children to realise their potential with a strong sense of self and the confidence to engage with and influence the wider world through their role as future citizens."

All five schools in the University of Winchester Academy Trust benefit from the University's outstanding track record in teacher education and extensive regional school partnerships, its evidence-based learning and teaching, powerful links with local business and community organisations, and its passionate commitment to sustainability and social justice.

"The University and the Trust are hugely indebted to Nicola Wells who, having joined the University to set up Barton Farm Academy, ended up developing the Trust as well as opening Stoneham Park Academy. She continues to be a central figure in the Trust, as well as Executive Headteacher of Barton Farm and Stoneham Park Academies," added Mr Geddes.

The University of Winchester was approved as an academy sponsor by the Department of Education in 2014.

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