Highworth Warneford School joins The Park Academies Trust

By Barrie Hudson - 7 September 2023


Highworth Warneford School, an 11-16 secondary school, has formally joined the growing Swindon-based Multi Academy Trust, The Park Academies Trust (TPAT).

Warneford becomes the third secondary school in the trust, which now runs six schools plus the Trust Sixth Form and also becomes the second Swindon school to join within 12 months.

The successful process of joining TPAT started earlier this year and follows a period of consultation with staff, parents and the Department for Education.

The trust says the school’s Governors and Senior Leadership Team carefully considered its decision and decided that TPAT was the perfect choice for several key reasons:

- Warneford is being welcomed as an equal and valued partner in an already strong family of schools, with a very similar ethos to its own.

- TPAT has an excellent track record of support and school development.

- TPAT has a passion for inclusion, which ensures Warneford will continue to offer high-quality education to all students regardless of background or ability.

For the staff, students, parents and carers it will be ‘teaching as usual’ and there will be few visible changes in the structure of the school day but Warneford will now benefit from the advantages of collaboration between the schools within TPAT in the form of extra resources, staff development and financial efficiencies. 

Staff will now become TPAT employees but there are no changes to pay or terms of employment and no plans for any reduction in staff numbers.

Highworth Warneford School Headteacher Andy Steele said: ”We are delighted to join the growing number of schools in The Park Academies Trust family. 

"This is the start of a new exciting era and a sensible evolution for the school which will bring benefits to all our students, staff and families. We now have the wider support of the whole TPAT team and we also become part of a wider all-through 3-18 educational approach. 

"We will have opportunities to work together, learn from each other and share good practice. I am very proud to be the Headteacher of such a great school and look forward to building an even stronger future for all of us at Warneford.”

Benedick Ashmore-Short, CEO, The Park Academies Trust said: “Highworth Warneford is a fantastic secondary school with a positive set of exam results this summer. 

"I’m very pleased the school leadership and staff have chosen to join our growing Trust and we are delighted to welcome them to the team. The Park Academies Trust is setting out to be one of the leading Multi Academy Trusts in the South West. 

"We are building a family of like-minded local schools focused on what’s best for all of our children in all of our schools and as a Trust we understand the importance of education right the way through from Early Years to Sixth Form."

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