Five Bedford Borough schools mark start of school year with merger

Sharnbrook Academy CMAT 1

Five Bedford Borough schools, which form the Sharnbrook Academy Federation (SAF) have merged with the Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT).

The schools include Sharnbrook Academy, Lincroft Academy, Harrold Primary Academy, Great Ouse Primary Academy and Oakley Primary Academy.

They join 18 other CMAT schools which are now across Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire and Bedfordshire.

SAF’s Trustee board says changes to leadership at the SAF and a desire to “take a fresh strategic direction with a larger regional trust” were behind the decision.

Mark Woods, Chief Executive Officer of CMAT, described the SAF team as, “like-minded people who clearly align with these vision and values.”

Adding, “we are thrilled to welcome these five new schools to CMAT. As a Trust, we have a simple and clear vision – to provide, support, and champion high-quality education at the heart of local communities.”

CMAT supported the Bedford Borough schools over the summer as well as refurbishing buildings and introducing new IT equipment to “broaden pupils’ educational experiences in the classroom”.

“There is a lot of excellent practice we can learn from each other and we are all looking forward to seeing the benefits of this partnership come to life over the coming months,” said Mark.

Lincroft Academy CMAT 1
Lincroft Academy

SAF’s initial teacher training (ITT) provision has also joined CMAT to work alongside the Trust’s existing ITT provision, The Cambridge Partnership.

Form the Borough schools, Andrew Hencken, Principal at Lincroft Academy, said the partnership would “allow significant investment to transform areas of the Lincroft Academy site.”

Meanwhile, Principal at Sharnbrook Academy, Clare Raku, said: “We have no doubt the partnership will enhance our offer across the school, including our strong Sixth Form and the community leisure centre we are proud to have on our site.”

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