We are delighted to announce that we have been selected to open two brand new Alternative Provision Free Schools in the latest wave announced by the Department for Education last week. After a rigorous tender and interview process, we can now start work on the foundations for two new schools that will transform the lives of some of the most vulnerable young people in the region.

The Engage Academy will be based in Cheshire East and will cater for up to 80 pupils aged 11-16, and The Link Academy will be located in Stoke-on-Trent, and will cater for up to 120 pupils aged 10-16.

Both schools will support vulnerable pupils who may be at risk of permanent exclusion and who have likely become disengaged with mainstream education. These schools will build on the strong foundation and reputation that the Trust has established over the last 9 years with its existing schools, The Fermain Academy, Macclesfield; The Axis Academy, Crewe; The Keystone Academy Shrewsbury; and Cornerstone Academy, Crewe. The Trust is also opening its 5th school, The Raise Academy, a specialist SEMH School in Halton in September 2024.

We will continue to drive standards, expectations and outcomes for the most vulnerable young people, and we cannot wait to get started with these projects in the coming months. Watch this space!

Our CEO, Nic Brindle, was delighted by the announcement and had the following reaction to the news:

“As a trust, we feel incredibly privileged by the faith and support both the local authorities and the DFE have in us to deliver these much-needed schools. I have no doubt that the education on offer will help students who are struggling to reach their potential and allow for further collaboration to support schools in both the Mainstream and SEN sectors in creating a true continuum of education for young people.”