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Diocese of Exeter Launches Multi Academy Trust to Sponsor School

The Department of Education has formally approved the orders to allow the first schools to join the Diocese of Exeter’s new Multi Academy Trust.


The Trust, named St Christopher’s, has been set up by the diocese to enable it to support schools which are becoming academies.


The Diocese of Exeter has 130 church schools across Devon, which educate around 22,000 children aged 4-18. The vast majority of church schools in the diocese (85 per cent) are rated by Ofsted as good or outstanding.


The Trust’s mission statement says: “The St Christopher’s Multi Academy Trust will follow the Christian values of compassion, service and leadership strength to ensure that the children and young people in our schools receive the best possible educational provision whilst the adults employed to serve them are valued and challenged to be the best they can be.”

The Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Revd Michael Langrish, said: “This Trust is dedicated to supporting our sponsored schools, through working with parents, governors and staff, to become beacons of high standards, good practice and service to the local community. The diocese has a long standing reputation in supporting schools, and St Christopher’s will enable us to work even more closely with schools that are converting to become academies. It’s an exciting development in our relationship with our schools.

I am glad that we are now able to fully and finally welcome schools into a new relationship with our diocesan family” he added.

The first schools to join the Trust later this year will be Ilfracombe Arts College and St Michael’s Church of England Primary School in Heavitree, Exeter. More schools are expected to join the Trust in the future.

Philip Mantell, Director of the Diocesan Board of Education, said: “We’re delighted to be in a position to sponsor and support schools converting to an academy.  The diocese, through the St Christopher’s Trust, will support each school to build on its performance and will ensure the Christian values of our Church Schools, which are so valued by parents, remain strong.”

There is a memorandum of understanding between the Department for Education and the National Society that says “There is a presumption that the diocese will, wherever possible… be the sponsor of the newly formed academy”.

The creation of St Christopher’s as a trust enables the Exeter Diocesan Board of Education to take on that role and sponsor schools which are becoming academies.

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love that you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” Hebrews 6:10