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Diocese of Nottingham establishes country's first Catholic multi academy trust

26 September 2011

Four Catholic schools in Nottingham have successfully converted into academies as part of a unique multi academy trust.

Lawyers at Browne Jacobson have been working closely with the Bishop, the Director of Education, the trustees of the Catholic Diocese of Nottingham and the four schools for a number of months on the legal aspects of setting up the countrys first Catholic school multi academy trust and assisting the schools complete the transformation to academy status.

The four Catholic Voluntary Academies include The Becket Catholic School, Blessed Robert Widmerpool Catholic Primary School, Our Lady and St Edward Catholic Primary School and St Edmund Campion Catholic Primary School. Located in East and South Nottingham, the four schools have a combined pupil population exceeding 1900.

A multi-academy trust is a model for grouping schools which will enable the schools to share skills and resources more effectively, make better use of budgets, enhance pupils education through joint school projects and allow greater flexibility in curriculum design.

Gail Neill, Director of Education at the Diocese of Nottingham Education Service, commented:

"The trustees looked at a number of options before deciding upon the multi academy trust model for our schools in Nottingham. Congratulations to the four schools for being at the forefront of such an innovative initiative. We would also like to thank Browne Jacobson for their support and expertise in helping us to establish the countrys first Catholic multi academy trust."

Browne Jacobson is one of the leading law firms in the country in terms of the number of academy conversion instructions. Since the implementation of the Academies Act 2010, the firm has been instructed upon more than 200 academy conversion projects nationally.

Mark Blois, Head of the Academies Team at Browne Jacobson, added:

"By establishing the countrys first multi-academy trust for Catholic schools the Diocese of Nottingham is leading the way. It is a model that Dioceses up and down the country will be watching closely. We are delighted to have helped the four schools fulfil their ambitions for greater financial freedom and decision-making autonomy whilst maintaining their distinctive Catholic ethos and remaining an integral part of the wider Catholic family."

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