The Nottinghamshire-based Diverse Academies Learning Partnership has announced the further expansion of its trust, with the addition of five new academies this month – Thrumpton and Bracken Lane primaries in Retford, Samuel Barlow primary in Clipstone, and special education providers Yeoman Park and Redgate in Mansfield Woodhouse.

The regionally-focused multi-academy trust attributes its continued growth to the success of its partnership, which is built on an ethos of collaboration, diversity and inclusion.

Debbie Clinton, acting CEO for the Diverse Academies said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome these new academies to the group. The addition of a mix of primaries and special education providers is an important factor to us – we are very clear on the benefits to all our academies of working across phases of education, whether that is in mainstream or the special education sector.

“We are diverse in name and nature, and as educationalists we don’t take for granted our successes. Our highly valued and professional staff work hard to ensure we remain at the forefront of innovations in teaching and learning, so that the children and young people of our communities have access to the very best education, whatever their starting point. Collaborating across a diverse portfolio of academies is therefore fundamental to our vision and values.”

The trust formed in 2011 and its latest expansion takes the group to a total of 14 academies, located across Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire – 10 of which are judged as Ofsted Good or better.

Cat Thornton, executive principal for the incoming primaries, will also add Wainwright Primary Academy in Mansfield to her portfolio. She commented: “For us, the Diverse Academies was the only multi-academy trust we felt fitted the ambitions we have for our schools and our children. It’s critically important to ensure that each academy has the flexibility to retain its own unique identity and deliver the right education for its pupils. This partnership ensures we can co-create, share and apply best practice, wherever it is found – something you simply can’t achieve working as a standalone, single-phase school.”

Neil Holmes, executive principal for The Holgate Academy, Hucknall and Queen Elizabeth’s Academy, Mansfield, will now also take on the executive leadership of Yeoman Park and Redgate academies. Neil summed up the developments, adding: “There is much for us to collectively benefit from working together with our new colleagues in the special schools. For too long there has been a divide between the various types of education providers. We’re keen to ensure we learn from all our academies, so that our children and young people receive the specialist support when it’s required, in settings most appropriate to their needs. I look forward to working closely with my Yeoman Park and Redgate colleagues and pupils.”