Trust News

Stakeholder Update                                                                                                                      27 October 2023

Dear Colleagues

As yet another half term comes to an end, I thought it appropriate to share some brief updates with you on some of the fantastic achievements so far this year:

Ofsted Success

Ellison Primary Academy

As you know, Ellison Primary Academy were inspected under the Section 5 framework at the end of the summer term and the final report was received in September.

It was a pleasure to read such a highly-positive report and one which publicly recognises everything that Ellison Primary Academy and the Trust stand for.

We already know of the many strengths that exist at Ellison.  We are fully aware that Ellison produces pupils who are ‘caring, collaborative, critical and creative thinkers.’ Inspectors also recognised the ‘high aspirations’, ‘high expectations’ and ‘clear vision’ shown by all leaders at Ellison, and the high priority given to reading ‘within a well-sequenced curriculum’.

It is so rewarding to see these, and many other aspects of the school, validated by an external body.   To receive the grade of ‘outstanding’ for the pupils’ personal development was also a fantastic achievement, and one very difficult to attain.

The report is a credit to the school and one which any school would be very proud to receive. For a copy of the full report, please follow this link Ellison Primary Academy

The Valiant School

As you know, The Valiant School, a new independent Primary School for children with complex social and emotional needs, is a joint venture between The Societas Trust and The New Guild Trust; it is also testament to what a genuine collaboration of like-minded organisations can achieve against all the odds, and one which both Trusts are very proud of indeed.

I am delighted to announce that the school was inspected by HMI in September and received their seal of approval to open its doors to pupils as a registered provider; a recommendation that the DfE has also now endorsed.  The HMI report also recognised that the school’s curriculum ‘is likely to support pupils to access purposeful learning… as well as preparing them for the next stage of their education’.  For a copy of the full report, please follow this link The Valiant School

More information about the school and the referral process can be found at


Head Teacher Appointments

Sadly, two of our much valued head teachers are retiring at the end of this term: Nadine Key at Oaklands Nursery and Elaine Preston at Gladstone Primary Academy. This has meant a busy time for both schools and the Trust to ensure a smooth transition of Leadership in the New Year.

Following a very rigorous and robust recruitment process at both settings, I am now in a position to announce the following appointments:

Oaklands Nursery – Sally Lynch, Assistant Head at Carmountside Primary Academy and Trust Lead Practitioner for EYFS, has been successfully appointed as Head of School from 1 January 2024 on a three year fixed term secondment, replacing Nadine Key.

Gladstone Primary Academy – Claire Annese, Deputy Head at Gladstone, has been successfully appointed as Head Teacher from 1 January, replacing Elaine Preston.

My congratulations to both Sally and Claire on their successful appointments and to both schools, having now secured their future leadership with two fabulous leaders to continue their journeys.

Also, my sincere thanks and congratulations to both Nadine and Elaine as they both prepare for their last few weeks at their respective schools and communities, which they have both served for a considerable number of years with love and dedication, and wishing them both long and happy retirements.


Societas Conference 2024

Plans for our 4th biennial whole Trust Conference on 9th February 2024 are already well under way – please see the Conference Flyer here for more details – Societas Conference Flyer. Would local governors please let their schools know if they wish to attend as soon as possible, as places are limited to five per setting.  My thanks to everyone involved in the preparation for this event, which I am sure will build upon the great success of our previous conferences.


My thanks as always to our amazing staff and volunteers for their continued hard work in all of our settings and at the centre; and to each and every one of you for your support of the Trust and our vision and values.

With my very best wishes

Jon Lovatt

Chief Executive Officer