Two Sheffield primaries are latest to join expanding new academy chain

Sir Steve Lancashire, founder of Reach2 and Reach4.

Sir Steve Lancashire, founder of Reach2 and Reach4.

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A NEW ACADEMY chain which has been set up to improve standards in South Yorkshire with cash backing from the Government has taken on two Sheffield schools.

Hartley Brook Primary and Hatfield Primary are among the first six schools to join Reach4.

The news follows the recent announcement that Carrfield, Goosacre, The Hill and Highgate Primary Academies, all in the Dearne Valley, were also joining.

Reach4 was established last year, to working with primary, secondary and all-through schools in South Yorkshire. Reach4 is a sister trust to REAch2, said to be the largest and most successful primary academy Trust in the country.

It is one of the approved academy sponsors which has received a share of £5m Northern Fund money from the Governmment to take on more underperforming schools.

Hatfield was placed in special measures last year but Hartley Brook is rated as good by Ofsted. Its first four schools in the Dearne Valley are all rated good or better. Hill Primary is rated as outstanding by Ofsted.

Reach2 is an established academy chain with primary schools across the country. Some of these schools were converter academies - typically strong performing schools which have opted to become academies and some are sponsored academies - typically schools which are underperforming and have been taken on by a sponsor to improve.

Reach4 is expected to follow the same model. Reach4 is jointly led by Sir Steve Lancashire, the founder of REAch2 and Reach4, and Libby Nicholas, an outstanding head and experienced national education leader. She said:“It is fantastic news that Hartley Brook and Hatfield Primary Schools are joining the newly formed Reach4 family.”

“They will join four primary academies from Barnsley to form the first six schools in the trust. We have been working closely with each of the schools and the HBH Trust for some time and look forward to building on the strong foundations in place.

“Reach4 is all about ‘inspiration beyond measure’ and are committed to delivering an education with no boundaries. This means not just academic excellence, but helping children and young people develop in the broadest sense through arts, sports, leadership opportunities, enrichment and community.

“We look forward to welcoming Hartley Brook and Hatfield into the family and, together, working to ensure that every child has the best possible education throughout their time with us.”

Diana Bentley-Watts, chief executive of the HBH Trust which currently runs the schools said: “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to hand our schools over to this new Trust in South Yorkshire. After our research into possible trusts, it was clear that Reach4 will give our children what they most need - an exciting education and limitless enrichment.“

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