Advantage Schools (AS) and The Shared Learning Trust (TSLT), acknowledging strong alignment between the two organisations, have announced their intention to merge and create a larger and stronger Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) of ten schools across Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Luton.

The Trust will retain the name Advantage Schools and will be led by Stuart Lock, currently CEO of Advantage Schools, supported by Cathy Barr, current CEO of TSLT.  The proposed merger date is 1st September 2024.

The merged organisation will enhance educational opportunities and resources for pupils within the Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Luton areas. Pupils and families can look forward to the exciting developments that this union will bring to the trusts’ schools and their respective communities. The merger will afford greater capacity and resources and is an exciting move for both MATs.

Advantage Schools, which is based in Bedford and Central Bedfordshire and was formed in April 2017, has two secondary schools and three primary schools and The Shared Learning Trust has two secondary schools, two primary schools and one lower school. Advantage Schools has also recently received approval from the Department for Education to establish a new free school in Bedford, further expanding its reach and impact.

Stuart Lock, CEO, added, “I am extremely proud that our trust will be merging with The Shared Learning Trust. Both Trusts are committed to providing all children with the highest quality education through an excellent academic curriculum; we believe that this merger will be extremely beneficial to all, and continue our mission to ensure that all of our pupils receive the highest quality of education.”

The Shared Learning Trust, with schools located in Luton and Central Bedfordshire, prides itself on fostering a culture of value, diversity and inclusivity within its schools. Cathy Barr, CEO, said, “I am thrilled that The Shared Learning Trust will be merging with Advantage Schools. The increased capacity of the merged Trust will benefit all pupils in all of the schools.”

 Notes: Please contact Victoria Lockey for further information or to arrange photographs at the schools.