As the largest Trust in Cumbria, we are looking to grow again and launch a new education hub in the county.

We have been in talks to partner with Kendal’s The Queen Katherine School (QKS) to start a new southern hub for our Multi-Academy Trust, just how we have established similar school groups in the north and west of the county.

The 950-student school approached the Trust to formally explore the possibility of joining CET, joining our three secondary schools – The Whitehaven Academy, William Howard School and Workington Academy.

Since 2015, we have grown to cover 13 schools and we are responsible for the education of more than 4,500 young people. We have developed a strong track record on school improvement, on collaboration and in enabling staff to further their careers through training, qualification and progression opportunities.

Our model is to build geographic hubs – as it has on the West Coast and in Carlisle – for education from age 2-18, with primary schools feeding secondary schools.

Lorrayne Hughes, Chief Executive, said, “It is testament to CET’s growing reputation that it had been approached by QKS, a school which was rated Good in all areas by Ofsted inspectors last year. We are delighted to have been asked to explore the possibility of QKS working with CET.

“It is a school with an excellent reputation and with a staff – like our own – dedicated to doing everything in their power to help young people achieve.

“We have been preparing for strategic growth over the last few years and are now well placed to work with QKS Headteacher, Jon Hayes, and his staff to looking at forming a southern hub.”

Mr Hayes, Headteacher of QKS, said partnering with CET would be an exciting next step for QKS, which he said shared many similar values with the trust, including high expectations and a holistic approach to developing the whole child.

He said: “QKS is a strong school which benefits all of its students and is achieving well by every measure, including this year’s excellent GCSE and A Level results.

“Joining with CET would open up new opportunities for cross-school work and support, further curriculum expansion, staff development, wider opportunities and increased resources for students and staff.

“It would also give us greater opportunities for working with our primary partners within the local area and I think this would be a great move for all concerned and education in the South Lakeland area in general.”

QKS, which is currently part of The Fells Trust, has 117 members of staff and offers 40 different subjects for young people to study.

More details will be provided as this development evolves.