A school made famous by a fly-on-the-wall documentary has joined forces with five others.
Thornhill Community Academy in Dewsbury – which featured in the Channel 4 show Educating Yorkshire – is the latest secondary school to join the SHARE multi-academy trust led by Shelley College.
Royds Hall Community School in Huddersfield has also recently joined.
The hit TV show made stars of former headteacher Mr Mitchell, English teacher Mr Burton and a number of pupils, most famously Mushy, who fought to overcome a stammer, and eyebrow-obsessed Bailey.
The move means a group of six academy schools are now working together across Kirklees in a bid to pool resources.
The trust was started by Shelley College, which is rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, and others included are Heaton Avenue Primary School in Cleckheaton; Millbridge J&I and Nursery School in Liversedge; and Cowlersley Primary School.
Thornhill Community Academy is an 11 to 16 high school, for about 850 pupils.
It is expected the academy will formally join the trust in the autumn, once legal processes have been completed.
Directors at Thornhill said they had voted to join SHARE after several months of looking at number of different multi-academy trusts.
John McNally, principal of Shelley College, said, “We are delighted Thornhill will be joining the trust.
“We have been discussing the benefits of the partnership for several months and we are certain this move will strengthen all our schools.
“The trust will retain a strong local identity and schools will continue to put the interests of the pupils and communities they serve first.
“This larger group of schools brings extra benefits in that we can share a wider pool of expertise and resources to boost the experience for our pupils and face any future challenges, such as tighter funding, with much greater confidence.
“Thornhill Community Academy has many strengths, including a very able leadership team and governing body, which will contribute to the trust’s success for many years to come.
“I also think many of the trust’s areas of expertise will support even higher standards at the academy.
“We will, of course, continue to contribute to all our other partnerships and will act in the best interests of all children and young people in the region.
“The trust, however, brings together schools in a much more structured way, so we co-ordinate our efforts on improving education in all our schools.”
Bev Matthews, head of Thornhill Community Academy, said: “We are really excited to be joining SHARE Multi-Academy Trust.
“The partnership will further enhance the quality of provision at the academy in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for our students.
“We are looking forward to being part of a wide collaboration of schools that share the same mission, vision and values.”
Academy schools are funded directly by central government, rather than through the local authority, and are run by an academy trust.
An increasing number of academies are now joining or forming multi-academy trusts, recognising the benefits that stronger partnerships can bring to school improvement and securing better value for money.