SCHOOLS in east Tynedale are pushing ahead with their plans to form a three-tier multi-academy trust (MAT).

Ten schools announced in May that they were considering joining forces to create Tynedale Community Learning Trust.

The MAT would contain: Prudhoe Community High School, Prudhoe Castle First School, Whittonstall First School, Broomley First School, Wylam First School, Ovingham First School, Ovingham Middle School, Mickley First School, Highfield Middle School and Corbridge Middle School.

A six-week consultation was launched and after senior teachers and leaders met to consider the responses, they announced in July that an application to convert to academy status would be submitted to the Department for Education.

And this week it was confirmed that the application to convert to academy status was still progressing.

This is despite uncertainty over the future of what schooling will look like in other parts of Tynedale, with Hadrian Learning Trust, the multi-academy trust formed by Queen Elizabeth High School (QEHS) and Hexham Middle School, completing a consultation in July on whether it should create a single 11-18 secondary school.

Corbridge Middle School, which traditionally feeds in to QEHS, has previously said it saw no reason why its inclusion in the three-tier MAT along with Prudhoe Community High School should affect Year 9 children moving on to QEHS.

A statement issued this week, from the schools involved in the Tynedale Community Learning Trust, said: “We submitted the application for our school to convert to academy status as part of the Tynedale Community Learning Trust during the summer holidays.

“DfE colleagues have sent us a considerable number of queries and requests for further information to substantiate information contained in the application form.

“We are hopeful that our application will be heard by the Regional Schools Commissioner and the Headteacher Board prior to Christmas and we will update you further once this has happened.”