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Welcome to Laidlaw Schools Trust. I am delighted that you are interested in the work we are doing to transform children’s lives through inspirational education.

We believe that every child is extraordinary, irrespective of their ability or background, and have high expectations of all our pupils. Because together, and when we work hard, we can do extraordinary things.

Inclusive Communities

All our academies are inclusive, supporting children from different backgrounds and with additional needs. We are proud of the diversity of our communities – illustrated by the fact that in some of our schools over 50 different languages are spoken.

Whatever their starting point in life, we help our pupils to overcome any barriers that they may face, so that they can reach for the skies.

But in order to achieve this, it is fundamental that our pupils and staff enjoy coming to school and work. Being happy and healthy is the basis for success. Therefore, across all of our academies, we provide safe and welcoming environments and the necessary support for our whole school community to thrive.

Academy 360, for example, has been awarded a Wellbeing Award, for its focus on the wellbeing of staff and pupils, as well as IQM Centre of Excellence accreditation, which recognises it as a national beacon of inclusivity.

Breadth of Curriculum

I want all of our pupils to achieve a strong academic foundation. Our excellent SATs, GCSE and A level results show the effectiveness of the Trust’s focus on qualifications, and the high standards of teaching and learning across all its schools.

Sedgefield Community College, for example, our Ofsted-rated 'Outstanding' secondary school which joined the Trust in 2020, is in the top 50 best performing schools in the country.

But education is about so much more than academic excellence. We believe in developing the whole child so that our pupils are:

  • physically healthy
  • mentally robust
  • ethically resilient
  • digitally savvy
  • and have the skills and attributes that “future proof” them for a changing world.

Atkinson Road and Westgate Hill primary academies, for example, have achieved the Eco-Schools Green Flag award, while Excelsior Academy has gained a prestigious Artsmark Gold Award.

As the Trust continues to grow, we remain committed to the belief that every child is extraordinary. Irrespective of background or presumed ability, our incredible staff ensure that every child shines and can find the things at which they excel - academically, technically, creatively, in sports, in the performing arts or any other of the myriad of ways in which we give our pupils the opportunity to shine.

Our Values

Our values focus on developing the whole child. We equip our pupils to be:

  • Ambitious
  • Brave
  • Curious
  • Determined
  • Extraordinary
  • Fast
  • and Good

We are generously supported by the Laidlaw Foundation which enables us to invest in our schools and students. As custodian of the Trust, I want to ensure that every pound spent results in lasting change in our communities.

I hope you find all the information you need across our Trust and school websites. If you require any further information please do contact the central team or our individual schools. We are always happy to help.


Ian Simpson

Ian Simpson

Chief Executive Officer

Ian welcome