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Our Story

The Laidlaw Schools Trust family of academies is a growing success story and we’d love you to be part of it.

Laidlaw Schools Trust was founded in 2008 to provide inspirational education to secondary school pupils in Newcastle.

We now provide inspirational education at seven nursery, primary and secondary academies in Newcastle, Sunderland and Sedgefield, and are set to grow further.

Read more about our academies

We ensure that every child shines, irrespective of background or presumed ability.

From their very first day to their graduation ceremonies, we fill the heads, hearts and hands of our pupils, so they leave us with the qualifications, personal qualities and aspirations to succeed, whatever the future holds.

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 our schools.

But education is about so much more than academic excellence. It matters 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.

That’s why, with the support of the Laidlaw Foundation, we provide extra funding to every pupil in every one of our schools, so they can enjoy:

  • Healthy and tasty food from professional chefs
  • Music lessons and access to a wide variety of instruments
  • Sports teams and clubs
  • Art, dance and theatre
  • Cultural visits, excursions
  • and so much more.

Key Milestones in Our Story

We look forward to welcoming new schools to our Trust as we expand in the future too.


September 2008: Excelsior Academy opened

June 2012: Atkinson Road Primary joined the Trust

April 2013: Atkinson Road achieves Good Ofsted Judgement

September 2013: Rainbird Primary opens at Excelsior Academy

April 2014: Thomas Walling joined the Trust

July 2017: South Hylton Primary joined the Trust

Summer 2017: LST Central Team established in St Nicholas Building in Newcastle

September 2017: Westgate Hill Primary Academy joined the Trust

January 2018: Academy 360 joined the Trust

January 2018: Atkinson Road Nursery School joined Atkinson Road Primary Academy

December 2019: Academy 360 named as the third most improved school in the UK in Fair Secondary School index

March 2020: Sedgefield Community College joined the Trust

October 2020: Westgate Hill achieved Green Flag Award becoming an ‘Eco-School’

May 2021: Thomas Walling achieves Good Ofsted judgement

July 2021: Sedgefield Community College named best in the Country

September 2021: South Hylton achieves Good Ofsted judgement

September 2021: the Laidlaw Teaching and Leadership Centre at Sedgefield Community College opens

October 2021: Westgate Hill Primary Academy achieves Outstanding Ofsted judgment

June 2022: Sedgefield Community College maintains Outstanding Ofsted judgment

June 2022: Academy 360 achieves Good Ofsted judgment