A new chapter for two Tameside Schools and Ashton Sixth Form College

9 July 2020

Longdendale and Rayner Stephens High Schools to join Ashton Sixth Form College under the banner of Stamford Park Trust.

The Regional schools Commissioner has given the green light for Longdendale and Rayner Stephens High Schools to join Ashton Sixth Form College in Stamford Park Trust. The Trust was established by Ashton Sixth Form College in February 2019 with a vision to improve the life chances and raise the ambition of students in Tameside.

The schools, currently part of AspirePlus Educational Trust, will transfer to Stamford Park Trust in the new calendar year. A period of consultation about the change will provide an opportunity for staff, parents and other interested parties to comment on the proposal which is supported by the local authority.

There is a history of collaboration between the three education establishments. As founding members of the A+ Trust, a federation of schools within Tameside, the schools and the college worked to improve the quality of education for young people in the borough. 

Anton McGrath, Principal of Ashton Sixth Form College and CEO of Stamford Park Trust commented, “this is an exciting new chapter in the history of both schools and the college. By collaborating and working together, we aim to provide a world class education for all across all three educational establishments, to provide strong progression opportunities for students attending both Rayner Stephens and Longdendale High Schools and to help students realise their ambitions for the future.” He added, “this is an unprecedented opportunity to share good practice and develop outstanding teaching and learning approaches to the benefit of all.”

Carol Thomas, Chair of AspirePlus Educational Trust stated, “We are really pleased to have received the go ahead to join Stamford Park Trust and develop our collaboration with the college further. This is a great opportunity, at a local level, to increase capacity and provide first class educational provision for all of our learners.”

Fay Beach, Headteacher at Rayner Stephens High School added, “This is an exciting development for the school and an opportunity to better support our learners in their education journey.  This development will support the rapid improvement already being made by the school and we look forward to working with the college.”

Andrea Jones, Headteacher at Longdendale High School also commented, “this is a fantastic opportunity for further collaboration across the Stamford Park Trust, and is one that we are confident will support the ongoing rapid improvement at Longdendale.  This will offer extensive capacity and opportunities to both our school, and most importantly our learners, as we continue to realise our vision to provide a truly world class education, which supports future progression routes for all.”  Andrea also commented that “as a team, we are delighted at this news, and we are looking forward to working together to ensure that best practice in all areas is shared and developed, and that our learners are provided with an outstanding curriculum and teaching and learning opportunities.”’  

Stephen Foote, Chair of Stamford Park Trust also added, “We are delighted that Longendale High School and Rayner Stephens High School are joining the Trust.  These Schools together with the existing Ashton Sixth Form College will be able to draw on the strengths of all our colleagues within the Trust for the benefit of all our learners and is an exciting time for the students in Tameside.”


Read the full consultation document here.