Two more schools have joined the Cumbria Education Trust family.

Carlisle’s Newtown Primary and Northside in Workington start the new school year under the wing of the trust, which now covers 11 schools and more than 4,000 students and pupils across the county.

The summer has seen a whirl of activity behind the scenes to enable the transfers to take place. A full programme of redecoration has been carried out at Newtown along with upgrading IT systems at both schools ready for the pupils’ return this week.

Northside, previously with the Be the Change Trust, is the first Workington primary to join CET. At its most recent Ofsted inspection in February it was rated Good.

Newtown was under the control of Cumbria County Council but was rated Inadequate by Ofsted in March requiring it to become a sponsored academy, CET is delighted to welcome them to its family.

CET is now responsible for eight primary schools with several having progressed from a similar position to achieve positive acknowledgement from inspectors. In June, CET’s Tebay Primary was judged Good in all areas in its first inspection since joining the trust and last year Longtown Primary achieved the first good rating in its history.

Returning to 120-pupil Newtown is Acting Headteacher Marie Jamieson who has been seconded from Kingmoor Nursery and Infant School for the year ahead.

Mrs Jamieson, who has worked with staff, children and parents at the school since last October, said: “We are very excited to join the Cumbria Education Trust family of schools. It is a great opportunity for the children and staff at Newtown to work closely with the trust’s other schools and benefit from a strong partnership, ensuring the children have everything they need to be the best they can be.

“Our children have a real hunger for knowledge and we can now provide them with even more opportunities to broaden their horizons.

“We will be ensuring from day one that we provide them with the vital core skills which will prepare them for the rest of their lives, as well as an exciting, rich and creative curriculum that will build their confidence and enable them to flourish.”

The new Acting Headteacher at 60-pupil Northside, Grant O’Townson, who has been at the school for eight years as Senior Teacher and then Deputy Head, said: “In joining CET, Northside will be able to build on our excellent Ofsted earlier this year.

“We are looking forward to the opportunities this will bring to our children – opportunities that small schools can’t offer on their own. We are also looking forward to working really closely with Workington Academy, this makes perfect sense as our children usually move on to them. I am really proud to be able to lead the school forward.”

Chris Wilkins, Director of Primary Education for CET, said: “The school communities, children, staff and the trust have already started to work together. These are schools with huge potential, they have so much to bring to and gain from CET.”