Latest Trust Newsletter

With news of Woodthorpe Primary School’s 50th Birthday and lots more click on the link in the article to view and read the latest newsletter from the South Bank Multi Academy Trust.

Click here to read our latest newsletter.


A Letter from the Chair of Trustees and Trust Principal

Now that the new school year is well under way, we wanted to write to you as the Chair of Trustees and the Trust Principal, to share with you our summary of the Trust’s achievements and future plans. We are now into our fourth year as a Multi Academy Trust, and looking to build on the strong foundations we have already established, so that we achieve our vision to be recognised as an exceptional trust of brave collaboration.

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Latest SBMAT Newsletter

Double Celebration for York Family of Schools

Three York primary schools and two secondaries are preparing to welcome Carr Junior School as the newest member of the South Bank Multi Academy Trust. They are also celebrating three years since the Trust was formed to allow local schools to collaborate more closely together.

Pupils from Knavesmire Primary School, Millthorpe School, Scarcroft Primary School, Woodthorpe Primary School and York High School are welcoming Carr Junior School as it joins the South Bank Multi Academy Trust on 1 May this year. The Trust, which is three years old today, celebrated with a cake baked especially for the event by the Chair of Trustees, Edwin Thomas.

Jo Edwards, the Trust Principal, said, ‘Since starting at South Bank MAT in September 2018 I have been impressed with the close links that have continued to be developed between the schools at every level. The equitable and collaborative approach of the Trust ensures that the school communities maintain their unique identities whilst benefiting from working closely together.’

Edwin Thomas, the Chair of Trustees, said, ‘We formed this Trust three years ago because we believed that local schools, working collaboratively, could provide the best possible education for the children in our community. In the last three years we’ve built up links between the schools to enhance learning opportunities for our children and staff. We’ve been able to invest over three million pounds in improved facilities, and put more money into frontline teaching through economies of scale. We’ve also developed an innovative model of collaborative leadership so that every school is an equal partner in the Trust’s achievements. I’m delighted to be celebrating this milestone, and looking forward to many more years of the schools’ success.’

If you are interested in knowing more about South Bank MAT please contact Jo Edwards at:

South Bank Academy Trust
Woodthorpe Primary School
Summerfield Road
York YO24 2RU

01904 553760

Appointment Of The New Trust Principal

Following a rigorous and extremely competitive recruitment process, we’re delighted to announce that the Trustees have appointed Jo Edwards to be the next Trust Principal of the South Bank Multi Academy Trust.

Jo brings an extraordinarily broad wealth of experience.  She has deep knowledge of the whole learning journey your children go on, having been a headteacher in both primary and secondary phases, as well as in a 3-18 through school.  She has worked at a senior level in multi academy trusts, opening new schools and mentoring new headteachers.  She has a strong history of building collaborative networks between schools, both within and across phases.  Everywhere she has worked, she has delivered school improvement, developed staff and improved outcomes for the pupils in her care.  Equally importantly, in the time we spent with her she showed she was firmly committed to our values and ethos.  She is determined to do everything she can to make sure our Trust succeeds on its own terms.

Jo will take up her post on 1 September, subject to the usual pre-employment checks, when Anna Cornhill’s current contract as Trust Principal ends.  As many of you know, that is also the date when Anna will retire as Headteacher of Scarcroft Primary School.  In her eighteen years as headteacher, Anna has made an incalculable contribution to the lives and achievements of staff and young people.  She was a key architect of the Trust, and the first author of the values and ethos that are the bedrock of everything we do.  In her year as Trust Principal, she has established robust processes that will lay the foundation for our success well into the future, while making the Trust a compelling destination for local schools looking to join a MAT.  We owe her a vast debt, and we will look forward to celebrating her many successes and achievements as the end of term approaches.

All the Trustees are looking forward to working with Jo to make sure that the Trust continues to provide the strongest platform for our schools to thrive, and deliver the best possible education to every one of our pupils.


Consultation on the admissions policy for September 2020

This year’s Admissions Consultation is being jointly held by all admissions authorities in the City of York between 08 October and 07 December 2018. The consultation includes the admissions policies and planned number of places available at each school in the year(s) of entry. The views of parent/carers, schools and other interested parties are being sought during this consultation.
To respond, you can write to City of York, email or complete this short survey at

Following the consultation, the South Bank Multi Academy Trust and other admissions authorities will formally set (‘determine’) their admission arrangements for admission in 2020/21 by 28 February 2019. Determined policies will be on all admissions authorities own websites by 15 March 2019 after which objections can be raised.

You can find more information, regarding our schools, here.


On 1st May 2018 we were delighted to welcome York High School into the South Bank Academy Trust. York High joins us as a sponsored academy, with South Bank leader Trevor Burton taking on the role of Executive Headteacher across York High and Millthorpe Schools. Mr Burton is ably supported by Head of School Rod Sims. Although school staff have been working closely with the South Bank Trust sincce September 2017, the school’s official conversion has finally taken place this month. York High School has set out on an improvement journey that will be completed over the next few years and will bring improvements for students at the school. The journey will no doubt be a two-way process, with benefits for both secondary schools in this new partnership arrangement. A special ‘meet and greet’ event has been organized for early May, where Trust Principal Anna Cornhill will officially welcome York High School staff over tea and cake. Teachers will be able to take part in the Learning Networks for senior leaders and SEND straight away and we look forward to embarking on further partnership work between the staff of the two secondary schools.


On 1st October 2017 we were delighted to welcome Woodthorpe Primary School into the South Bank Academy Trust. Although Headteacher James McGann has been working closely with the Headteacher Group within the Trust for the past 12 months, the school’s official conversion has finally taken place this month. Woodthorpe has been on a successful improvement journey over the past two years and will bring many strengths into the MAT. A special ‘meet and greet’ event has been organized for mid-October, where Trust Principal Anna Cornhill will officially welcome Woodthorpe staff over tea and cake. Teachers will be able to take part in the Learning Networks straight away, which start later this month, focusing on key areas such as EYFS, Y2, Y6, SEN and Senior Leadership. Woodthorpe Deputy Head Ash Atherton will be taking the lead for the Y2 Network and we look forward to hearing how these new Networks impact on teaching and learning.