Bexley schools to merge as Multi Academy Trust
PUBLISHED: 13:04 19 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:09 19 June 2018
It has been announced that two Bexley schools are to merge as an academy trust, in a move which will see a name change for the schools.
From September 1 this year, Townley Grammar School and Erith School will form a new Multi Academy Trust (MAT) called the Odyssey Trust for Education. As part of the merger, Erith School will be renamed King Henry School, which is in reference to both King Henry V and King Henry VIII.
The MAT derives its name from the classical poem by Homer, referenced in the Tennyson poem ‘Ulysses’ which describes the journey home of Odysseus after the Trojan war.
MP for Bexleyheath and Crayfdord David Evennett, who is a patron of Townley Grammar School, has expressed his support for the merger.
He said: “I warmly welcome the new Multi Academy Trust.
“I have personally been a strong supporter of both Townley Grammar and Erith School for many years, and believe they have a great future together.
“This innovative collaboration will enhance opportunities and education provision locally.”
A spokesman from the Odyssey Trust said: “We believe that a high performing grammar school can have a positive influence on students in the wider area.
“By supporting the education of able students in a non-selective setting as well as applying successful professional development, training and recruitment procedures we can have a lasting and sustainable impact on the lives and life chances of young people in Bexley and potentially beyond.
“Townley Grammar School has been successful in supporting social mobility for its students and aspires to extend this to a wider group of disadvantaged young people through providing rich learning experiences, extensive extra-curricular opportunities and aspirational goals for the students of both schools.”
He said that together, the schools can overcome challenges, and that “ambition is best served by collaboration and mutual endeavour.”
He added: “Rather than the messages of enmity and division we are providing a message of hope and optimism.
“Rather than competition we are promoting collaboration. We hope the educational community can offer its support for this ambitious enterprise and we look forward to sharing our journey.”