Two well-established North-East secondary schools are to forge “a strong new partnership” following a merger of educational trusts.

Greenfield Community College, at Newton Aycliffe, and Hummersknott Academy, in Darlington, will become affiliated from September.

The collaboration results from Greenfield Community College and Hummersknott Academy Trust becoming part of the Advance Learning Partnership (ALP), which already manages 14 schools.

James Keating, who has been executive headteacher at Hummersknott Academy since 2015, will also become the executive leader of Greenfield Community College, which is transferring from local authority control.

Mr Keating paid tribute to David Priestley, Greenfield’s long-serving headteacher, who has announced that he will be retiring in September after completing 40 years’ service in schools, 22 of them at Greenfield.

“David has given a lifetime of outstanding service to education, making a huge contribution at Greenfield Community College in particular, and he leaves a tremendous legacy,” said Mr Keating.

“I’m delighted that Hummersknott Academy will be working alongside such a well-regarded school as Greenfield, sharing good practice and resources, while developing a strong new partnership that will benefit pupils, staff and parents.”

Amy Aspland has been appointed as head of school at Greenfield, having been deputy headteacher since February, while on secondment from Whitworth Park Secondary School, at Spennymoor, where she was deputy head for seven years.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

Mr Priestley, who became headteacher at Greenfield in 2006, said: “I am proud to have led the school to a place where we are on an exciting journey of school improvement as we are aligning our processes and procedures with those of the Advance Learning Partnership.

“There is a positive future for our school by joining the ALP family of schools, which will bring new insights that will support the positive mindset of our amazing team of staff, who are so committed to improving the life chances of all our students.”

Ms Aspland added: “It is a privilege to be appointed head of school at Greenfield and I am committed to retaining the values and aspirations of the school while leading it into a bright new future.”

Welcoming Greenfield to ALP, Kelvin Simpson, the trust’s chief executive, said: “Our aim is to ensure that every child is provided with the highest quality of educational experiences, thus ensuring each and every child can access motivational, engaging and aspirational careers throughout their adult lives.”

Skerne Park Academy, a Darlington primary school, will also move to ALP as a result of the merger of Hummersknott Academy Trust.