We communicate with parents via Class Dojo, texts and emails.

This communication was shared with parents/carers on 17th May 2024 by class dojo and email.


Dear Parents and Carers of Reid Street Primary School

Over the past few years, Reid Street Primary School’s Governing Body and leaders have carefully considered the long-term future of the school. Following a period of reflection, we have agreed with the Department for Education (DfE) it is the right time to take steps to merge the school with the Education Village Academy Trust (EVAT).

Joining an existing Multi-Academy Trust such as EVAT will allow us to share expertise and resources with other Trust schools and to buy in specialist services in a cost-effective way. Reid Street Primary School staff would transfer to be employees of the Trust and this would allow them to access more training and development opportunities and share best practice. Joining EVAT should not make a difference to our pupils and parents, other than ensuring we can continue to improve the quality of education we deliver. If the merger goes ahead we would still be known as Reid Street Primary School, although we would not remain as a Single Academy Trust (SAT). Our uniform would stay the same; all our staff will be the same people, and our Governing Body would continue to meet to discuss the day-to-day running of our school. Our admissions criteria for children to enter Reid Street Primary School would also remain the same.

We would like to invite you to consider our plans and if you wish to, share your views. Please feel free to respond using this sheet and handing it in at school reception, or by email to: admin@reidstreet.darlington.sch.uk

We have put together, below, a series of frequently asked questions which we hope will answer any queries or concerns you may have.

We are holding a community event in school from 3:30pm on Thursday 6th June and senior leaders from EVAT, including the CEO Mike Butler and the Executive Principal (Primary) Richard Gartland, will be joining us at Reid Street so this would be a great opportunity to meet them and to ask any questions directly you may have that we have not covered in the FAQs.

The Governing Body will consider your views and use them to inform next steps in the merger process. We are currently aiming for the merger to complete on 1st October 2024.

Best wishes


Paula Ayto (Principal)


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this the right time for Reid Street Primary School to join a Multi Academy Trust (MAT)?

As you know, the school was one of the first to take the opportunity to become an academy when it converted in 2011. It has been a successful Single Academy Trust (SAT) since then. Over time, the majority of schools in the town have also academised and have joined larger trusts. Remaining as a SAT could mean reduced opportunities for the school to collaborate with others to the benefit of Reid Street pupils and those across the town.

Why join the Education Village Academy Trust (EVAT)

EVAT is a well-established Multi Academy Trust (MAT) with a good history of sustained school improvement. There is a wealth of expertise within the MAT which includes nursery provision, primary schools, a mainstream secondary school and specialist provision. The CEO is one of the most experienced in the country. Reid Street Primary School has always had a clear focus on the local community and EVAT is a Darlington centred MAT.

Will the school name change?

No – the school name did not change when it academised in 2011 and will not due to this merger.

Will pupils at Reid Street have to choose Haughton as their secondary school?

No – for many years, the parents and carers of Reid Street pupils have chosen, via the Darlington admissions process, from all of the schools in the town. This will continue.

Will being in EVAT mean that my child with SEND will have a better chance of getting into specialist provision?

No – those decisions are made through the same processes as for all parents and carers. However, the wealth of expertise within EVAT will undoubtedly support the staff and pupils of Reid Street as we work closely together going forward.

Will key things such as the Reid Street School logo and / or uniform change because of joining the MAT?

No – decisions around things such as our logo and uniform will continue to be made within the school and there are currently no plans to change these. We endeavour to keep costs down for parents and carers and this will continue.

Will other costs for parents / carers rise because of joining the MAT?

No – one of the many advantages of joining a MAT is finding savings from economies of scale. Prices of things such as Breakfast Club, school meals, trips and so on have been rising recently due to inflation and all schools, whether in MATs or not, have to find ways of managing these rising costs.

Will staff from Reid Street have to go and teach in the other schools in the MAT?

No – as you know, we have good retention of staff at Reid Street and this will continue. However, one of the many things staff are looking forward to is working with a wider range of professionals beyond Reid Street – if opportunities arise in the wider MAT going forward, this will be a positive outcome.

Will things such as the curriculum and how we communicate with the school change?

No – decisions about the school such as these will remain with the school leaders, governors and staff. However, we are looking forward to constantly improving things as we work together with those in the MAT.

Do all of the policies have to be the same in the schools in the MAT?

Yes and No – some policies relating to staff employment for example will change as EVAT will be the employer going forward rather than Reid Street. In terms of policies which directly affect pupils and families, these are regularly reviewed at the moment in light of things like changes to national government guidance. Going forward, policies might change as the schools in the trust work together to improve things across all of the MAT.