New schools join academy trust

New schools join academy trust

1 Mar

New schools join academy trust

Headteacher Paul Newton (left) is welcomed by Andy Brown OBE


Two Durham primary schools have joined one of the North-East’s most successful academy trusts.

Deaf Hill Primary School in Trimdon and Kelloe Primary School joined Ad Astra Academy Trust on 1 March 2024, bringing the total number of primary schools under its umbrella to ten.

Deaf Hill and Kelloe primary schools worked closely together previously as part of a primary federation and Andy Brown OBE, Chief Executive Officer of Ad Astra Academy Trust is delighted to have them onboard.

He said: “I am delighted that we have expanded the Trust to incorporate Deaf Hill and Kelloe primary schools. Both schools have lots of qualities and they share the values of the Trust.

“It will enable us to enhance the excellent collaborative work across the Trust and embrace schools in Durham for the first time.”

Paul Newton, Headteacher of Deaf Hill and Kelloe Primary Federation said: “Our Federation is very excited to join Ad Astra Academy Trust. We are two successful schools in County Durham keen to embark on the next, exciting phase of school development.

“We are aware that Ad Astra is a Trust that is hugely supportive, while allowing schools to retain their individual characteristics that make them special – something which appeals to us greatly.

“We have chosen Ad Astra Academy Trust for many reasons. They live and breathe their ‘to the stars’ motto and it is clear that every Ad Astra school is committed to improving the experiences and standards of all children.

“We are also very excited to be part of a diverse and vibrant group of schools – to learn from their exceptional practice, but also to share our expertise and talents. Ad Astra embraces all of its schools – supporting and challenging when needed and we feel it is an organisation we will be proud to be part of.”

Ad Astra Academy Trust was formed in 2015 and over the last nine years has grown across the Tees Valley. With the two additional schools, it will provide education for over 3,500 pupils and 600 employees in Durham, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Stockton-on-Tees.

The other eight primary schools within Ad Astra Academy Trust are Barnard Grove, Brougham, West Park and West View in Hartlepool and Crooksbarn and Rosebrook in Stockton-on-Tees and Ayresome and Sunnyside in Middlesbrough.

For further information about Ad Astra Academy Trust, visit

Headteacher Paul Newton (left) is welcomed by Andy Brown OBE