New county-wide schools partnership will raise standards for students.

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THREE North Devon special schools have joined others in Devon to create a new co-operative trust to raise standards for students.

Lampard Community School and Pathfield School in Barnstaple, and Marland School near Torrington, have joined seven others to form the SENtient Trust.

The Trust is unique because it is the first time all the special schools within one county have chosen to convert to a co-operative trust.

The schools will remain part of the Devon County Council family of schools but will have greater autonomy and flexibility as part of the new partnership.

Governors, and not the local authority, will now employ staff and the grounds and buildings will be held in trust.

The schools, together with the county council, will also be responsible for their own admissions but will be bound by the School Admissions Code and national legislation on special educational needs.

The governors of each of the schools decided to set up the new trust following extensive consultations with parents, staff and their wider communities earlier this year.

Councillor Andrea Davis, the county council’s member for schools, said: “Once again schools in Devon are leading the way in initiatives to improve the education of their pupils.

“This is a ground-breaking move and I wish all the schools well in what they are doing to improve provision for some of our most vulnerable children.”

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