Transforming lives through inspirational education


Transforming lives through inspirational education

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The Laidlaw Schools Trust is a growing multi-academy trust based in North East England. Founded in 2008, to sponsor the opening of Excelsior Academy in Newcastle, we now have eight schools in the Trust, educating nursery school children all the way through to A-level students.

Across LST, we educate 5500+ students and employ 850+ teachers and support staff. There are more than 50 languages spoken in our schools. As well as having a disproportionately high number of pupils for whom English is an additional language, we have more than double the national average of children receiving free school meals and who have special learning needs. Our communities are some of the most disadvantaged in the country. It is why we exist – our purpose is to transform the lives of our children and communities through inspirational education. 


LST works in partnership with children, their families and the wider community to provide a safe and nurturing environment for each child, irrespective of ability or background. We empower them to believe in themselves and embrace the future as active, respectful, successful  and responsible citizens.

Our mission is not to help each child realise her or his perceived potential but to ensure that we set the same high bar that children from more privileged backgrounds have, and then put in place the considerable support mechanisms needed to reach it.

Goethe (as translated by John Anster) says, “Whatever you do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” 

Whether it is to become a premier league footballer, a world-famous opera singer, an entrepreneur, the first person on Mars or the next Prime Minister, we encourage our pupils to aspire and achieve.


Across the Trust and in each of our academies, we focus on six things to ensure that all our pupils and academies progress: the right values, behaviours, curriculum, teaching and learning, outcomes and data:

  1. VALUES: ambitious, bold, collaborative and decent school leaders who model the values we want to instil in our pupils.
  2. BEHAVIOURS: happy, safe, healthy, resilient and respectful (of themselves, each other and their communities) children who are ready and able to learn.
  3. CURRICULUM: stimulating, diagnostically brilliant and connected subjects and timetables.
  4. TEACHING AND LEARNING: motivated, inspiring, high impact teachers and “inevitable progress” lessons.
  5. OUTCOMES: constantly developing and rewarded teachers, and above average pupil attainment.
  6. DATA: user friendly, non-bureaucratic, real-time alerts and key lever analysis.


From nutritionists and dedicated school chefs, to sports teams and coaches, outstanding music facilities and performing arts, we support the development of our children into healthy, happy, and well-rounded young adults with a depth of experience in both leisure and career pursuits.

We firmly believe that all pupils are capable of great things if effectively taught, motivated and inspired by their teachers, environment and peers. 

By bringing nursery schools into LST, we are able to inspire a love of learning from the start of our children’s school experience. We aim to instil strong reading, writing and maths skills along with a broad and engaging curriculum at primary school so that our secondary school children are ready and eager to take on challenging GCSEs, A levels and vocational qualifications. 

Our secondary teaching model is called Inevitable Progress. It is painstakingly developed to ensure that pupils are engaged, stretched and progress in every lesson, in every subject.


At the heart of our community is our staff team. Educators at LST are challenged every day by their work. There are far easier schools in which to teach and assist. But none that are as rewarding.

The continuing growth of LST provides many opportunities for teachers to gain valuable experience, learn from outstanding teachers, benefit from tried and tested methodologies and win early promotions. We always strive to promote from within.

LST provides extensive continuing professional development training and coaching; and has accelerated career paths in place for all teachers, whether you want to become a subject academic lead, pastoral leader, or join a fast track programme to become a head teacher. 

We are building a state-of-the-art teaching and leadership centre at Sedgefield Community College. The building will challenge conventional thinking on circulation, break-out and flexible space. It will be the principle teacher training centre for Durham University PGCE students as well as our Teach Direct teachers.

In order to attract and retain the best teachers, we offer highly competitive rewards and benefits. We are always looking for talented and inspirational individuals who are committed to transforming lives. Discover why you should work with LST and apply: 


We are keen to welcome more schools in the North East to LST. Generous funding from our sponsor Lord Laidlaw ensures that our pupils receive additional programmes and support; that we have a strong, well resourced central team to take much of the administrative burden and financial management off of our schools and that our academies’ central fees are half of the national average.

To be part of our community, please leave your details here:

    visit the LST Website