[SEDGEFIELD, UK, 16 May 2022] – Laidlaw Schools Trust, committed to transforming the lives of children and communities through inspirational education, announced today that the ‘Outstanding’ Sedgefield Hardwick Primary School will become a Laidlaw Schools Trust academy.

Laidlaw Schools Trust and Sedgefield Hardwick Primary School share a mission to augment education provision in the North East and support every pupil to become extraordinary. Their partnership will allow the academy to be more innovative, entrepreneurial and flexible, enhancing the experience Sedgefield Hardwick currently provides for children. As a member of LST, Sedgefield Hardwick will form meaningful partnerships with other academies, collectively sharing and designing pedagogical best practices and offering diverse professional development opportunities for staff.

LST currently unites clusters of academies in Newcastle and Sunderland. By joining the Trust, Sedgefield Hardwick will formalise its relationship with Sedgefield Community College, which became an LST academy  in 2020, to cement a new “Durham hub.” The creation of this hub will allow Sedgefield Hardwick to be more involved in pupils’ education after they leave, ensuring a smooth transition into secondary school and supporting pupils from cradle to career.

Sedgefield Hardwick’s Head Teacher, Sally Newton, will also transition to an executive trust-wide role with responsibility for key strategic priorities. Sally brings with her a wealth of experience and expertise which helped her lead the Sedgefield Hardwick team to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ rating from Ofsted. With Sally and Sedgefield Hardwick onboard, the Trust will advance curriculum innovation across the board, create more early years placements, and offer greater opportunities for growth and collaboration.

Ian Simpson, Laidlaw Schools Trust CEO, said, “I am delighted to welcome Sedgefield Hardwick Primary School to the Trust. We have admired Sally and her incredible team for many years, and it gives me enormous pleasure to welcome her and Sedgefield Hardwick’s teachers, staff, pupils, parents, carers and governors to LST. I look forward to building upon our mutual vision to develop the whole child, promote educational innovation, and support every pupil to become extraordinary.”

Sally Newton, Head Teacher at Sedgefield Hardwick, said, “This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for our entire learning community. The shared values of LST and Sedgefield Hardwick underpin our collective ambition to have a far-reaching, long-lasting, positive influence on the lives of young people, our communities and the broader world of education. We are delighted to be working within a diverse family of schools who share expertise and creativity to create the very best opportunities for all.”


About Sedgefield Hardwick Primary School

Sedgefield Hardwick is a primary school situated in the heart of the historic town of Sedgefield, County Durham. The school provides a stimulating and exciting educational experience for 4-11-year-olds and features a 52 place Nursery.

We are a learning community which evolves and changes, and we believe that education is about expanding expectations and building on firm foundations. It is critical for our success that every learner is well equipped with a balance of social, moral and academic skills. We aim to:

  • Instil in all learners the balance of academic and social skills needed to succeed;
  • Inspire all learners to apply these skills through dynamic learning opportunities;
  • Innovate our approaches so all learners take the lead and utilise their talents.

About the Laidlaw Schools Trust

Laidlaw Schools Trust is a growing multi-academy trust based in North East England that transforms the lives of children and communities through inspirational education. Founded in 2008, we now have seven nursery, primary and secondary academies in Newcastle, Sunderland and Sedgefield. Working in partnership with children, their families and the wider community, we provide a safe and nurturing environment for each child, irrespective of ability or background. We empower them to believe in themselves and to embrace the future as active, respectful and responsible citizens.

Media Contact

Kayla Kim