Education Partnership North East and Prosper Learning Trust are pooling their expertise to enhance and further benefit the learning experience for students across the region. 

The two institutions formalised their partnership earlier this month by signing a Memorandum of Understandingwhich will see increased collaboration and engagement to create exceptional learning experiences for students across the Trust and the college group. 

The partnership was originally formed in November 2017 when the Trust worked together with Sunderland College to submit an application to Sunderland City Council and the Department for Education for a specialist autism school to provide education for up to 96 children, aged 5 to 16.  

Developed as part of local efforts to tackle the shortfall of school places within the Sunderland special school system for young people with autism, the school opened this September as the Harry Watts Academy. 

The partnership will also extend to a new special school based in Blyth which will create 80 places for young people aged 11 to 16 with social, emotional and mental health needs. The school, to be built on the former Princess Louise First School site, is expected to open in September 2022. 

Mark Jones, CEO of Prosper Learning Trust, said: 

“We are delighted to sign this formal Memorandum of Understanding with Education Partnership North East, who have supported our organisation since our formation in 2018. Everyone within Prosper is looking forward to developing our relationship further to benefit the young people of Sunderland, Northumberland and beyond.” 

Joanne Clifford Swan, Chair of Trustees for Prosper Learning Trust, added: 

“This partnership between Prosper Learning Trust and Education Partnership North East is a fantastic opportunity to enhance the learning opportunities for children and young people with autism, social, emotional, and mental health needs in the region.” 

Education Partnership North East – which includes Sunderland College, Hartlepool Sixth Form and Northumberland College – signed the Memorandum of Understanding as a way to develop bespoke and effective transition pathways for students with SEN across Northumberland and Sunderland. The two organisations will be working together to develop curriculum which ensures a rich learning experience for students. 

Vikkie Morton, Vice Principal Student Services and Registry for Education Partnership North East, said: 

We are delighted to be working so closely with Prosper Learning Trust and to sign a formal Memorandum of Understanding with an institution which has an excellent reputation for delivering specialist provision that supports young people with SEN in achieving their potential. 

We are looking forward to working collaboratively with the Prosper Learning Trust team and creating significant benefits for students of all ages with autism, social, emotional, and mental health needs. The next stage in this exciting partnership will see umaximise our combined expertise and specialisms to support the delivery of outstanding outcomes for our young people within our local communities. 

Why Education Partnership North East (EPNE)?

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