THE Diocese of Carlisle has launched The Good Shepherd Multi Academy Trust which can act as a sponsor to schools wanting to become academies.

Launching the trust in front of 40 guests at the Newton Rigg Conference Centre, Penrith, Michael Mill, the Diocese of Carlisle’s Director of Education, Children and Young People, said: “It came about as schools were placed under more pressure to think about academy status, particularly if they had had difficulties with outcomes of inspection.

“We wanted to make sure that we were there for those schools as a potential sponsor should that be required.

“We felt that it was important, as we looked at the changing landscape and at what lay ahead for church schools – the pressures of Ofsted, issues around recruitment and governance recruitment particularly in small rural areas, issues about funding, issues around falling pupil rolls in parts of the county – that we create an organisation which could potentially provide the glue that would hold everything together.”