Welcome to The Priory Learning Trust (TPLT) website. I am delighted to be the CEO of our dynamic and forward-thinking Multi-Academy Trust.

TPLT is, in law, an educational charity as are all Multi-Academy Trusts; we support primary and secondary schools in the South West of England. At our core is a passion to put 'Students First' and deliver exceptional education for every single child - - - for every single family.

We do this through a relentless drive for academic excellence within a common set of clear values. We want to spread lots of fun and happiness into what we do, both as an employer of 750 colleagues and as an educational charity responsible for 5,000 students. We firmly believe that happy schools are also high-achieving and successful places.

We strive for great partnerships between students, parents, carers, staff and the wider community that create exceptional student outcomes.

We 'Cherish our Staff', we believe they are amazing, and are passionate to empower them through support, training and career opportunities. We are an employer of choice in the region - and want to remain so through an innovative package of staff ‘perks’ and opportunities.

With such brilliant people all aiming for the same goals, we are able to ensure every student achieves all that they are capable of and much more, regardless of background or ability. Equality of opportunity is at the heart of TPLT - the core value.

If you wish to contact me, either as a potential employee or as a family wishing to know more, then please do. We have a policy called 'Raving Fans' - in essence we want people to leave our schools not merely saying ’that was good’ but thinking ‘WOW - what a place' and what a culture. Part of that is about openness and responsiveness so do contact me directly at any time - you will get a speedy reply - neville.coles@theplt.org.uk

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for visiting our website.

Neville Coles
CEO and Accounting Officer

Welcome to Term 2

Tuesday November 9th

A very warm welcome to T2. I hope you again enjoyed a fabulous two-week October break; there will not be any more one-off INSET days this year across our Trust. All our schools will now work through until Friday, December 17th.

In this new term we will be moving forward quickly with more site development thinking – for example, we will be planning for our ‘Appropriate Provision Centres (APCs) which will hopefully be in place for September 2022. These two new centres will meet the needs of more of our learners in a more appropriate way – behaviourally, socially and emotionally. We are also working on plans to relocate the Priory Pre-School (currently at PCSA) to our Castle Batch site. This will be branded as Little Learners @Castle Batch and will be set up in the same way as our current provision. We are very fortunate to be in a really strong financial position to make all these projects happen; our end of year accounts (December) will show very healthy reserves. All our reserves are now ‘pooled’ centrally to allow these bigger projects to happen more easily. Great work by our central finance team and COO.

Our main aim this term though remains a relentless focus on excellent classroom practice across all our schools – quality first teaching. This is the main route for our children in ‘catching up’ for any lost learning – effective teaching and effective feedback in classrooms has always been the key to educational success. Mr. Jenkins (Head of School Improvement) and Mrs. Dadds (Deputy Head of School Improvement) are continuing to work very closely with all our Principals to drive our schools – even with and despite the pandemic. You might not be aware, but we have three excellent ‘Directors of Subject’ – Mrs. Goddard-Lock (Maths), Mrs. Daniels (Science) and Mr. Walker (English) – these superb colleagues work across all our TPLT schools on curriculum development and assessment. They also coach our subject leaders and get involved in coaching great classroom practice. We also have a central Director of Careers in Mr. Wilmot; we are very passionate in the view that effective careers education is a right for all students across TPLT. Careers Education is a real strength of TPLT. So, we have a really strong team of school improvement professionals working alongside our school leaders.

Some people news; in October we were delighted to appoint Mr. Dan Milford as the substantive and permanent Principal at TKASA. Dan has previously worked with us at WCSA and will continue the great work at TKASA into the future. He has recently been our Acting Principal at TKASA. Lastly, and on a personal note, and as you may have seen, I will be leaving TPLT at the end of March 2022 after around 20 years working in W-s-M at PCS, PCSA and now as CEO of TPLT. OurBoard (Governing Body) will be taking the lead and appointing a new CEO in due course; it will be an exciting time for all. This will bring a new perspective that I am sure will take TPLT into the next stage of its development. The future is very bright.

Once again – thank you for all your super support in Term 1 and we look forward to another strong and successful term ahead. Soon it will be Happy Christmas!

Best wishes,

Neville Coles


A letter to Parents and Carers

Term 1 Update

Welcome to Term 1 – September 2021 -22

Once again thank you for all your great support during recent times; it has not been an easy period for any of us. This school year will be more ‘normal’. All our schools within our Trust are in a very good place to thrive.

The start of term has gone very well and all staff and students are buoyant. Dare I say they are happy to be back! In our secondary schools we welcomed 300 new students to PCSA, 270 to WCSA and 233 to TKASA. These are excellent numbers and sit alongside the 100 Year 12s (lower sixth) students that entered our Sixth Form at TKASA – making a Sixth Form of 200+. This year we sent five of our students to Oxbridge. This is really remarkable – a doubling of our Sixth Form numbers in the last two years. We also have welcomed another 37 graduate trainee teachers into TPLT. We will again train these into first rate teachers to teach your children in our schools in
WSM and Highbridge – 25 secondary colleagues and 12 primary colleagues have joined us. Our Training School continues to flourish.

I know our superb Principals will communicate through their own newsletters – either weekly or termly – so I will keep this short. We have big plans in 2021-22 especially in terms of developing some alternative provision centres in WSM and Highbridge. We also will be relocating Priory Pre-School to our Castle Batch site as a ‘Little Learner’ centre – both these developments will greatly assist our communities and allow even more students to succeed. We also have plans to issue laptops to all new Y7 students joining our Trust in the not too distance future – possibly as early as September 2022 – this will assist in bridging the ‘digital divide’. We have now ‘pooled’ all our resources as one Trust. We remain in a very strong position both educationally and financially.
Please do contact me at any time with anything of note. My email is Neville.coles@theplt.org.uk.

We will continue to place students first, cherish our staff and serve our communities.

Neville Coles
CEO – The Priory Learning Trust

NEW Autumn 2021 Edition

Term 6 Update

Summer update from Mr. Coles – thank you for all your support.

Dear Parents/Carers

Once again thank you for your super support this past year. We are now firmly, and thankfully, back to almost normal in our schools. There is no substitute for great class teaching; in person – teacher to child – none. There is also no substitute for the many face-to-face activities that staff in our Trust have always offered freely – such as the many music events, the sport matches and the Trust-wide Duke of Edinburgh Award programme. This approach will continue at pace as we again put students first, cherish our staff and serve our community.

So, we are very, very grateful for all the parental and carer support for our hard-working staff – we now have 766 of them. Many of these will continue to work across the family of TPLT schools this summer. We will ensure that any student who is significantly behind in their learning is offered ‘catch up’. We are utilising tutoring actively – please do contact our schools directly if you need further information. We are also running an extensive programme of transition activities as we welcome record numbers of Year 7s into TPLT schools in September plus summer events through Mendip Outdoor Pursuits.

As you may know, we have a new Head of School Improvement, Nathan Jenkins (ex-Principal at TKASA) and a relatively new Head of Primary Education (ex-Head at St Anne’s), Lisa Dadds – both work directly to me as part of our Strategic Central Team and will be very happy to get back to you at high speed. Please do get in touch; happy to assist. Clearly, please contact schools first but please do not be shy.

nathan.jenkins@theplt.org.uk – Head of School Improvement (secondary contact)
lisa.dadds@theplt.org.uk – Head of Primary Education (primary contact)

We send all sympathies to any family in our community who has lost loved ones due to Covid.

We continue to make really strong progress as a Trust despite the pandemic. Indeed, all our schools have greatly benefitted from working together as a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) over the course of this terrible virus. As one collective and as one entity – one family of schools. There is now really strong evidence that MATs, when properly aligned, firmly aid school improvement. Many of you may have seen this link; well worth a read. It is from OfSTED looking at how MATS assisted school leaders through the most testing of times – the recent pandemic.


I am delighted with the progress of TPLT since we started working with more than one school; at the old ‘Worle School’ in 2016. This school soon became WCSA, just 4 years ago – March 2017. We now have record numbers entering WCSA as Year 7s this September. The Trust continues to grow wisely and is now one of nine sites. The most recent joiners, in April 2021, were East and West Huntspill primaries. Each child within the Trust is, of course, equally important to us all; this is something which at times is hard to envisage when we tend naturally to think about ‘our’ school – where we work, or where our children attend. Our local governors are fully appraised of this way of working; it is our job centrally, and that of our governing body (The Trust Board), to ensure all that this is the agreed and collaborative ethos of all. There is a very clear moral perspective here; one of being outward-facing and serving all, not just a few, within our wider community of schools.

We always ensure that our funding is wisely distributed. In 2019 we spent 44% of all our capital funding at WCSA – a new sports hall and new auditorium look. This was much needed after some years of neglect. This year we have needed to spend at TKASA, with a £1million+ ongoing project on roofing and windows. It tends to be the case that our Special Measures schools (the very lowest of OFSTED grade possible) were unloved with facilities as well as lagging behind with teaching and learning and thus outcomes. Over time, of course, all schools in our Estate will benefit equally.

We are now in a position to pool all resources – called pooling of General Annual Grant. From September 2021 we will be in a position to further develop the facilities within TPLT – very quickly and with some agility. It is a very good time to join TPLT and I’m delighted to welcome a bulging year 7s population in September and a massive 110 Year 12s into TPLT Sixth at TKASA.

Have a great summer – many of our staff will continue to work through the summer break and my thanks to them for all their continued commitment to our families – we will continue to put

Neville Coles

Our Term 4 Message

Neville Coles, our CEO, with a brief ’return to school’ message and note about training to be a teacher within TPLT – September 2021. Also features Denise Hurr, Director of our Training School Alliance.

Jill Dando News Centre - Special Guest Interviews

Watch our Special Guest Interviews over on the Jill Dando News Centre page!

Jill Dando News Centre

A Weston school Principal and head of DT have made 50 face masks for use by an NHS doctors’ surgery

by Jill Dando News team

Priory Community School Academy Principal Angelos Markoutsas and Head of DT David Clay spent four hours answering the call of Highbridge Medical Centre who were eager for the supplies.

They both cut the visors to shape and used their school equipment to finish them off before delivering to the surgery.

It came two days after they and WCSA delivered hundreds of boxes of goggles to Weston General Hospital and care homes. TKASA took theirs to a Taunton hospital.

All three schools are part of The Priory Learning Trust.

Angelos said: “We were asked by the local surgery if we could help out. We were delighted to assist and so we made 50 and would be happy to make more.

“Our school is at the centre of the community and this is the very least we can do to help our wonderful NHS.”

Neville Coles Executive Principal of TPLT said: ”This is simply wonderful thinking by David and Angelos.

“Amid all the chaos at this current time I want to say publicly how lucky we are to have such dedicated people in all our schools and academies across the region – all staff working now in our schools are stars and working their socks off to support our NHS and keep some semblance of normality.”

TPLT Charity of the Year

Brain Tumour Research