The Three Rivers Learning Trust is named after the valleys of the Wansbeck, Font and Coquet which largely define its catchment area.

The schools in the Learning Trust are:

  • Thropton First School
  • Harbottle First School
  • Dr Thomlinson Middle School
  • Abbeyfields First School
  • Chantry Middle School
  • Newminster Middle School
  • The King Edward VI High School

The Learning Trust is managed by a single Board of Directors to ensure the integration of educational provision for students between ages 3 and 18.


The Board of the Learning Trust currently has 16 directors.  Two are directly elected by parents/carers, four are members of staff including the Executive Headteacher.  The remaining directors have a close affiliation with the schools – as parents of current or past students or as past students themselves.

The Board maintains a skills audit of directors to ensure that the Board has the range of skills necessary to operate effectively.  There are three board committees one looking at all aspects of educational provision and curriculum; one looks at matters of finance and facilities and the third is an audit committee.

Apart from being accountable to students and parents/carers the board is also accountable to the Department for Education for the proper operation of its schools.

The schools are independently inspected by Ofsted who has ranked both Chantry and Newminster as ‘Good’ and The King Edward VI High School as ‘Outstanding’.

Whilst we are delighted by the academic achievement of our students the Learning Trust prides itself on developing and nurturing outstanding young people well prepared for life’s challenges as described by our ethos.

The legal structure of The Three Rivers Learning Trust Ltd is as a charitable company limited by the guarantee of its members. The members are five individuals who are also directors.  The company is bound by both charity law and company law.

It receives funds from the Education Funding Agency in line with the funds for which maintained schools qualify together with some overhead costs which would have been borne by the local authority had the three schools remained under local authority control.  The charitable status does qualify the Learning Trust to apply for certain capital grants from other charitable foundations.

The Learning Trust is also able to compete for capital funding from the Education Funding Agency and it has successfully achieved some £3.5M so far.


Company Address:

The Three Rivers Learning Trust Ltd
Cottingwood Lane
NE61 1DN

Company No. 7838203
VAT No. 123 4996 04