Welcome to Thedwastre Education Trust

Thedwastre Education Trust is a local multi-academy trust in the heart of Suffolk. Our four village primary schools work very closely together to use the talents within all our schools for the benefit of our pupils.

We are a community of schools striving for excellence for our pupils, staff and communities, providing a broad and balanced education which enables everyone to reach their full potential.

We value every child, parent, volunteer and employee; we aim to ensure all are respected and children show respect to one another, learning to work collaboratively with their peers for mutual benefit. We have high aspirations for all pupils, staff and the communities we serve.

Our core principles are:

Excellence – We strive for excellence in education and have high aspirations for all children

Inclusive Our schools are inclusive. We welcome diversity and support pupils of all abilities

Community – Our schools are routed firmly in the communities they serve

Collaborative – We actively encourage collaboration between our schools and actively seek out partnership with like-minded schools for the benefit of all

To see more about how our values influence our work, see the "join us" section of this website.

New School at Thurston opens to pupils


Thurston Primary Academy moves into new school premises

Over the last few weeks we have finally moved into our brand-new school in Thurston. The new school is set to accommodate up to 420 pupils, with the option to expand further if needed and is looking fabulous, we look forward to welcoming as many of you to visit later in the year. The site has extensive playing fields, modern teaching facilities, including a new technology lab, dance studio and library.

250 excited pupils and staff moved in last week.

Once the school is established it is hoped that the large hall with changing rooms and sports pitches will be available for community use out of school hours. In addition, we hope to be able to provide training and conference facilities for teachers from across Suffolk in the future.

John Bayes, Headteacher at Thurston, said “we are all so excited about the move and we are busy planning to extend our curriculum and after school activities to take full advantage of superb facilities on offer”.

The site also includes a purpose-built Pre-school, which will also provide the breakfast and after school clubs for pupils at the School.

To find out more, please visit https://www.thurstonprimary.net/new-school


New Library at Thurston


Rattlesden leads the way in Science

Rattlesden Primary Academy has established a Primary Science Hub for Thedwastre Education Trust and 2 other local schools. The project is being supported by the Primary Science Teaching Trust and aims to see excellent science teaching in every classroom and may help additional schools be awarded the Primary Science Quality Mark in future.

The project is fully funded over a five-year period and provides excellent CPD opportunities and access to science resources for all schools that participate. The long-term goals include the development of a high-quality science curriculum, effective assessment to inform future learning and the extension of pupil’s science vocabulary and understanding. A rigorous process of

assessing and evaluating the impact is in place from the start which may impact on other areas of the curriculum in future.

Hub leader, Helen Ballam, Headteacher at Rattlesden Primary Academy said “I love teaching science and the children really enjoy learning science. I look forward to seeing how this project impacts across the Trust and on the other schools involved. Working with Claire Seeley from PSTT has been brilliant so far”.

Trust secures funding for improvement in school buildings

The Trust has now successfully bid for almost £800,000 worth of investment over the last 2 years. Three major projects were completed last year.

Woolpit and Great Barton Window and door replacement projects

The projects to replace the windows and doors at Woolpit and Great Barton have both been completed. The projects will make a lasting impact on the learning environment and keep out the cold (and rain) in winter as well as make savings on heating bills! The whole school at Great Barton has also been redecorated as a result of the project.

Great Barton heating and hot water replacement

The replacement of heating and hot water services at Great Barton has also been completed. The project also converted the school from oil fired to gas powered boilers which is both more efficient and more environmentally friendly.

IT Investment

Over the last three years we have seen a major investment in our school’s ICT Infrastructure. All schools were provided with a class set of Chromebooks and many of the teacher’s laptops have been replaced. We have also almost completely replaced all classroom screens with new Smartscreens and upgraded all school’s broadband connections. The next major investment is the replacement of the servers that support all of our schools. These new servers are now built and ready to install. Once the new servers are installed all school servers will be able to “talk” to each other which should reduce downtime, providing far greater resilience. There is quite a lot of work left to do in the background to complete this project and we will try to minimise the disruption caused by downtime.

Future project

The next funded project is the replacement of perimeter fencing at Rattlesden. It is hoped that this project will be completed in the Autumn term to coincide with the installation of a new library building. The new fencing will create a ball court area as well as ensure children remain safe.


Trustee Vacancy

The Trust Board is looking to appoint another Trustee ideally with educational monitoring experience, but more importantly with a passion for ensuring the best outcomes for our children. Over the coming 12-24 months, key focus areas will be looking at strategic opportunities to grow the Trust, expand the Central Trust support and maintain the financial health of the Trust as a whole.

Board governance in education is a strategic commitment which typically involves attending c. six board meetings per year/6-8 hours’ time per month, including membership of one of the Board Committees.

You will be responsible for:

  • Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction

  • Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the effective and efficient performance management of staff; and

  • Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent

If you are interested in becoming a Trustee, please get in touch with our Chair, Gary McDonald by emailing chair@thedwastreeducationtrust.org.uk