Academy Name Change

Photo of the exterior of the Cherry Orchard Primary Academy building.

Dear Parents and Carers 

RE: renaming our academies. 

At their meeting in December 2023, Directors of Leigh Academies Trust (LAT) decided unanimously that now is an appropriate time to rename our academies. This programme is being phased in from September 2024. The decision has followed extensive discussions with our local board governors, academy leadership teams, Founding Sponsor, Sir Geoffrey Leigh, and livery company partners. Academies themselves will not be expected to make any financial contributions towards these changes. 

Consequently, from September 2024, Cherry Orchard Primary Academy will change its name to Leigh Academy Cherry Orchard. All associated branding will be updated to reflect this change, which will include pupil uniform. To minimise any cost to parents, all existing uniform items currently in circulation can continue to be worn until they are phased out. The new logo uniform will be available to purchase from our uniform supplier Brigade from June (exact date to be announced to parents once confirmed) . 

In consultation with our uniform providers, any new items of uniform purchased for next academic year will reflect this change of name, but only if ordered from June. 

What is the benefit of renaming the academies? 

Clearer brand identity will reinforce the fact we are one community and we can use this to attract staff and pupils to be part of the Leigh network. We have seen that staff recruitment is influenced by a clear LAT link and that retention is better in LAT too. We have observed first-hand in recent times the keenness of potential leaders to join us because of the Trust identity. We have used the LAT name to build instant recognition and positive change in Greenwich, Bexley, Medway and Tonbridge and others will in future gain a similar boost from this explicit recognition. 

How do we protect individual identity and avoid being clones? 

As you will see we have proposed a naming convention that mixes a common framework with identity naming that incorporates existing wording. Four of our existing academies already follow this convention: Blackheath; Rainham; Bexley; Tonbridge. Each academy will still develop their own values and ethos as well as adopting the values and vision of the Trust so that the two complement each other. The name changes will enhance our position as a very confident and successful group of schools keen to use its wider capacity for the benefit of current and future partners. 

If you have any questions about this change, please contact us in the normal way. 

Yours faithfully, 

Julie Forsythe | Principal