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Synaptic Trust to merge with the Inspire Partnership

Posted on September 25, 2019

Inspired new partnership will bring new opportunities to Croydon school children

The three schools in the Croydon-based Synaptic Trust will soon be merging with schools from the Inspire Partnership Academy Trust, creating new opportunities for excellence in the schools.

This partnership has been approved by the Department for Education and the trustees of both organisations. Headteachers, governing bodies, trustees and staff in each Synaptic school were involved in a rigorous process to select Inspire Partnership from a strong field of other local and regional trusts, enabling them to be stronger as a part of a larger trust rather than as a smaller group. Both trusts have similar values and ways of working, making an excellent match for them to come together.

Whilst the formal process for coming together will be finalised in early 2020, staff from Inspire will begin working with staff in Synaptic schools in October, ensuring a smooth transition for both staff and children. 

The Synaptic Trust currently runs West Thornton Primary Academy, Forest Academy, The Woodside Academy, and Shirley Children’s Centre, all in Croydon. Inspire Partnership currently leads five schools in Greenwich and Medway. The expanded trust will be called Inspire Partnership Academy Trust, and Inspire’s CEO Rob Carpenter will lead the organisation. The Interim CEO for The Synaptic Trust, Ann Debono, will join Inspire in a wide strategic role across the trust. More about Inspire can be found at

Children and staff in Synaptic’s three Croydon schools will soon have access to Inspire’s vast range of expertise, rich curriculum, and professional development opportunities. Inspire Partnership is known for its model of collaboration and a curriculum that ensures students develop core knowledge and skills leading to high quality learning outcomes, as well as developing pupils’ confidence to make a difference in the world. Their curriculum links to Oxfam’s global citizenship and the United Nations sustainable development goals. Inspire’s approach to education is detailed in their CEO’s book A Manifesto for Excellence in Schools, published in 2018.

Rob Carpenter, CEO for the Inspire Partnership, said:

“We are looking forward to this exciting partnership, which will benefit all the children, staff and families from the eight schools in our two trusts. We are committed to working together to create a climate where excellence flourishes, ensuring that schools continue to have strong leadership, engaging teaching and high-quality learning.”

Ann Debono, Interim CEO for The Synaptic Trust, said:

"Synaptic has always been a collaborative learning community in which innovation and ideas thrive and outcomes for children continuously improve. By joining together with Inspire, a trust whose values so closely match ours, we will be able to deepen practice across our schools to make that happen, and ensure that children at all our schools get the very best education.