TWO schools in Bolton will be managed by a new trust which says it will help “deliver the highest levels of attainment in English and maths”.

The Northern Education Trust, a Department for Education approved charity, was launched last week when it became the country’s first multi-academy trust.

The Ferns in Farnworth and Kearsley Academy will be managed by the new trust.

Outside sponsors Northern Education were drafted in to the two schools under the Government’s programme to drive up standards.

Kearsley Academy became the first academy school to be managed by Northern Education.

When Bolton Council suggested Northern Education might sponsor a second academy, this time a failing primary school — the former Plodder Lane School — it became apparent that a multi- academy trust would have to be formed.

Good or outstanding schools which want to become academies — state-funded independent schools — are not run by sponsors.

Northern Education, a education consultancy which provides support to failing schools, will sponsor the Northern Education Trust. It launched with four schools under its management – Kearsley Academy and Ferns Primary Academy in Bolton, Ryecroft Primary Academy in Bradford and North Shore Academy in Stockton.

Indications suggest as many as 12 schools will be under Northern Education Trust management within a year.

The new trust says its academies “will operate with a clear strategy for delivering the highest levels of attainment in English and mathematics and will focus on achieving outstanding governance and self- management with decision-making at school level”.