New school announced for Branston Locks

The Department for Education today announced that Branston Locks Primary School (working title) has been approved to open in Burton on Trent. The new school, which is being set up by John Taylor Multi Academy Trust, is planned to open in September 2024. It will be situated in the catchment area of John Taylor Free School.

Gareth Moss, Chair of John Taylor MAT said:

“This is a great opportunity for John Taylor to provide high quality education for more children and families in the new housing development at Tatenhill and beyond.  Situated only a relatively short distance away from several of our Trust’s established primary schools, and within walking distance to John Taylor Free School, we envisage close collaboration and exciting partnership opportunities that will add value to all our schools.”

Mike Donoghue, Chief Executive Officer of John Taylor MAT said:

“We are delighted to have been awarded sponsorship of the new primary school.  It is a validation of the Trust’s reputation to deliver great learning and care for hundreds of children in our primary schools, and we look forward with great enthusiasm and a keen sense of responsibility, to making this new provision truly exceptional.”

Luke Tryl, Director of New Schools Network, said:

“The application process to set up a free school is extremely rigorous, so it is a testament to John Taylor MAT’s hard work that they have been approved to open.

“Today’s announcement is great news for families across the country. These approvals mean that some of the areas most desperately in need of greater educational opportunity will soon have innovative and successful new schools opening their doors to these communities. We congratulate all approved schools and look forward to helping them through the pre-opening process.”

Community Engagement Event – Wednesday 17th January 2019

community engagement event photographJTMAT were delighted to welcome representatives from East Staffordshire Borough Council, local Parish Councillors, Nurton Developments, Cameron Homes and Branston Golf and Country Club to the Community Engagement Event on 17th January 2019. The presentation from the event is attached.

If you were unable to attend the event but wish to find out more please contact

Our Vision for the Primary Free School

John Taylor Multi-Academy Trust wishes to build on the success of the existing primary schools within it’s MAT and use their expertise and educational leadership in the area to copy many of the key areas of the curriculum.

The Trust will encourage a wide range of groups such as scouts/guides, sports clubs and community groups to use the school facilities to enable all age groups to come together. The Trust will facilitate summer schools, weekend activity courses and some learning opportunities for the local community.

The Curriculum will mirror many of the successes of the broad and balanced curriculum on offer at our Primary Schools and build on the Ofsted-praised ‘STRIPE’ (Self Manager, Team Worker, Reflective, Innovate and Create, Participate, Enquirer), skills curriculum that enables young people to become independent learners with excellent attitudes to their own learning.

The new primary free school will follow and further develop the high quality student leadership programmes at all levels. The new Branston Locks Primary School will work closely with Yoxall St. Peters’ and Thomas Russell Infants’ Schools and share good practice.

The Trust already has strong relationships with business, universities and is the host school the National Forest Teaching School Alliance. We will use these relationships and expertise to enable the Trust to push all students, whatever their background to achieve their very best. The Trust has already been praised for its work with disadvantaged students and intends to develop this strongly in the new primary free school.

national-forest-teaching-school-012The school will:-

  • Have an inclusive approach.
  • Be non-selective, welcoming children of all faiths, social, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
  • Offer a broad, balanced, high quality curriculum, underpinned by exceptional support, care and guidance.
  • Be a learning hub for the wider community, seeking to contribute to cohesion in an area of new housing development with limited alternative local amenities.
  • Work effectively alongside neighbouring schools.
  • Equip its young people with the knowledge, experiences, skills and attributes to enable success beyond school.
  • Further the innovative heritage of John Taylor MAT, through the extension of its founder school’s strengths: the achievement and progress of the most able, the acquisition of key learning skills, and the development of leadership attributes and experiences – both within and beyond the taught curriculum.

Further Reading

What can you do?

We hope that after reading about the plans for John Taylor Multi-Academy Trust and seeing the detailed information on the above you are able to support the plans for us to open an inclusive school in September 2024.

Any questions?

You can contact us via email at or write to John Taylor Free School Bid, John Taylor Multi Academy Trust, c/o John Taylor Free School, Branston Road, Tatenhill, Staffs, DE13 9SA.