Shirland Primary School

Shirland Primary School are in the process of joining Christopher Nieper Education Trust

In their 2022 inspection, Ofsted called Shirland Primary School "a happy school where pupils are looked after and work hard. Pupils are proud of their school and the positive contribution that they make." Shirland will become a full member of the Christopher Nieper Education Trust during 2024.

Visit the Shirland Primary School website

Lousie Vessey, Headteacher, explains why Shirland has chosen to join the Christopher Nieper Education Trust

We wanted a partnership with a Trust that had the same vision and values and also wanted strong outcomes for children within our area. As a ‘Good’ school we were in a strong position and wanted to ensure that we were choosing the right Trust for our children, staff, school and community.

Shirland Primary School already had a strong connection with David Nieper Academy and it made sense to build on these relationships and formalise our links. These links included pooling resources together to support the children in our area from 3-19, for example with our shared work on family support and attendance.


Our governors spoke to a large number of others Trusts over a number of years to ensure that we had a full understanding of what each Trust offered, but it was our past relationship with the Christoper Nieper Education Trust and our similar vision that made the difference for us. The governors felt that the child-centered approach of the Trust, along with our strong links, made this the right choice for us.  

We received excellent support and guidance through the consultation and joining process. The Trust is well-managed and organised and the consultation process with our stakeholders was helpful and useful in considering all of our options.

Support and guidance

As a member of the Trust, we meet together regularly as a Headteachers Group to discuss and share issues. This has also extended to subject leadership where staff are now in contact with each other and can offer support and guidance and work together on projects. 

One area where we are working very closely together is family support. We share a member of staff who can work directly with families. This member of staff is also part of a much bigger team of pastoral staff so is able to benefit from the collegiate way of working.

The Headteacher Group is now working on strategic vision planning to consider what type of trust we want to create and where we will be in five years’ time. We are working to build a group of like-minded schools and leaders – working together as a trust for mutual support for the benefit of all of our children.

Louise Vessey

Headteacher, Shirland Primary School

Shirland Primary School really is such a wonderful place to work. I started working here in January 2022 and, from the moment I started, I was made to feel one of the team.

The staff work so hard to make sure that the children have the best possible start to their education and children's mental health and wellbeing really is at the centre of everything we do. 

The children are kind, polite and genuinely enjoy being at school. It is so lovely to walk down the corridor and be greeted by a friendly smile and a child asking how you are. They look out for each other, support and cheer each other on and celebrate diversity. 

There is so much going on here for all of the children to enjoy and participate in and that is only made possible by the hard-working and passionate team. 

We have arts clubs, school council, musical club, sports clubs and even a gardening club! The midday team go above and beyond to make sure that special events are celebrated such as 'Elf of the Shelf', 'Children in Need' and the King's coronation. The PTFA work incredibly hard to fundraise and this allows the children to have fantastic new resources and magical experiences such as the pantomime. 

It is an absolute pleasure to help lead this fantastic school and I can't wait to see how we continue to grow as part of the Christopher Nieper Education Trust team.

Jess Dolman

Deputy Headteacher, Shirland Primary School 

"We are working to build a group of like-minded schools and leaders – working together as a trust for mutual support, for the benefit of all of our children."

"We received excellent support and guidance through the consultation and joining process."