A GROUP of village schools near Devizes that all have inspection reports to shout about have joined forces in a bid to make them even stronger.

Primary schools in All Cannings, Bishops Cannings, Chirton, Rushall and Woodborough Primary Schools have united with Lavington Secondary School to form a new multi-academy trust.

It has been named Equa and says it will deliver excellence in education, a strong Christian ethos in Church schools and tackle rural deprivation by ensuring every child has every chance to succeed.

All of schools already have Ofsted ratings of good or outstanding and they hope by working together the inspectors will be even more impressed in the future.

Equa's chief executive officer Sarah Lowkis, who is also head of Lavington School, said: "“At the heart of everything we do is the child.

"It is our mission to provide the very best education to all young people, whatever their age or stage, in our rural location.

"We know that education can transform lives, providing social mobility by tackling rural deprivation and overcoming barriers.

"We will ensure that no child gets left behind and thrives in our schools through fantastic teaching and learning, wrap around holistic care and amazing enrichment and leadership opportunities which develop self-esteem and high aspirations.”

She said that creating Equa has been in the planning stage for two years and follows extensive consultation process with parents, carers and other stakeholders which concluded in December last year.

She said: "Joining Equa will enable the schools to work together to become more effective and efficient by sharing best practices, collaborating on projects, providing improved career development for staff and developing joint resources.

"Evidence of this already comes from the joint teacher development day that was held between all staff at the schools in April. They learnt about future projects including Forest Schools, a radio station and cookery classes."