In February 2023, following a successful application process through Nottinghamshire County Council, the Department for Education announced its in principle approval for Diverse Academies Trust to sponsor a proposed new 210-pupil primary free school at Thoresby Vale, Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire.

David Cotton, chief executive officer for Diverse Academies, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been given the opportunity to lead on the development of this new school. Core to our mission as a multi-academy trust is placing the community at the heart of what we do and, in close partnership with our local authority colleagues, we are looking forward to bringing this plan to reality.”

Cat Thornton, chief education officer at Diverse Academies, added: “Our Trust has extensive primary education experience. This new school will benefit from an excellent leadership team who are keen to create an inviting, vibrant curriculum for the children of Thoresby Vale – and in a setting where we can nurture their curiosity, develop their wellbeing and help them to go beyond their aspirations.”

Councillor Tracey Taylor, Nottinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “I’m very pleased that Diverse Academies Trust has been given approval to sponsor the new primary school in Edwinstowe. The council is committed to making sure there are sufficient high quality school places for children in Nottinghamshire and this is good news for the community. I look forward to the project getting underway and to working with the Trust to deliver a new school for the families of Nottinghamshire.”

Plans for the new ‘forest school’ style building have been submitted by the developer, Pegasus Group. Subject to approval, the school will be situated on a former colliery site which is being transformed to include a new 350-acre country park comprising 800 new homes, a local centre and commercial space, and will offer places for children from reception class to year 6.