The Secretary of State for Education has approved Avanti Schools Trust (AST) as the sponsor in principle for three all-through academies in the SW region (Bristol, Frome and Exeter). The Department for Education (DfE) has asked AST to undertake a listening period before the end of the current academic year to allow parents and staff the opportunity to discuss the trust’s proposals to develop a new culture of high educational standards within the three academies. DfE’s expectation is that Avanti will now undertake a period of due diligence with a view to the schools formally transferring into the AST MAT in the autumn of 2019.