River Academy

River Academy 

A new secondary school for north Reading

Maiden Erlegh Trust is delighted to announce that the Department for Education (DfE) has approved our application to open a new secondary school in north Reading.


River Academy will be a high quality, inclusive school for students of all abilities and aspirations, and from all backgrounds. The school will be an 8 form entry secondary school with a 300-place Sixth Form. Through the school’s rich and broad curriculum, we will provide opportunities to study a range of GCSE and vocational courses. The school will not only equip students with skills and qualifications that will enable them to access high quality post-16 study or apprenticeships, but will also prepare them for a range of career opportunities both locally and further afield. Finally, it will also increase parental choice in north Reading and address the current shortfall in secondary places within the borough.


Mary Davies, CEO of Maiden Erlegh Trust, said “we are delighted and very proud to have been awarded this project. Maiden Erlegh River Academy will aim high in all aspects of its work. Community and inclusion are key to the Maiden Erlegh ethos and this new school will prepare students, from all backgrounds and of all abilities, to fulfil their aspirations. The new school’s curriculum will deliver high quality academic and vocational courses, as well as a range of enrichment opportunities. This will mean that our students will leave us ready to take their place in the community as well-rounded and confident young adults. We also want Maiden Erlegh River Academy to be a leading educational establishment in the local area supporting the training and development of teachers and support staff”.

Chair of Maiden Erlegh Trust, Nick Jones added “partnership plays an important part in our work and so, in delivering our unapologetically ambitious aims for this school, we will work closely with parents, the community, local businesses and Reading Borough Council.”


Maiden Erlegh Trust would like to thank all staff and stakeholders who have worked tirelessly on putting together what was a very strong application.  We look forward to welcoming the parents and students of Maiden Erlegh River Academy into the Maiden Erlegh family of schools, and to working closely with the community, the local authority and other schools in the area to ensure that we can shape our vision for Maiden Erlegh River Academy to meet the needs and ambitions of the community it will serve. 

Media enquiries:

Alison Hobby – Head of Marketing and Administration
0118 926 2467




On 15 January 2019 a delegation from the Trust were invited by the Department for Education to an interview to discuss in greater depth our plans for the school, and to explain how we believe it will be an asset for the local community.

Our application, along with all the other Wave 13 Free School applications will now be considered, and we await the final outcome of whether the Trust is selected to proceed to the Pre-Opening stage. We are due to find out in Spring 2019.


The Trust announced on 20 September 2018 of its intention to make an application to the DfE to open a new free school to serve the North Reading community.We are now delighted to share some of our plans with you and warmly invite prospective parents and pupils to an information event at 3.30pm on 1 April 2019 at Civitas Academy, Great Knollys Street, Reading. RG1 7HL.

If you are interested in coming along to this session, please Register Your Interest. It is important to us to engage with the community so we can listen to your views and find out more about what you want from your new school.

Have Your Say at http://www.river-academy.co.uk/have-your-say/

We look forward to meeting you.

The River Academy Team