NOVA Hreod Academy yesterday welcomed back its students and staff for the new year for its first day as an academy and its first day with its new name.

The school has joined United Learning, a group of academies and independent schools. As part of United Learning, the academy will be able to share best practice with schools across the country and staff will benefit from the group’s wide range of high-quality professional development opportunities.

Julie Tridgell, the academy’s principal, said: “This is an excellent way to begin the new year and we are delighted that we are now able to call ourselves a United Learning academy. “We have a very exciting year ahead as a school and to begin with this good news starts us off with a real bounce in our step.”

Jon Coles, group chief executive of United Learning, said: “I am delighted that Nova Hreod Academy has joined United Learning. “It is a flourishing and popular school which will be a welcome addition to our Group. “Julie Tridgell and her team have a great deal of expertise to offer us and we look forward to learning from them as well as sharing our own expertise and resources.”