The Mercian Trust

Life to the full in the business of education
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The Mercian Trust is a group of schools working together under a common banner and an over-arching structure of governance, but retaining their autonomy as custodians of their unique heritage, distinct identity and successful operation. Our Trust’s name is both rooted in history and expresses a geographical identity and ambition. Mercia was an ancient kingdom comprising Cheshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire and, crucially for us, what we now call the Black Country.

It was in Mercia that St Chad established an association of small monasteries which fostered unity through bonds of kinship. We intend, a thousand years later, to adopt the same spirit in our approach to a Multi-Academy Trust. Pupils in the Mercian Trust will be part of a family of schools forming an educational community. We are convinced that we are stronger together. The MAT is already shaping the educational landscape in exciting ways; every pupil in the Trust will be part of that story.

Our Mission

To provide the best education and life chances for the children and young people of Sandwell and Walsall.

The Mercian Trust brings together different schools catering for a wide range of individual needs into one Multi-Academy Trust in order to offer the broadest and best education to all pupils regardless of their socio-economic, cultural or ethnic background. Leveraging the strengths of the participating schools, Mercian Trust pupils will be able to access the advantages and opportunities that each school brings – in teaching, leadership, breadth of curriculum, facilities, enrichment activities and community engagement.


Daniel Parkes, CEO

Mr Daniel Parkes was appointed CEO of the Mercian Trust in 2019. You can read more about Dan on LinkedIn

Prior to his appointment as CEO Mr Parkes was the founding Principal of Walsall Studio School. Having led the studio school successfully through the pre-opening stage into the funding agreement with the Secretary of State for Education, Mr Parkes has continued to lead the school through a series of external reviews and inspections including a full section 5 Ofsted Inspection with Good and Outstanding judgements.

With a proven track record of delivering new academies Mr Parkes led the Mercian Trust’s work to establish new free schools including the Ladder School (Alternative Provision Free School) which opened to students in January 2019.

Mr Parkes is the Executive Chair of the National Studio Schools Network and lead contact with government ministers, officials and business leaders for the studio schools movement.

Before undertaking his current roles Mr Parkes was a successful senior leader in Further and Higher Education responsible for large staff teams at multiple campuses throughout Greater Birmingham. His curriculum leadership experience and interests include work in Commercial Enterprise, Computing, IT & Telecommunications and Creative and Performing Arts – where his team won the National TES Award for Outstanding Innovation in Teaching and Learning for work to break down barriers between subject areas and work to deliver real live projects for students in partnership with employers.

Mr Parkes has a reputation for driving improvements in student experiences including technology-enabled learning and has worked on national pilot programmes with IBM and other leading technology companies.

Mr Parkes holds postgraduate qualifications in Education and Leadership & Management, a BA (Hons) Music and a Graduate Diploma in Music Performance from the Guildhall School of Music. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a trustee of a number of local and national charities that work to alleviate poverty, sickness and distress, and advance education particularly through the arts and creative industries.

The MAT will equip all pupils to live life to the full, enabling them to:

  • Realise their potential
  • Thrive in the world of work
  • Make a positive contribution to the local, national and international community