United Church Schools Trust

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The United Church Schools Trust (UCST) is a large education charity in the United Kingdom which owns and operates a group of 12 independent schools. The charity is operating under the name United Learning as of 2012.


UCST was founded in 1883 (as the ‘Church Schools Company’) to extend the reach of academic education in Victorian England and to educate young women based on Christian (and particularly Anglican) principles. The majority of its schools are now co-educational. As a group, it is non-denominational and welcomes pupils of all faiths and none to its schools.

In 2002, it established the United Learning Trust (now United Learning) as a fully owned subsidiary to extend UCST’s work and ethos into the state sector through the Academies Programme. Together, UCST schools and ULT academies educate more than 30,000 pupils.[1]

UCST is one of the 100 largest UK charitable organisations.[2] Its central office is based in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. It is governed by a Board of Trustees and an Executive Team.


UCST currently owns and manages 13 independent schools across England:

Five schools are boarding and day; seven schools are day only. Five schools are single-sex (girls); nine schools are co-educational. The schools are accredited through the Independent Schools Council (ISC).

The UCST planned to merge King Edward VII and Queen Mary School (KEQMS) with Arnold School in September 2012, to create Arnold KEQMS.[4] A parent group lodged an appeal with HM Courts and Tribunal Service – First Tier Tribunal on Friday 9 December 2011.[5] The appeal was heard on 11 & 12 April 2012[6][7] and a decision was released by the tribunal on 17 May 2012 stating that the merger can proceed however the lease granted to UCST does not adequately protect the assets of the Lytham Schools and will therefore need to be re-written.[8] The parents group have since announced that they will not be appealing this decision and the merger will therefore go ahead.[9]


UCST's subsidiary charity the United Learning Trust[10] operates 60 academies and one City Technology College.[11]

United Learning[edit]

In 2012 ULT and UCST rebranded to operate under one name, United Learning.[12] They legally remain as two separate charities.


  1. ^ http://www.ucst.org.uk/about-us/view/41
  2. ^ Charities Direct: Top 500 Charities ranked by annual income Archived March 2, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ http://www.arnoldkeqms.com/about-aks/view/9
  4. ^ "An outstanding future - Arnold and KEQMS to merge in September 2012". 
  5. ^ "Arnold KEQMS Appeal". Archived from the original on 2012-09-04. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  6. ^ "Our Appeal". Archived from the original on 2012-09-04. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  7. ^ "School fight appeal". Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  8. ^ "Tribunal Decision" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-05-29. 
  9. ^ "Campaign Announcement". Archived from the original on 2012-09-10. Retrieved 2012-05-29. 
  10. ^ Charity Commission. United Learning Trust, registered charity no. 1093277. 
  11. ^ "United Learning Academies". Retrieved 2018-03-21. 
  12. ^ The Road to United Learning

External links[edit]