FORMAL negotiations have begun for an educational trust to take over the running of one of Basingstoke’s secondary schools.

As previously reported in The Gazette, Philip Avery, the director of education at the Bohunt Education Trust (BET) joined The Costello School as acting headteacher at the start of the year, following Leigh Adams’ departure before Christmas.

In this time, Mr Avery and BET has provided a supporting role to the school in Crossborough Hill.

But now, the board of governors at the school has said after exploring the best way to ensure high standards at the facility, it is looking to take their working with BET to the next stage with the school formally joining the trust.

In a letter sent to parents, chair of governors Hillary Todd said: “Due to their long-standing track record of leading and improving schools, the governors have, after careful consideration of all options, decided to take our relationship with BET to the next stage.

“We are quite clear that we could continue our journey of improvement as a single school.

However, the governing body, believes that the support of Bohunt Education Trust will allow us to further develop and improve more quickly, using tried and tested strategies and methods of support.”

Governors had considered the idea of joining a multi-academy trust, but felt the reputation of BET swayed their decision and a shared partnership seemed to be the preferred choice of trust.

There is still legal due diligence and negotiation to be discussed between the two partners before any formal decision is made.

Ms Todd added: “Joining the BET will provide additional support to the school and provide a wider range of opportunities for students and staff. Above all, the decision to progress talks with BET was taken with our students’ best interests at the front of our minds.”