Values & Governance

"The strength of governance, professional expertise and commitment which the Sponsors bring is impressive. This continuity is a key aspect in securing the success of our schools and academies and brings with it unique, frequent, high quality opportunities for our students to participate in many exclusive events and activities within Bristol and also much further afield. The possibilities for genuine partnership working across The Venturers’ Trust, with such a broad range of schools, adds a depth of understanding and professional learning for staff at all levels to the benefit of our young people."

Dr Hilary Macaulay, Executive Principal, Merchants’ Academy Trust

The Venturers’ Trust is an umbrella trust set up by the Society of Merchant Venturers to support schools in the greater Bristol area. It does not seek to be the largest sponsor in the area, but to be the most respected, and the one with the highest impact. We aim to demonstrate exceptional added value through outstanding progression rates, the development of highly skilled and well-rounded young people, and the transformation of local communities.

Vision and Values

The schools and academies within the Venturers’ Trust are distinguished by their quality and diversity. By granting our good schools full autonomy we develop an exciting and rich mix, each school with its own personality but united by sharing core visions and values:

  • Pursuit of intellectual curiosity and academic excellence, including the best possible test and examination results, through outstanding teaching and leadership.

  • Provision of a broad and rich curriculum with a range of activities to develop knowledge, understanding, character, resilience, respect and kindness.

  • Development of the wider skills and individual enterprise required for the world beyond school, supported by the Venturers’ Trust’s links with business, employment and with our local universities.

  • Close collaboration with parents, the community and fellow schools and academies within the Venturers’ Trust.


The Venturers' Trust is based in the West of England and has a strong association with both Bristol Universities.

The Trust’s Directors are:

Chris Curling, Chair, The Venturers’ Trust

Ross Ancell, Chair of Governors, Merchants' Academy Trust

Trevor Smallwood, Chair of Governors, CGS Trust

Caroline Duckworth, Treasurer, The Society of Merchant Venturers

Latest news:

Colston’s Reveals GCSE Success read more

Praise For Merchants’ Academy GCSE Students read more

Colston’s Girls’ School Celebrates GCSE Achievements read more

Merchants' Academy Sixth Form Celebrates Best Results Yet! read more