Everyone knows that the quality of a school system cannot exceed the quality of its individual teachers and that effective leadership is the key to excellent teaching. For that reason leadership and teaching are our focus. The Trust offers support from outstanding head teachers from the primary, secondary and special school context with a proven track record of success. Additional capacity is provided by leaders from our Teaching School Alliance including a pool of Leading Practitioners and School leaders in Education. Outstanding teachers from within our existing schools also support teachers in neighbouring schools. All this is underpinned by a teaching and learning approach that has transformed schools. It is the major reason for our success.
Our Trust is a value driven organisation, transparent and one that is committed to sustainable improvement. The pupils, teachers and leaders that join the Trust help shape its development and just as they are challenged and supported by their peers so too is the Trust by them. That is why head teachers formally review each other’s schools once a year, a head teacher forum happens every six weeks and the Trust is subject to external review. We want to ensure that all parts of our organisation are self-sustaining and self-regulating including the trust itself and that is why honesty, openness and clarity are so important.
We believe that sustainable school improvement can only happen if schools are supported and challenged by other schools or partners. Partnership within a range of networks, and autonomy at a local level is what we offer so that individual schools and the network as a whole develops and grows. That is why our school leaders take responsibility for each other and celebrate their success. That is why teachers across trust schools meet on a regular basis to help one another develop effective improvement strategies. That is why training happens across schools and subjects on a regular basis.
Our focus is on creating strong clusters of schools in relatively close proximity. Each cluster will include a secondary school, a special school and a number or primary schools. Each cluster will be embedded in the communities they serve and reflect their distinctive characteristics and as a result become unique centres of excellence. Small clusters of schools will in this way be able to support and partner each other, share resources and offer genuine challenge. Although we do not advocate an ‘all through school model’ we do believe that primary schools have a vested interest in supporting the early years as does the secondary the primary phase, but equally the early years will want to see its young people continue to succeed at primary school just as the primary schools will want its learners to flourish at secondary
Working together in similar geographical clusters enables resources to be shared and savings made. Procuring services together has led to significant savings that can be reinvested into teaching and learning. Resources can be deployed more flexibility, for example staff can be shared which improves the quality at reduced cost. Some teachers and support staff have also ‘swapped’ their schools which supports their development and improves the schools. The quality of back office functions such as HR, Finance support and It has also significantly improved as external providers recognise our purchasing power.