Undoubtedly there is strength in numbers and joining a larger organisation offers security and support. All our academies receive focused appropriate resource to consolidate success or remedy/prevent decline.
Schemes of delegation are tailored to each individual Academy. Where performance is strong, academies and their governing bodies retain significant autonomy. Successful academies will have the scope to develop their system leadership by supporting other schools in the Trust or beyond. This will bring revenue to the provider Academy, as well as providing considerable leadership development opportunity.
As the Trust grows, executive posts will be appointed from within to run clusters of academies. Bespoke professional programmes will ensure that all staff achieve their full potential. We also have a track record of moving schools to outstanding.
Economies of scale in resourcing terms will bring financial savings to our academies, enabling reinvestment in priority areas.
In addition, the core Trust team has significant Ofsted experience which ensures effective preparation for inspection, robust external monitoring and evaluation. It also means that targeted support can be provided to schools potentially identified as “coasting”, or who need support to tackle data decline.
Shaw Education Trust operates on the basis of earned autonomy for each Academy. Academy Councils are in place to ensure local governance and accountability, with the Trust Board retaining accountability and control of its academies in line with Department for Education and Education Funding Agency expectations.
If a school is in special measures the Trust Board is legally required to directly intervene to ensure that the school improves.
No, with the exception of the headteacher, all staff will be TUPE’d over to the new Academy on the same terms and conditions.
Yes, the Trust team comprises experienced and talented Board members with decades of experience in education and school improvement. Our Chief Executive and senior officers are all highly experienced school leaders. Each has a credible track record of school improvement and system leadership and has extensive experience of Ofsted and Inspection. Our Chief Executive was previously the Regional Director for Ofsted in the North West and the rest of the team are ex-HMI or trained Ofsted inspectors.
Additionally, our sponsor Shaw Trust has worked in schools to improve the opportunities available to young people and has over 30 years’ knowledge and expertise in supporting young people from a diverse range of backgrounds into education, training and employment.
As a Trust we respect religious holidays. However, what happens at individual Academy level will be a matter for the headteacher and Academy Council.
No, we trust our Academy leaders and Academy Councils to know what is right for their students and community. The Chief Executive, her team and the Trust Board will rigorously monitor and hold the leadership of the Academy to account. We work on a model of intervention in inverse proportion to success – in other words earned autonomy. In practical terms, we would not seek to impose any curriculum or pedagogy on our academies, but work with each Academy leader to ensure that their curriculum is fit for purpose.
We will work with you to help strengthen those links and networks. We believe that learning from the experience of colleagues in other settings is vital to our own journey, both as individuals and as an organisation.
This would be a decision for the Academy leaders and Academy Council.
The support of families is vital to any school’s success and we would not want those relationships to be undermined in any way through joining our Trust. In fact we would hope they could be strengthened further. Our system of Academy Councils ensures that parents and carers are represented at each of our academies. A nominated representative from the Chairs of the Academy Councils will sit on our Trust Board.
Shaw Education Trust is experienced in successfully converting schools through our central team using our legal, HR, financial and management expertise. We also employ the country’s leading legal and education conversion company to take away as much of the work as possible so that you can focus on your students.
Any decisions over uniform and name would be matters for the Academy leaders and the Academy Council.
Teachers will be employed by Shaw Education Trust and will therefore have the opportunity to work in other Trust academies. We believe that one of the greatest development opportunities for staff will be the possibility of experiencing teaching in other settings. However, terms and conditions for any change in employment would be discussed and agreed with the individual staff member.
Our people are the Trust’s greatest asset. We want our teachers, leaders and support staff to have the opportunity to develop their skills and careers. Just as we support students, we will work in partnership with Academy leaders and individuals to ensure that they receive the support they need in order to succeed.
Through a combination of performance reviews, class observations, mentoring and the support, monitoring, challenge, support process, all our staff will have the opportunity to take control of their own career, with the full support of the Trust.
Once a school has voted to join the Trust and the Secretary of State has approved the plan, we will cover the costs of the transition. Once the Academy is open, the Trust will continue to provide school improvement and some central services, which will be recharged via the top slice at cost.
School improvement costs, support and programmes will be provided by the central team and via commission. Our current estimates suggest that the top slice would be circa 3-5% from the GAG, but this would depend on how much support the Academy needs. The Trust is run as cost effectively as possible, making no profit and investing resource to accelerate improvement from starting point.
Given the reporting requirements of the auditors, Ofsted, Department for Education, and the Education Funding Agency, our view is that it makes sense to have a single system for all our academies. We will support the implementation and training required.
We would make a decision on a case-by-case basis depending on the timing of the Ofsted visit and conversion dates. Our main aim is to understand the type and level of support an Academy needs and we do not see any real benefit in putting an Academy through two inspections in close succession.
We are keen that the Trust and its academies are built from strong foundations. We will grow in a managed way so that we are able to add value and give our students the support they deserve.
Our initial approach will be to build clusters of schools that are based near each other. Evidence suggests that local clusters work best – so once we have consolidated the performance and ways of working in one cluster, we will look to establish a second/third cluster.
Our strategy is to ensure the Trust has a broad portfolio of academies covering the full range of phase, sector, specialism and Ofsted grading. Our team has expertise in all types of schools.