Joining Our Trust
Senior leaders across our Trust brainstormed what they felt our Trust represented. This Wordle reflects our journey of excellence and high expectations of all the Trust community.
Schools which have or have not converted to an Academy are invited to join us as a partner academy. A partner academy will become part of the legal entity of The Island Learning Trust, ceding its governance to the Multi Academy Trust, whilst retaining a Local Governing Body, as outlined under the Trust’s Scheme of Delegation.
Working in partnership, as part of, The Island Learning Trust has a number of key benefits:
- Sharing of systems, structures and policies that have a proven track record of success.
- Strong supportive team approach, with professionals in similar roles across academies sharing best practice, developing new approaches and promoting innovation.
- Excellent career professional development opportunities, through various career pathways, supporting the recruitment and retention of staff.
- Sharing of teachers, expertise and best practice. The ability to place high performing staff in areas of greatest need.
- Access to high quality, shared services,
- Innovative staffing arrangements – e.g., staff with specific skills working across more than one academy.
- Training days in common, facilitating high quality CPD tailored to the future needs of staff.
- Economies of scale – The Island Learning Trust can procure “value for money” services for all its academies.
- Shared pupils events providing children with wider opportunities ~ sporting competitions, residential adventure weeks, weekend residential visits, educational visits, etc.
- An attractive work-life balance package for all staff.
Our intention and ambition is to drive social equality and facilitate the empowerment of disadvantaged communities through education. Children, families and communities deserve access to high quality schools that hold the highest ambitions for its children, families and communities. We feel a sense of responsibility and obligation to expand, therefore it is our duty to build a network of schools able to support, inspire and enable our children and families to hold aspirations for themselves and believe they can achieve.
We will only expand when we have the capacity to do so. It is the responsibility of the Trust to build capacity.
Decisions regarding the growth of a MAT are made by the Board of Trustees ensuring sustainability and the ability to improve existing and new schools. These decisions regarding growth are communicated to the RSC who approve converter schools and advise the Secretary of State regarding sponsored academies and, in some cases, will promote schools towards our MAT. The neighbouring LAs are also made aware of our plans so interested schools can be signposted to us.
Principles relating to Trust development
For our Trust to be able to grow and be able to remain in line with our moral duty there are 6 principles that we hold firm:
1. Pupil well-being and achieving aspirational outcomes for our children is at the heart of what we do in all of our work.
We do this by creating safe, nurturing learning environments with high expectations and challenge for all.
2. All working practices are positive, fair and built around a spirit of trust and co-operation.
We do this by engaging positively with all of our employees to create a happy and successful working environment. The Trust is an organisation which listens and learns, growing and changing organically.
3. Highly skilled, focused, competent and loyal workforce will enable pupils to make great progress.
We do this by providing high quality CPD, monitoring and rewarding high quality performance and providing significant opportunities for promotion.
4. All Trust provision is judged at least Good by Ofsted (achieved within two years of taking on a school in category).
We do this by focusing relentlessly upon developing good pupil behaviour, good attainment standards, imaginative and creative teaching and emotionally intelligent and resilient leadership.
5. All Trust provision is cost effective and expenditure never exceeds income.
We do this by living within our means and maximising opportunities for economies of scale within a culture of careful resource management.
6. We have a moral duty to support schools in difficulty.
We do this through engaging in a thorough process of due diligence to ascertain whether each prospective school is viable in the short, medium and long term.
In addition to the above criteria, additional criteria have become increasingly important:
- How well existing schools perform in their Ofsted inspections, moving out of category, when applicable, and towards being good and outstanding schools and sustaining outstanding.
- How all schools create environments that are deep-rooted in care and guidance for every pupil, ensuring their safety is paramount at all times.
- A robust criteria for admitting converter schools into the Trust so that they add capacity and are not over burdensome or time consuming to recruit. There are risks associated with accepting 'requires improvement' or 'good' converter schools as there are often hidden difficulties.
- Recruiting hubs of schools regionally, rather than individual schools ad hoc, so that they can be brought into the Trust more efficiently and not isolated.
- Growth is linked to the quality and effectiveness of both our educational and service provision. The teams will take time to establish themselves in developing effective ways of working. Any further growth should not compromise this and the Trust will need to be clear about their capacity to both embed the new structure and cope with any further growth.
Strategy for growth
- We aim to have 6 primary schools working in hubs of over 2 to 3 geographical areas within 5 years. Maximum of 30 minutes travelling time between schools in each hub.
- Each hub will be driven by an Executive Headteacher with a highly effective Head of School in each Academy.
- The expanding MAT will inspire greater collaboration and innovation, built on current good practice.
- When a school is proposed or applies to be part of out MAT, we consider:
size of school - any new school joining would need to be 1FE or above.
financial position of the school.
distance between schools.
Ofsted category of the school.
The moral obligation to raise standards and address under-performance remains the overriding consideration.
We work in partnership with schools ensuring we match support specifically to their needs.
We lead by example, using up-to-date methods.
We tailor support to individual needs as every school is different.
We are open, honest and professional in our approach.
We recognise that every school has areas of expertise as well as areas for development.
We strive to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and promote a positive work/life balance.
Development Priorities 2020-2021
To be ready to expand The Island Learning Trust by one school in September 2021.
To further develop leadership capacity across our schools, in readiness for growth.
Evaluate Governance structure to keep pace with scale, demands and future challenges of the Trust.
To evaluate and develop the Trust infrastructure for effectiveness and efficiency.
To ensure all Trust provision will attract at least Ofsted Good when inspected next.
Develop/adapt technology to improve collaboration and communication within the Trust.
If you wish to explore what The Island Learning Trust could offer you, your school please email: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch with you.