STRATEGIC PRIORITIES 2019-2022

We want to have stewardship of a trust which values what pupils learn, how they are taught it, and how their teachers are supported and developed to provide the strong instruction and robust curriculum that enable pupils to be successful.

A TRUST WHERE

Trust leaders understand that of all the variables we can control, the quality of teaching has the most impact on how strong pupil outcomes are. 

  • Teacher development is paramount. Teachers are developed so that they understand how pupils learn, the principles of effective classroom instruction, and the principles of effective curriculum design.

  • Middle and senior leaders across the trust share their thinking about the curriculum for teacher professional development.

  • Middle and senior leaders across the trust think carefully about what proficient teachers should know and be able to do, including specifically what trainee and early career teachers should know and be able to do.

  • Middle and senior leaders think carefully about how they can best understand the stage that teachers are at in developing as professionals. Middle and senior leaders know how to triangulate different sources which can help them understand how effective teachers are, and middle and senior leaders can recognise good and poor proxies for pupil learning, helping them to understand the quality of teaching they see. 

Teachers and leaders across the trust have a shared understanding of the curriculum, and understand that what is important is the content which children will learn. 

  • The curriculum has been designed by teachers and middle leaders on the basis of what an 11-year old, or 16-year old, needs to know and be able to do in order to be successful in the next stage of their education, and has been planned backward from this point.

  • The curriculum is broad, offering a range of subjects, experiences, and a variety of knowledge and skills to enable the development of well-rounded young people.

  • The curriculum has been structured with an understanding of how pupils learn, with opportunities to retrieve previously taught content, to build authentic connections between material, and an understanding of the strategies most likely to mitigate the fact that forgetting is an inevitable part of learning over time.

School leaders think carefully about the costs and benefits of different demands on teacher time so that teachers are able to focus their effort and energy on the things most likely to help pupils do well.

  • Teachers and leaders understand the difference between summative and formative assessment and understand the correct contexts in which to use both.

  • Leaders are aware of why internally marked pupil assessment is not wholly valid or reliable, understand where this data can be useful, and understand how to balance this with teacher workload.

FINANCE

We want to have stewardship of a trust which is solvent, which has the necessary reserves to enable us to approve spending on the resources and estates of the trust where necessary, in order that the those who lead our schools are able to focus their attentions on quality of education.

We hold reserves equal to between 10 and 15 percent of our ongoing annual income.

We have a proactive approach to income generation.

We have a strategic approach to approving non-budgeted capital expenditure. This means we have a specific and different approach to:

  • Requests for spending which will and will not cause our cumulative reserves to drop below 10% over the 3 year forecast period.

  • Requests for ‘investment spending’ on assets that are likely to bring income which covers some of all of the initial investment over the 3 year forecast period.

  • Requests for spending which will ensure we are compliant from a statutory perspective, or which are required for pupil safety reasons.

We exercise smart strategic planning. 

This means our budget includes depreciation, where we have cost out the capital expenditure we know we’ll need to cover over the next 5 years because we have audited the current state of our depreciable assets. 

This means we know what our forecast 3-5 year budget looks like if:

  • We do or don’t have to bear the increased costs of the Teacher Pension Scheme.

  • We do or don’t have to bear the increased costs of incremental pay drift over the next five years, versus the 3-year trend of our average salaries remaining constant, bar an estimated 2% year-on-year increase.

PEOPLE

We want to have stewardship of a trust which is an employer of choice, where we have recruited the right people to the right roles in which they’re able to have an impact, and where we retain high-quality staff by offering attractive employment conditions and interesting, valuable work. 

Performance management is fair, not overly complex, and holds people to account whilst helping the managers and the trust as an employer understand their development needs and career aspirations.

We are able to recruit to posts, because our offer is attractive.

We are able to retain high-quality staff, and whilst recruitment and retention is a national issue, our staff attrition rate is below local and national averages.

Staff attendance is high.

Staff morale is high.

IMG_0845.JPG

GROWTH AND SUSTAINABILITY

We want to have stewardship of a trust which is sustainable in the long run – parents want their children educated here, and so pupil roll is filled, we’re financially solvent, and we’re able to maintain the staffing commensurate with our pupil roll.

We want to develop a trust which performs well and is seen in the system as a ‘capacity giver’, not a ‘capacity taker'. This means we will be a trust which those who commission school pupil places, school expansions, and school sponsorships, have faith in. This is important not because we want to expand for the sake of it, or because we have ambitions to be a school of any specific size, but because in a future where trusts will grow and merge, we want to be in control over our destiny.

A TRUST WHERE

  • We are respected and trusted by those in the system (local authorities and the DfE) who are in a position to authorise the trust to expand or evolve our offer.

  • We have a good reputation with other local schools.

  • We have the ambition to contribute to the system locally, through NLE/SLE support, or through the development of trainee teachers in SCITTs, as well as through other formal and informal structures.

IMG_7792.JPG

CAPITAL EXPENDITURE: ICT AND ESTATES

We want to have stewardship of a trust which acquires new depreciable assets for sound educational reasons. Historically, schools in this trust have allowed a specific ICT provider to influence our approach to both teaching and learning, and to major capital expenditure, which has left us with a culture, pedagogical approach, and an expensive suite of ICT assets, which we have been working to change. We want our trust’s future approach to be governed by a strategic approach to ICT.

We scrutinise the educational reasons for refreshing our ICT estate when it depreciates.

Our acquisition of new ICT is driven by our curriculum and educational objectives, not the other way around.

Our acquisition of non-ICT assets is driven by our curriculum and educational objectives, not the other way around

SAFEGUARDING

Everything we do is underpinned by an exceptional approach to keeping children safe in education.