In 2018, our three schools, one primary and two secondary, came together to form Abingdon Learning Trust so that we could:
- pool and share our strengths, knowledge, skills and experience to support our shared vision and values
- create efficiencies so that resources can be used effectively to address disadvantage and improve outcomes for all
- work creatively and collaboratively so that our communities prosper and succeed.
We joined together formally to bring resilience and great practice to the schools as an everyday occurrence. We take full advantage of working together to benefit our students, with many people together generating great ideas, and with the capacity to make improvements.
In recent years, the limited support from the local authority has sometimes left schools feeling isolated and we can offer genuine support between Heads, as well as the support from the Trust Executive, and its Central Team for operational help.
But there are the not unreasonable concerns about loss of autonomy and independence that being part of a multi-academy trust brings, and the stories that do the rounds.
We have always been convinced that telling Heads what to do, when and how to do it, is a waste of professional qualification and expertise. As a Trust we reject that old style of working. Heads and senior staff have the autonomy to run their schools their own way, with their local governors best placed to make decisions with local knowledge about their stakeholders’ interests, backgrounds and aspirations.
We start from the position that the Trust will support all schools fully, but that if all is going well, the school improvement trajectory is in the right direction and finances are sound, any intervention will be very light touch. If it’s not broken…….why interfere?
That doesn’t mean that questions won’t be asked or your school won’t be visited – the Trust schools all work together adding a collective strength to each other’s work. If one of us succeeds, we all can feel proud. If one of us needs support and help, then we all pitch in.
Support for you and your staff
You will have direct access to the CEO and Executive Team to help. We know how isolated and lonely headship can be, and having an experienced and supportive colleague to talk can reduce the pressure of dealing with the myriad issues that school leaders face.
Heads have regular link meetings with the CEO or Director of Education, and with the COO for finance and budgets. Colleagues on the Central Team support with HR and Payroll, H&S and Site Management, and support with recruitment. All of this is at no additional cost and part of the 6% levy on all schools (compared to the 8% through the local authority).