Skip to content ↓

How we Operate

We describe how we operate as Aligned Autonomy.

This means we value difference between schools and individual accountability. We also believe partnership brings strength, capacity and opportunity. Increasingly we share lots of common practice and policy, and work in partnership to drive improvement and operate more efficiently.

How do we operate?

Schools operate as individual schools serving their unique communities, and are led by the Headteacher (s), senior teams and Local Governing Bodies. All schools follow the Local Authority admissions policy in full.

Nevertheless, we insist that a number of key functions / approaches are common across the Trust. As the trust continues to mature, the direction of travel is for greater commonality and adoption of best practice, without the loss of individual school identity. The tables below show those things that are common, how they apply to secondary and primary schools, and where we are currently working towards greater commonality.

Standards

Trust function / approach

Primary

Secondary

Direction of travel

CEO oversight, support & challenge

Weekly school KIT meetings

Weekly school KIT meetings

Maintain.

External School Improvement Partner 

Up to six days a year.

Additional SIP days for EYFS

Up to six days a year.

Maintain.

Develop the trust improvement team so that they undertake quality assurance to complement the SIP & senior school leaders.

Internal quality assurance

Each school has an annual QA calendar that includes regular lesson drop ins, work scrutiny, performance analysis etc.

Each school has an annual QA calendar that includes regular lesson drop ins, work scrutiny, performance analysis etc.

Develop - Further develop common policy.

Performance Management of Headteachers

Performance Management is undertaken by the SIP, CEO and Chair of the LGB. Targets are shared with the LGB.

Performance Management is undertaken by the SIP, CEO and Chair of the LGB. Targets are shared with the LGB

Maintain.

School Improvement Plans

Detailed plans signed off by the CEO / LGB. Detailed reference to outcomes, in-year milestones, responsibility and monitoring.

Detailed plans signed off by the CEO / LGB. Detailed reference to outcomes, in-year milestones, responsibility and monitoring.

Develop - Adopt a common SIP format.

School Performance Management

Robust process based on school agreed policy.

Robust process based on school agreed policy.

Develop - Adopt common trust PM policy.

School SEF

Annual SEF up-date completed alongside the SIP.

Annual SEF up-date completed alongside the SIP.

Develop - Adopt common one-page SEF.

Data collection

Agreed data collection points across the year, and analysis completed in common tool.

Agreed data collection points across the year, and analysis completed in common tool.

Develop - Adopt common behaviour / attendance collection across primary.

LGB data reports

Data reports written by Heads

Common internal data reports from SISRA

Develop - Adopt common data reports for staff and LGBs /  Board

Assessment / moderation

Assessment is agreed via regular moderation prior to each data collection point.

Individual school assessment systems with some moderation between schools

Develop - Adopt more common assessment.

Curriculum

Individual school curriculum (based on the National Curriculum)

Individual school curriculum (based on NC and examination syllabus)

Develop - Use trust curriculum framework to drive curriculum.

Student reports

Common approach across two of the three schools.

Common approach across two of the three schools.

Develop - Further develop greater commonality.

Behaviour & Inclusion

Trust function / approach

Primary

Secondary

Direction of travel

SEND

Responsibility delegated to individual schools.

Responsibility delegated to individual schools.

Develop - Trust inclusion lead appointed to ensure practice, leadership and policy is common.

Safeguarding

Responsibility delegated to individual schools.

Responsibility delegated to individual schools.

Develop - Trust safeguarding lead appointed to ensure practice, leadership and policy is common.

Behaviour (incl. rewards) Policy

Responsibility delegated to individual schools but a good deal of synergy.

CBM behaviour policy adopted in two of three schools.

Develop - Trust wide values to underpin individual school approaches. 

Attendance

Responsibility delegated to individual schools.

Responsibility delegated to individual schools.

Develop - Trust inclusion lead appointed to ensure practice, leadership and policy is common. Data dashboard will bring common report.

Business Management

Finance

Trust function / approach

Primary

Secondary

Direction of travel

Leadership

The FOD and her team oversee all aspects of school / trust finance. 

The FOD and her team oversee all aspects of school / trust finance. 

Maintain

Policy & principles

Common.

Common.

Maintain

Reserves

All reserves are held centrally by the trust.  A minimum reserves level is agreed annually by the board, and discretionary reserves are spent in the light of need and board decision.

All reserves are held centrally by the trust.  A minimum reserves level is agreed annually by the board, and discretionary reserves are spent in the light of need and board decision.

Maintain

Capital resources

All trust Capital Allocations (SCA) and school devolved formula capital is held centrally by the trust. It is spent on the basis of need for estates and / or ICT.

All trust Capital Allocations (SCA) and school devolved formula capital is held centrally by the trust. It is spent on the basis of need for estates and / or ICT

Maintain

Audit

Annual and internal audit common across the trust.

Annual and internal audit common across the trust.

Maintain

Payroll

Current contract with Capita

Current contract with Capita, except Mercia School which is managed by the Trust.

Develop – all payroll function to be managed by the trust from 1.4.19 via central team.

Other

Trust function / approach

Primary

Secondary

Direction of travel

Human Resources (HR)

The Trust HR lead & external advisor support schools across the range of HR functions.

The Trust HR lead & external advisor support schools across the range of HR functions.

Develop - Adopt common good practice across all aspects of HR.

Estates

The Trust Estates lead oversees all aspects of estates in partnership with individual school teams.

The Trust Estates lead oversees all aspects of estates in partnership with individual school teams. 

Develop – Adopt common practice across all aspects and a strategic estates plan

 

ICT

The IT Trust lead supports and oversees all aspects of ICT.

The IT Trust lead supports and oversees all aspects of ICT..

Develop – All work led by the ICT strategic plan.

Communication & Marketing

Most functions left to schools.

Most functions left to schools. 

Develop – Adopt common communication and marketing plan.

Data

Some key functions undertaken by central team, but many tasks delegated to individual schools.

Most key functions undertaken by central team, but some functions delegated to individual schools

Develop – More common data management support for all schools across the trust.

Governance

Trust function / approach

Primary

Secondary

Direction of travel

Organisation

All aspects of trust governance are set at board level in the light of best practice.

All aspects of trust governance are set at board level in the light of best practice.

Maintain

Local Governing Bodies

LGBs manage each school.

LGBs manage each school.

Develop – adopt common data reporting & LGB SIP scrutiny.