Trust Improvement Model
As a Trust, we know that schools joining us will be at different stages of their school improvement journey and we need to be able to articulate how we celebrate and grow strength, as well as the type of challenge and support we provide to schools on their improvement journey. Our ultimate aim is to ensure that all our schools provide an excellent education for all pupils.
Our vision for an excellent DSAT school aligns closely with our Trust vision.
- There is a strong culture of safeguarding; children feel safe in school and there is no discrimination or inequality.
- Children are resilient, independent learners who have positive attitudes, demonstrate excellent behaviour for learning and value their education.
- The children’s voice is heard and responded to; their well-being and future is at the heart of every decision.
- There is a commitment to inclusion for all; exclusion is rare.
- Attendance is at least in line with the national average. Numbers of persistent absentees are lower than the national average.
- The school has developed and implemented an inclusive and distinctive Christian vision, rooted in strong values, and monitors its impact to ensure the school’s original foundation is maintained.
- The school lives out its Christian vision and values in relationships and partnerships with key stakeholders.
- Religious education is exciting and challenging, inspiring children and making a significant contribution to their spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development.
- Children’s spiritual development is given a high profile.
- Inspirational and inclusive collective worship is led by the whole school community.
- The development of all staff and governors as leaders in church schools is strategic.
- There are high expectations and aspirations in every area, and, as a result, outcomes for all children are good.
- The learning environment is enabling, celebrates success and is of a high quality.
- An inspiring, well-designed curriculum enriches, embeds and empowers.
- Morale is high and staff are confident.
- Subject leadership has a high level of expertise and the vision to realise ambitious expectations; teacher subject knowledge and enthusiasm is strong.
- The school is outward facing and continually seeking to develop and improve.
- Children and families are involved, engaged, and committed; there is a culture of mutual respect.
- School staff actively support other schools on their improvement journey including developing excellent teachers.
- The school seeks to work with the Trust, local authority, and local cluster groups to support others and enhance its own provision.
- Monitoring and evaluation are embedded and effective.
- Assessment and feedback are exemplary and have a demonstrable impact.
- Excellence in staff and children is valued and rewarded.
- Academic success is high profile but achievement in other areas is equally recognised and celebrated.
The Diocese of Salisbury Academy Trust bases its improvement model on a school’s capacity to improve.
The Trust recognises that there is much to celebrate in every school and looks to develop schools that are diverse and that reflect the communities they serve. We cherish individuality and creativity. Where schools are demonstrating a high level of success and strong capacity for further improvement, it is important that they are able to operate in conditions that enable them to continue this journey. There is also a moral imperative for such schools to share their expertise for the good of the wider Trust and the education system as a whole.
Where a school is well on its way to providing an excellent standard of education and demonstrating strong capacity to improve, the Trust will facilitate the delivery of the Academy Improvement Plan by providing timely intervention and bespoke support. Again, such schools will have much to share for the benefit of others.
Some schools will be in more challenging positions upon joining the Trust, or circumstances may lead to the school being in a more vulnerable position. Where this is the case, the Trust will maintain a higher degree of involvement and ensure that appropriate steps are being taken to strengthen capacity and effect rapid improvement.
All schools in the Trust, or joining the Trust, are assessed as to their current school improvement profile. This can be reviewed at any stage during the year should circumstances change. The categorisation of the school will be confirmed at the end of each Academy Improvement Meeting (AIM) as a matter of course (see Appendix 3). All academies will receive a letter confirming their current category at the beginning of each academic year. The category and what this means should be shared with all governors and staff so that there is a shared awareness and understanding.
Assessments of academies will be made considering information from notes of visit undertaken during the year by the Chief Executive Officer, Director of Education and Academy Improvement Team, as well as OFSTED and SIAMS SEFs, reports from SDBE officers and other relevant data, including any external monitoring and moderation. Success will be celebrated and key actions for improvement will be determined. Assessment categories will not be published widely although academies will work in collaboration with other schools, including in their Hubs, so may be known by others in this context. If the academy Headteacher and Trust Officers disagree on the overall categorisation, the category given by the Trust Officers will apply.
If capacity to improve rapidly is not demonstrated, the CEO and Trust Board will need to intervene directly.
If the CEO and Trust Board considers that sufficient progress has been made during an agreed review period, the academy can be re-categorised with continuing support and monitoring as appropriate. Equally, should a circumstance arise during a school year that means a school becomes vulnerable (e.g., OfSTED inspection outcome, loss of leadership), an academy can be re-categorised accordingly at that point.
Academies may require more direct intervention under the following circumstances:
- Any academy is in material breach of the agreements as set out in the Articles;
- Any academy is in material breach of its Funding Agreement with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA);
- Any academy has, or is likely to have, an unfunded deficit budget (revenue and/or capital), or there is serious concern about its financial control processes, suspected fraud or fraud;
- Any serious (as deemed by the Trust) safeguarding matter;
- OFSTED officially grading any academy to be ‘requiring improvement’ or ‘inadequate’ or the RSC designates as ‘coasting’;
- The Trust, acting reasonably and having obtained considered evidence, is of the opinion that an academy is likely at the next assessment to be graded by OFSTED (or any successor body) as ‘requiring improvement’ or ‘inadequate’ or ‘coasting’ by the RSC.
As a Trust, the children are at the heart of all we do; we aim to support all our schools to provide the best possible outcomes for all of them and the Trust Improvement Model seeks to achieve this.