Education Support Team
Support for each of our academies comes from our Central Team - see below for details about the range of services available.
A wide range of support is available to support academies to create and maintain a positive reputation within their local community.
Academies are able to seek high quality, timely advice about liaising with the media in order to promote good news or deal with sensitive issues. Principals receive formal media training and practical support is provided to enable them to draft news releases or arrange media briefings, interviews and photo calls as required.
Academies wishing to promote events or open evenings are able to access a wide range of advertising platforms and support to produce creative publicity materials which comply with the Trust’s branding guidelines.
Training and on-going support is also provided to staff within academies to help them manage their website and social media platforms.
The Education team is led by Education Directors alongside a number of Senior Education Advisers and Education Advisers. The role of the team is to support and challenge academies to deliver good or better outcomes for children and young people. The team aims to secure sustainable improvements focusing on outstanding leadership, pupil progression, behaviour, teaching and enrichment opportunities.
The team also leads and supports the quality assurance procedures across the Trust and analyses academy performance, diagnoses issues, brokers support and monitors the impact of that support.
The team also use their understanding of current educational issues and legislations to ensure academies are kept at the forefront of national agendas.
The Enrichment Team provide an integrated approach to the on and off-site activities that enhance the curriculum and develop pupils as ambitious and confident young people. The overall aim of the Enrichment programme is to provide all of our young people with experiences and opportunities beyond the classroom that will enhance their academic qualifications and enable them to lead fulfilling and successful lives.
'Though qualifications are the most important dimension of educational disadvantage, the challenge goes beyond exams. The chances of doing well in a job are not determined solely by academic success – the possession of character skills like persistence and ‘grit’ also matter. So do wider opportunities including work experience, extra-curricular activities and careers advice’. (Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, 2014)
The GAT Enrichment programme, aimed at all year groups across the Trust, brings together five key elements: Careers and Employability, Extended Opportunities, Sport, Creative and Performing Arts, and the Student Awards Scheme.
The finance activities of the Trust are coordinated by the Central Finance Team, who provide the infrastructure and training to enable academy finance staff to meet the academies needs with regard to financial accounting and planning. This includes providing an accounting system of record and a budgeting and financial planning system for the Trust, with the Central Team supporting the daily needs of users and providing periodic training.
All Trust financial reporting is performed by the Central Finance Team, including the annual statutory accounts, quarterly VAT returns and annual EFA returns.
Professional support and advice is provided to academies, including benchmarking analysis and input to academy financial planning, in order to optimise the use of limited funding.
The Internal Assurance team support and challenge academies and other central functions by monitoring compliance with internal policies and external regulations.
The Trust wants to be known as an ‘employer of choice’ which attracts, rewards and retains high calibre staff.
The Central HR Team provides a people focused service, where values of customer service, continuous improvement, collaboration, and achieving results are woven into every aspect of the service.
The team aims to have a positive impact on Leadership and Learning at academies by providing a fully integrated service to support the current and future needs of each academy, offering alternative perspectives to help drive improvement.
The offer to academies can be split into four distant strands: Strategic HR; Talent Management; Generalist HR/Employee Relations and Payroll and Pensions.
The IT team provide technical support, procurement, project and service management to the academies and central team. Technical support is co-ordinated by the service desk, their main duties include logging incidents, service requests, processing users, performing first time fix and acting as an escalation point for customers.
The technical field support is managed by two region Service Delivery Managers. They are responsible for ensuring the SLA is consistently met and projects are delivered to expected standards. They also manage the day to day priorities of the onsite technical staff.
All our provision is listed in the Service Catalogue which we regularly review with academies and their senior management. We constantly strive to work with our customers to reflect and improve on the IT services delivered to staff and students.
The Operations team provide support, strategic direction and ensure compliance with relevant legislation in a number of key areas whilst ensuring value for money across the Trust. This allows academies to concentrate resources on learning outcomes. The Operations team deliver a range of discreet but complementary services which are detailed below:
The team has oversight of all the catering services provided within academies and is responsible for the Quality Assurance of the catering process and food produced. The team manage catering staff in each academy and deliver training to ensure compliance with food safety legislation and practice. The team also maintains an online catering management system to ensure audit and financial regulations are met.
The team leads and manages core estate maintenance function within the Trust, assist in the development and management of capital projects and provide strategic estate advice. The team also ensures relevant statutory, environmental, professional and technical standards are identified and maintained in relation to estate, land and property issues.
Health and Safety
The team ensures compliance with Health and Safety legislation for all academy operations, including trips and visits. The team develops and maintains Health and Safety systems and provides professional advice to ensure activities and operations are managed in accordance with policies and guidance.
The team develops initiatives and strategies to secure value for money, identify purchasing opportunities which benefit academies and ensure compliance with Trust Financial Regulations and Procurement legislation. The team also undertakes business analysis to identify and secure potential savings and service improvements.
Project and Risk Management
The team maintains the infrastructure required to deliver the Trust’s Projects and Programmes and report on progress, as well as risks and issues. The team also co-ordinate the Strategic Risk Management process for the Trust ensuring that any Academy Risks that need escalating to the Strategic Risk Register are taken forward.