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Quality of Education

At Inspire Education Trust, our view of school improvement is focused on deliberate and intentional knowledge building. We make four propositions:

1. The goal is for every member of staff, in every classroom to be as good as they can be in what they teach (the curriculum) and how they teach (pedagogy).

2. For this to happen, we need to mobilise for every teacher the best evidence from research.

3. There is no improvement for pupils without improvement in teaching, and no improvement in teaching without the best professional development for teachers.

4. Strong structures (in groups of schools) can facilitate better professional development and thus better teaching and improvement for pupils.

At Inspire Education Trust, we are constantly refining the way we support, challenge and improve our schools. At the heart of our approach is first-class teaching. “Teaching quality … is arguably the greatest lever at our disposal for improving the life chances of the young people in our care (John Hattie, 2015), particularly for those from disadvantaged backgrounds (Dylan William, 2016).”

We are proud of our curriculum design and content at Inspire Education Trust. At the heart of a fantastic curriculum there should be exciting learning opportunities framed within a wider social purpose. A strong curriculum inducts young people into knowledge, which is shared by our wider society and is thus a driver both of equity and of societal cohesion. It is essential to school improvement, yet it is also greater than school improvement. It is a social imperative, which is at the heart of the wider purposes of education. 

The strongest trusts such as ours have:

  • Evidence-informed models of improvement, which they deliver at scale through effective implementation.
  • A well-sequenced, balanced and broad curriculum, ensuring pupils have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life.
  • A culture where good behaviour and attendance is the norm.
  • Strong cultures and practices supporting equity and inclusion
  • The best professional development, including evidence-based initial training.
  • Conditions to enable teachers and staff to be deployed flexibly.

School Improvement Approach

Support and challenge take place within a clear framework of accountability to drive up standards. School to school support is at the heart of our improvement strategy.  Joining Inspire Education Trust represents a unique opportunity to draw on expertise across all our schools through our working model, led by our Head of Education Primary and Head of Blue Coat Secondary, experienced senior leaders and a range of Lead Practitioners across the key areas of: Teaching & Learning; Leadership Development; Behaviour & Wellbeing; Curriculum Design; Assessment & Achievement; and Governance.

School Improvement Principles

At Inspire we want to ensure that all schools achieve the highest educational outcomes for every learner so they can have as many life fulfilling opportunities as possible. All children and young people deserve the best possible educational provision. Fundamental to this is our collaborative approach to school improvement at every level within our schools.

School improvement priorities include:

  • Improved academic outcomes for all, diminishing differences in the performance of different learner groups
  • Improved educational provision and opportunity
  • Developing outstanding practitioners and sharing good practice

As a Trust, we aim to build school self-sufficiency, not dependency in external school improvement support and advice.  We do this by:

  • Promoting and supporting successful professional learning.
  • Building collaborative relationships across our Trust; building positive professional peer-to-peer partnerships with schools within the Trust and beyond.
  • Ensuring all schools are clear about the accountability process and the focus on achieving improving outcomes for all children.
  • Promote the understanding of best practice and understand evidenced based research.

Effective and efficient operational structures

Trusts can make the most effective use of centralised processes and back-office functions to empower schools to focus on teaching and knowledge building. Strong academy trusts ensure all staff and functions are focused on improvement, so that central functions empower teachers and leaders to focus on advancing education. The academy trust structure allows administrative functions, policies and financial management to be delivered centrally, allowing school leaders to prioritise education.”

At Inspire we operate the following centralised services: –

  • Finance
  • HR
  • Estates
  • IT

How much do you charge for central services/what is the ‘top slice’? 

We currently charge 5% of GAG 

What happens to staff if we transfer into your MAT? 

Staff retain their roles and their pay and conditions. Nothing materially changes. Inspire MAT become the employers through a TUPE process. 

If I work in a MAT, can staff be directed to work in any school? 

No. We do not move staff against their will, at short notice between schools. We do often have secondments, maternity cover and internal professional development opportunities that people can apply for and seek but this is different to being compelled to work somewhere else. 

Do you have local governors? 

Yes. They are a key part of our governance structures. Local governance in our MAT is different to community school governance and it would be disingenuous to state otherwise. Our local governors are a committee of our Trust Board, for it is Directors who have the ultimate responsibility for governance in a MAT. 

 We set out clearly who does what in our Scheme of Delegation, our Governor Handbook has even more detail and our training program to support strong local governance.  In the best MATs local and Board governance work in harmony to secure great schools and that is exactly what we want also.