The benefits of working as a Multi Academy Trust are now well documented in terms of sharing expertise, economies of scale and shared services. Membership of Inspire Education Trust give academies access to a range of support and services and the opportunity to shape these going forward.
Our approach relies heavily on shared accountability for raising achievement by commitment to our Vision and Values. Academies are expected to commit to pro-active membership, which will ensure that the Trust continually improves the offering for staff, children and young people in all of the partner academies.
Our strategy of growth with care ensures the Trust has the capacity to meet the needs of each Academy in terms of support, challenge and leadership without compromising the core purpose of any academy within the Trust.
Our Shared services model is developing with a Head of Operations and Head of Finance role along with our school to school improvement models.
Core functions delivered from Trust Level:
We top slice 5% each year from the Academies within our Trust which allows us to deliver the following services:-
Human Resources Function
Under the remit of the Head of Operations the majority of our HR support for activities at Trust level is outsourced to a private company – Three Sixty HR who have a wealth of experience of delivering HR to Schools within Coventry at advisory and managerial level. As well as HR, the company has extensive experience advising on performance management, change, employee relations and specialist experience in absence management.
The payroll provision is outsourced under the direction of the Head of Finance.
Inspire Education Trust buys the RPA insurance which has been specifically set up by the EFA to facilitate and deliver insurance cover for academies. This ensures value for money.
Data Management and GDPR compliance
We work in conjunction with Coventry City Council who give us expert advice on SIMs reporting and managing student data. Internally we work collaboratively across the MAT sharing knowledge and good practice.
We currently outsource our Governors Clerking Advice and Support function to Coventry City Council who also offer an excellent Training and Development package for Directors and Governors and who ensure excellent clerking support at all meetings.
Academy Conversion – We understand from our own experience that the conversion process can be a distraction away from core purpose for school leaders. Within the Trust senior leadership team we have built up strong knowledge and working experience of the conversion process and as such will support and manage the process. We have access to legal expertise through our external partnerships which means partner academies can be assured of receiving sound advice at every stage.
All academies within the trust are supported by the Head of Finance and Head of Operations with delegated responsibility for:
• Delivering financial administration and budget management;
• Management of Non Support staff;
• Administration of Human Resources.
The Head of Finance and back office support functions undertakes the Management and Financial reporting function. This includes:
• Internal and external statutory audits;
• The production of annual accounts;
• Presenting financial positions to the Finance and Audit Committee, Directors Committee and attending Local Governing Body meetings at the request of the CEO
• Giving guidance and advice to Academy office teams on process and practice;
• Training and development of academy office staff.
The Trust employs a Premises team under the direction of the Head of Operations gives advice, guidance and support to our Site Service Officers at each academy. In addition to this, our Premises Managers coordinates all premises purchases ensuring economies of scale and Value for Money.
Health & Safety
We employ a competently trained Health & Safety Officer who works under the strategic direction of the Head of Operations and operationally with the premises team at school level.
Each school has a H&S Committee which meets on a termly basis chaired by the Headteacher and is supported by the Head of Operations and H&S Officer.
The Trust has a central ICT team lead by an experienced Strategic Network Manager who together with his team manage the curriculum network and gives support to each academy within the Trust for both current and future needs, including reliability and resilience.
Under the direction of the Head of Operations, the ICT team leads in the development of the use of Information Technology across our schools and provides a technician service to staff and students engaged in the use of ICT.
As more schools join the MAT we will be in a position to secure more efficient and effective procurement through stronger bargaining power and economies of scale. As well as top slicing individual school budgets, costs of additional staff can be spread across schools such as the provision of Sports Coaches, Educational Psychologists and Educational Consultants that could not be sustainable by a standalone school. Any funding received by Staff who work outside their school such as SLE’s will be retained by that school.