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.
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
This is currently 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 general HR, the company has extensive experience advising on performance management, change, employee relations and specialist experience in absence management.
Internally at top level we:
• Manage all selection and recruitment processes and undertake all necessary checks and paperwork both pre and post selection ensuring compliance.
• Carry out Promoting Health at Work process for managing staff sickness.
The payroll provision is outsourced to Coventry City Council who has a dedicated
Academies Team who deliver the payroll and pension function on a monthly basis.
Internally the Business Support function undertake all financial administration in relation
to the monthly payroll at academy level.
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.
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 Warwickshire Council who 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 Executive Principal 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 Business Manager and team who has delegated responsibility for:
• Delivering financial administration and budget management;
• Management of Non Support staff;
• Administration of Human Resources.
The Business Manager and back office support function 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 Executive Principal;
• Giving guidance and advice to Academy office teams on process and practice;
• Training and development of academy office staff.
The Trust employs a Premises Manager who under the direction of the Executive Principal and Business Manager gives advice, guidance and support to our Site Service Officers at each academy. In addition to this, our Premises Manager 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 Executive Principal and Business Manager 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 Business Manager and H&S Officer.
The Trust employs an ICT 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 joint direction of Executive Principal and Heads, the ICT manager leads in the development of the use of Information Technology and provides a technician service to staff and students engaged in the use of ICT and supervise the work of the ICT technical support team.
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. Funding secured by the Executive Principal will be retained at top level along with the top sliced funding reserves.