The Hamblin Education Trust (HET) was established in 2015. Initially it was created to incorporate North Cestrian Grammar School (then an independent school) into the state sector alongside Altrincham Grammar School for Boys which had been a single academy trust since 2011. The name Hamblin was chosen in recognition of Walter Hamblin who was Headmaster at both schools at different times during his long career.
The HET aims to use the expertise, the skills and the knowledge of its member schools to inspire pupils to achieve their full potential through education and personal development. The Trust will encourage different schools to thrive in their own ways and within their own contexts. Schools within the Trust will offer support, encouragement and constructive ideas to share best practice in each of the partner schools to maximise both pupil and staff abilities and prospects. The Trust aims to maintain a record of high educational achievement and standards at all its schools and promote the creation of caring pastoral settings.
The aim of governance of the Hamblin Education Trust is to provide confident, strategic leadership alongside robust accountability, oversight and assurance of educational, financial and support function performance across its schools. The key words above are strategic and oversight and the principle which guides the governance of the Trust is intervention according to need. Issues such as teaching, learning and assessment; behaviour and safety; curriculum models; and day-to-day leadership and management of its schools are delegated to local governing bodies, headteachers and leadership teams. We believe they are best-placed to take these decisions. The Trust Board will only intervene should there be warning signs that things are going wrong. Please refer to the Overview section of the website for an overview of the current governing structure.
The Trust Board consists of Members and Directors. They come from a variety of business and professional backgrounds, all with experience of leadership and management at a high level. Their combination of skills in education, finance, HR, property, politics and governance in other organisations has helped to establish firm foundations for future development. Please refer to Members and Directors section of the website for further information.
The Trust Board delegates many governance functions to local governing bodies as outlined above. There is a scheme of delegation which sets out where responsibilities lie. Some written policies fit best at trust level whilst others are better suited to be developed at local governing body level to suit the specific needs of each school.
The Directors have taken a decision to grow the Trust over time but do not have any targets about timescale or size. They know that some Trusts have grown too quickly and faced problems as a result. On the other hand, for economies of scale to be realised it is beneficial for Trusts to grow. Within the next two or three years the Trust is aiming to grow to four secondary schools.
Robust due diligence processes are important in ensuring that schools that approach us, or schools that we approach with a view to joining the HET, can integrate into the Trust. Due diligence means that the risk is mitigated for all schools in respect of, for example, ethos, finance, land and employment issues.
The Hamblin Education Trust follows the terms and conditions of employment as set out in the Burgundy Book for teaching staff and the Green Book for support staff. It has decided to do so for reasons of recruitment, retention and promotion.
It encourages teachers and support staff to move between schools on a voluntary basis if that is appropriate. For example, there may be opportunities for career development within the MAT through promotion or through broadening experience at another school, such as a teacher in an 11-16 high school wishing to gain experience of teaching Sixth Form.
The Trust is establishing opportunities for consultation with staff at two levels of its organisation. At Trust level a joint consultative committee is being established consisting of members of the Trust Board and union representatives. This will consider issues and policies which may affect employees of all schools in the Trust. At each school, existing JCCs will continue to meet or, in situations where there is no joint consultative committee, one will be set up based
upon the constitution of the Trust Board JCC.
The Trust already has clear lines of accountability and will build on those with any future member schools. The Executive Head is directly accountable to the Members and Directors of the Trust Board. Headteachers of the Trust schools will be accountable to the Trust Board via the Executive Head. There will be regular meetings between the headteachers as a group and on a one-to-one basis with the Executive Head Teacher. By sharing best practice, identifying strengths and weaknesses and bringing areas of expertise within each school to the other schools the Trust as a whole will seek to improve further educational outcomes at all its schools.
The Trust plans at an early opportunity to appoint a Chief Operating Officer (COO) with overall responsibility for finance, HR, administration services, estates and facilities management. The COO will work to harmonise central administration services and promote efficiencies. Our aim is that the savings from any such efficiencies are used to benefit the quality of education in each school. The appointment of a COO will allow the Executive Head, Head Teachers and other senior leaders to focus on the key educational matters of teaching, learning, behaviour, safety, and progress.
All schools joining the Trust will be expected to adopt common administrative systems and processes. It is expected that this will help the Trust to drive out economies of scale.
The Hamblin Education Trust has five main objectives for the period 2017-2020.
HET schools will work together to ensure that all schools are safe and happy places in which to live and work and that the highest standards of behaviour, good manners and
excellent relationships between staff and students are features of all its schools.
These features will be measured by the gathering of data in common which will be analysed by leadership teams, the Executive Headteacher and the Board of Directors. Collaborative working across schools within HET will help to reinforce strengths and identify and eliminate weaknesses. Data in common will also be used to analyse pupil progress and attainment across all schools.
All schools should be Ofsted rated Good or Outstanding.
3. Financial objectives
The Trust aims to secure the most effective use of its financial resources and it will do so by
4. Leadership and Governance
It is the objective of the Trust that decisions are taken at an appropriate level to secure the best outcomes for the Trust and for its individual schools.
The Board of Directors, working in partnership with the Executive Head and other senior leaders, will:
The quality of leadership and governance will be judged against the following targets: