The Hamblin Education Trust

PROSPECTUS AND STRATEGIC PLAN

PROSPECTUS

The Hamblin Education Trust – an overview

Background
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.

Vision
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.

Governance
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.

Growth Strategy
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.

People
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.

Leadership
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.

Administrative Systems
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.

  • Control of finance is crucial for the success of the Trust. The Trust currently uses the PS Financials system for financial management and HCSS for five-year forecasting.
  • The Trust uses SIMS for management of staff and pupil information.
  • The Trust will, in due course develop the most effective ICT structure across the organisation so that ICT strengthens communication between schools.
  • The development of educational ICT systems in each school will be managed so that different curriculum needs are matched appropriately to ICT systems.

 

STRATEGIC PLAN

The Hamblin Education Trust has five main objectives for the period 2017-2020.

  1. Overall objective: to build an effective structure of accountability and appropriate delegation across the Trust, so that there is clarity about job roles and so that decisions, which affect the Trust as a whole and which affect schools within the Trust, are taken at an appropriate level to secure the best outcom Decision making at appropriate levels will ensure that the educational experience and progress of the pupils and students within the Trust is the best it can be and will also help the Trust to secure the most efficient use of its limited financial resources.    
               
    Those who work for the Trust are accountable to the Board of Directors, which will measure Trust performance against the objectives below.
  1. Educational objectives:   
  • To secure the best educational experience for pupils and students.
  • To secure the best possible progress for students between 11-16 and 11-18.

       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.

  • By 2019 all HET schools will achieve national standards for GCSE Progress 8, Attainment 8 and any other relevant progress/attainment measures appropriate to the cohort of students in each school.
  • All schools with Sixth Forms will secure at least 'good' progress from GCSE to A level using national measures.

      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

  • Establishing a central operational organisation which will oversee financial, administrative, ICT and estates operations across the Trust. This “shared service centre” will ensure the efficient operation of the essential systems of all schools within the Trust and free the educational specialists to focus on the needs of their students.
  • Analysing all cost centres across the schools within the Trust to identify where savings can be made and implementing change in areas where it is required.
  • By the end of academic year 2017-18, HET aims to have established a central function for the multi-academy trust.
  • By the end of the period 2017-20, the central function will be delivering significant operational and financial benefits for all its school

 

      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:

  • Retain a clear vision and ethos for the Trust and provide a strong strategic direction by frequently reminding themselves of their main objectives.
  • Support the local governing bodies through developing effective channels of communication with them and through providing support to governing bodies in proportion to the needs of each school.
  • Hold the leadership teams and governors of each school to account for the educational and financial performance of their school.
  • Strengthen professional leadership by appointing effective leaders who are appropriate to the challenge of each school – this includes the Executive Head, leaders of the shared service centre and headteacher
  • Develop partnerships with other stakeholders including parents, members of the local communities, Local Authority leaders and officers, local and national businesses, primary schools, other secondary schools and other MATs and universities.

          The quality of leadership and governance will be judged against the following targets:

  • By the end of the academic year 2017-18 there will be clear systems of delegation and accountability between the Trust Board and local governing bodies. There will be effective systems of communication between the HET and LGBs so that local issues are communicated upwards as required and so that LGBs are aware of wider strategic developments within the HET. 
  • Over the period of the strategic plan 2017-20 there will be promotion of the role of the HET amongst parents, members of the local communities, Local Authority leaders and officers, local and national businesses and other multi-academy trusts/schools and universities via the website and other forms of publicity.

 

  1. The wider educational and political context
    The Trust will be alert to developments in government policy both at national and local level. The directors have plans to grow the Trust over time but do not have targets about timescale, size or type of school. The Trust will keep a close eye on policy initiatives from the Department for Education based upon consultation papers such as “Schools which work for everyone” (2016). It will follow policy initiatives from the National Schools Commissioner and Regional Schools Commissioners. The Trust will also maintain its positive and important relationship with the Trafford Local Authority.

 

  1. Conclusion
    By working towards these objectives the Trust will be able to provide:
  • For pupils an education that develops well-rounded individuals and which lays the foundations in terms of qualifications and values for a successful and happy adult life. 
  • For employees an opportunity to work within schools which support their staff by developing their knowledge skills and which look to promote the careers of individuals who wish to progress.
  • For parents an education for their child which seeks to extend their potential within a safe and supportive environment and, for parents themselves, schools which wish to engage actively with them to ensure the happiness and success of their sons/daughters.

HET Directors
May 2017

 

See also: