Our Growth Strategy 2022-2025
Having originally set up in April 2017, the Trust board are seeking to expand the number of schools within the trust. We are currently comprised of two large secondary schools in Bolton. Rivington and Blackrod, located on the boundary of Chorley, is a large 11 - 18 school with approximately 1,750 students and Harper Green is an 11 – 16 school in the south of Bolton with approximately 1,250 students. We employ 375 staff across both schools.
Our vision is to provide the highest quality of education that creates a community of happy, successful and well-rounded individuals who can flourish and make a difference in our world. Our values of having a student-first approach to all we do, having the highest expectations of ourselves and our students and acting with integrity at all times enable us to work collaboratively in a shared ethos.
We believe in schools having their own unique identity so they can serve their local community and provide the highest standard of education for all. We believe that collaboration with other schools is key to strengthening the quality of education for the students we serve.
Our Aim for Growth
We aim to grow the Trust sustainably, ensuring the students we currently serve and any future students within the trust benefit in their academic outcomes and in their personal development for being part of the Trust. As a Trust, the academic, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all students is central to their education. We focus on students leaving school happy, confident, and articulate with an education that enables them to make informed decisions and positively contribute to their community. Schools should be at the heart of the community, and the growth of the Trust will ensure that schools remain and continue to be at the centre of their communities.
Central to the growth plan is that any school wishing to in the Trust must align with our vision and values and be dedicated to working in enthusiastic partnerships with an outward facing approach to collaboration. School leaders must also ensure that the unique qualities of their individual school flourish and develop as a result of being part of the Trust.
To ensure balance, our Trust would benefit greatly from having primary schools on board. We believe that this would complement and enhance our current secondary offering. We would look for several primary schools to join the Trust within the next two years; this could also be a cluster of primary schools who would want to join together. Central to this would be appointing an executive headteacher to oversee the growth of the primary sector. Initially, we would only be looking for good and outstanding primary schools to join us in the next two years. This will enable the creation of a strong network of schools that can collaborate and develop together before bringing other schools on board.
Our aim for secondary schools would be that after 2024 we would again look at growing the secondary sector with a good or better school joining the Trust. Following the appropriate due diligence, schools will be invited to join the Trust. This would add more capacity and strength to the secondary sector and therefore following this, we would look to sponsor a local school in 2025.
School to School Support
At the centre of our growth plan is the focus on professional development of all staff. If students are to receive the highest standard of education, then staff must have access to the best possible CPD. School to school support is central to this and our commitment to working with local and national partners to work in collaboration in developing the highest quality of teaching for our students is at the core of our work.
We will continue to work with schools both within and outside the Trust to ensure that school leaders and teachers have access to the best practice and inset.
We continually develop leadership at all levels. High quality leadership is essential in providing high quality education. We work hard on developing leaders at all levels through CPD, coaching, leadership conferences and residentials, peer to peer support and collaborative work. We encourage all leaders to seek best practice and to develop this within the context of their areas of responsibility. We aim to enable all leaders within the Trust to grow their leadership skills and to continue to develop a coaching model for leadership development. We will continue to facilitate the opportunity for staff to work in different schools to gain a wide range of experiences to develop a broad range of leadership opportunities. Doing so will create the capacity to support schools joining the Trust.
Having a very strong central support team is essential in providing the highest quality of education. As a Trust, we have grown our central services so that school leaders and teachers can focus on quality teaching and learning and providing high quality education for all. Our centralised finance, HR, ICT, communications, and health and safety teams work closely with schools to ensure the provisions within the school enables all young people to be successful. With increasing pressure on finances, the opportunities for economies of scale will ensure greater efficiency in what we provide so that more resources can be directed towards the classroom.
As a small Trust, our central teams have a personal approach to their work. They meet with leaders on a face-to-face basis to facilitate a personal, tailored, responsive approach to the central services we provide. Following the growth of the Trust, and if the need arose, there would be an expansion of central service team to ensure a high-quality service continues to be provided to all school leaders and staff. We are currently in a very strong financial position. To ensure the financial viability, there will need to be the appropriate due diligence in relation to finances so as not to jeopardise the school improvement work across all schools and the growth of the Trust.
We believe that staff wellbeing is central to what we do. We have a wellbeing group, and schools joining the Trust would also have representation in this group. A motivated, happy staff will ensure that we provide the best possible education. Staff recruitment and retention is also essential in creating a successful school. We work closely with staff to understand their needs and for us to continually strive to be an excellent employer.