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The key aim of our Trust is running top quality collaborative schools providing excellent education. Our three ‘Good’ schools have a strong alignment and share ideas, resources and ways of working to improve outcomes for all our pupils.
Our vision is of a supportive learning environment, where children achieve the best they can academically and grow to become well rounded individuals equipped for life. This is epitomised by our unique Darwin Growth Curriculum (DGC) developing children as well rounded citizens.
The intent of our Curriculum is to be both innovative and holistic, challenging our children to be the best they can be in both academic and non-academic pursuits.
There are many opportunities across the Trust for the children to interact through competitions spanning: sports, arts, technology as well as in academic areas. From Champions League to Maths Challenge competitions, the children in the MAT love the chance to interact together in a friendly competitive forum.
A genuinely collaborative MAT with planned opportunities for staff at all levels to meet and share ideas.
Our Head Teachers meet regularly with the CEO to develop a shared approach to our educational philosophy and solve problems together. This has been a crucial support during the Covid 19 pandemic.
The MAT school improvement teams bring subject coordinators together termly to develop their subject curriculum, resources and policies. A truly collegiate experience.
The MAT commitment to our Career Bridges structure supports development of all our staff`s careers (see an example in https://www.severnbridgesmat.co.uk/growing-great-teachers/ ) as well as providing for succession planning and opportunities across the MAT.
There is a strong, shared ethos across the MAT that is all about supporting each other.
The MAT delegates a high degree of autonomy to its schools with a thriving Local Governing Body in each school whose input is greatly valued by Trustees.
Schools very much have their own identity but remain closely aligned in values and visions for our children
The Trust Board generates a Trust strategic development plan based on the input of the schools’ governors and Trustees.
Financial reporting is agile and sharply focused and supported by an external accountancy ensuring additional financial probity.
There is a clear Scheme of Delegation and lines of accountability through the Trust to ensure stability and a firm foundation for future growth.
We foster excellent links with the Regional Commissioner for Schools, Regional Delivery directorate being part of the RDD Trust to Trust initiative, Local Authority and other local trusts.
There is a robust structure of risk mitigation and management strategy running through the Trust Board and into schools’ Health and Safety committees .
The Central Team
The MAT has a lean Central Team makeup that supports the operation of our schools.
Our CFO is a fully qualified accountant, supported by external accountancy audit and quality assurance to maintain a robust finance and reporting system. The CFO is supported on day to day finance by the Trust Business Manager and well trained School Business Managers using an agile and responsive Xero financial software system.
The MAT Central Team supports finance, HR and operations services to schools.
School Improvement is supported by the very experienced CEO with 18 years Shropshire headship and external quality assurance, building a strong culture of improvement across our Trust.
Economies of scale are sought across the Trust to maximise the spending power of each school.
When was the Trust established?
Severn Bridges Trust was established in March 2017 and is a sponsoring Trust.
Which schools are in the MAT?
The MAT is made up of three large Primary schools: Greenfields Primary School, Mount Pleasant Primary School and Radbrook Primary School. There are 1050 children in the Trust . The Trust is fully focused on delivering an excellent primary education and experience.
How do schools collaborate and share best practice?
The Severn Bridges Trust is fully committed to working collaboratively. The Executive Leadership Team compromising CEO and school Head Teachers meet regularly every few weeks as a team alongside weekly CEO visits to schools. We approach initiatives in a collegiate way ensuring schools have a voice in decisions made for the Trust. Where schools are unique we strive to maintain this within the Trust-agreed protocols and ways of working.
Our Subject Teams meet regularly in School Improvement Teams to share expertise and develop new initiatives and approaches together. This enables us to share the very best of each school's practice to enhance the whole of the Trust.
Sendco`s meet on a monthly basis to ensure the excellent provision for children with additional needs, including mental health that exists in the Trust. Deputy Heads and EYFS leaders also meet regularly to increase the leadership capacity, curriculum knowledge and updates on new advances in education.
Our approach is fully invested in staff improvement by collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and expertise. This is supported by our Google intranet allowing the sharing of resources such as planning and curriculum.
What does Governance look like at Severn Bridges?
The Governance Structure of the MAT is headed by a Members Board who appoint the Trustees. The Board of Trustees create and review the strategy of the Trust. The Governance structure is designed to give robust oversight and management of our schools, without unnecessarily restricting innovation and autonomy. Our Scheme of Delegation aims to give the maximum delegation possible, particularly where schools are judged to be Good or Outstanding.
Scheme of Delegation:
Trustees provide strategic oversight and ensure that the Trust meets its legal obligations, both directly and through the Audit and Risk Committee.
Formulation of strategy and day to day operations are delegated to the Chief Executive Officer. The CEO is well supported by a Central MAT Team, our Head Teachers and professional expertise from outside the organisation.
Our Head Teachers are both challenged as a critical friend and supported by the Trust Board Standards Committee (TBSC). Our TBSC members are part of the Trust Board, ensuring we have the balance of skills required to oversee and support modern schools.
Each Local Governing Body (LGB) has an associate Trustee who maintains a high level of communication with the LGB and Trust Board. The Chairs of the LGB also meet the Chair of Trustees and CEO in a termly open forum giving further momentum for developing the Trusts aims and vision alongside maintaining channels of communication.
Trustee Information: https://www.severnbridgesmat.co.uk/trustees/
How are the Trust's finances maintained?
The Trust`s efficient and cost effective Central Model combined with developing economies of scale seek to maintain at the lowest top slice we can offer. We set a Top slice of 5% currently which covers the Central Team offer including managing payroll, pension deficit payment, VAT claims, statutory policy development, financial management and reporting and school improvement.
How does the Trust monitor school performance?
The Trust Board Standards committee meets termly on `Challenge Days` to share current data and analysis of school performance with our Academy Head Teachers. The Trust Board also shares and benchmark school performance from National Data.
Our schools have developed a subject 360 approach to School Improvement. We have utilised a `deep -dive` style methodology but have removed the judgements, which facilitates genuine discussion on subject improvement. The cycle of reviews allows staff to lead as a subject co-ordinator and be part of a review of another coordinator's subject. Professional dialogue between staff and the children`s voice are powerful tools to improve and develop practice in each subject.
Each school has an additional ‘Collaborative Review Day’ with an external consultancy (Challenging Education) which supports subject reviews in the school’s chosen focus areas. The day further supports the construction of the School Development Plan. The Head Teachers saw this as a crucial supportive element in achieving Good outcomes under the new Ofsted framework.
Approach to Performance Management:
How does the Trust mitigate against risks?
The Trust mitigates against risk by monitoring the Trust Risk Register on a regular basis. We use the risk assessment tool to identify any risks and mitigate against these. Additionally the CEO report for each term updates any potential risks to the Trust to allow Trustees to develop Trust action planning. Head Teachers report each term on risks in school as part of Trust Challenge Days.