Central Functions Support and Services Offer
We are proud of the support and services offer we provide for schools in our family to help them realise our mission of supporting social justice through exceptional schools. As we have grown, we have been able to develop a useful range of structures and services to best support the needs of our schools and which enable leaders to focus on leading their school communities.
Our support and services offer supports our strategic objectives (SO):
- SO1 – Developing exceptional learners which is achieved through:
- SO2 – Recruiting, developing and retaining expert professionals;
- SO3 – Achieving excellence of operational infrastructure; operating efficient and effective systems; and maintaining and improving places; and
- SO4 – Building empowered communities and developing lasting partnerships to support the development of social justice
Our aim is to deliver strong services from the centre that enable school leaders and staff to focus their energy where it will make the most difference to the lives of the pupils/students we serve and to realise benefits in terms of economies of scale. We strongly believe that each member of staff in a school is also indirectly responsible for every one of the 6300+ children in our care as a Trust. Where we have particular expertisethen each of us commits to sharing our resources, skills and knowledge across the Trust. In this way, all of our schools benefit from mutual support in service provision, curriculum delivery and school improvement.
There are many avenues of support for schools from the central teams in Central, which are outlined in this document. For staff, this is an opportunity to support and contribute widely to a collective expertise but also have the benefit of wider progression, opportunities and project work. In terms of resourcing, the Trust continuously evaluates how resources can be pooled and contribute to an effective solution that delivers synergy back to schools. Examples of this are Trust procured contracts or licences, but also staff for example, a specialist Head of HR. A shared Trust strategy that supports our vision and mission ensures all contribute to a collective aspiration.
Our school improvement model is very much based on our value of community. Resource is allocated where it is most needed to mitigate risk and generate excellence through co-design. Our improvement frameworks have been collaboratively designed and enable local autonomy of delivery within the boundaries laid out in our frameworks. As such, leaders of safeguarding, pupil premium, reading etc are able to support each other so that all can be the best they can be. Focussed staff development models including ‘let’s talk people’ that complements the range of Central Professional Learning, Research and Development (CPLR&D) programmes opportunities that run through all levels starting at a comprehensive ITT provision and leading all the way through subject leadership training and including National Professional Qualifications. All this is managed by Teach Central, our own ambitious CPLRD and ITT provision that maintains a reputation including great links with the higher edification sector. By sharing strategies that have been proven to work in one setting, all benefit from considering whether they may work in a different setting in the trust. Leaders new to rolecan expect high quality development as part of induction so that they become experienced at speed through the shared experience of the other designated safeguarding leads (DSLs) in the Trust. Through co-design, this sharing is not left to chance, but is very much an expectation of every one of us to deliver the best for the thousands of children in our care.
As a Trust founded by the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), we have a lasting relationship with the RSA and are founder members of the RSA Education Network. This relationship gives access to a multi-national fellowship and an internationally recognised organisation aligned to our own mission and values. Our mission and values are forged from the relationship we have benefited from through our original founders, with the vast majority of our Trustees being fellows of the RSA. We continue to recruit fellows to our governance committees which supports us in holding true to our values.
One of the strongest benefits of our ongoing partnership with the RSA, and the collaborative programmes for pupils/students, such as RSA leadership and pupil/student agency programmes, and a whole host of cross school and trust-wide activities, competitions and events. These bring a richness to the experience of our pupils/students, developing their knowledge, attributes of character and skills through amazing experiences, which of course is why we have come together as schools, so that we can ensure these are as good as we can possibly make them.
Please click below to view more details on each functions support and services offering:
Executive Principal (CEO) / NLE
Executive Leadership Team / ELT:
- Executive Principal (Chief Executive Officer)
- Chief Finance Officer
- Chief Operating Officer
- Executive School Improvement Leader (ESIL)
- Trust Primary Executive Principal (TPEP)
- Executive Principals
To provide strategic oversight, development and management of the Trust so that all schools are led well, sustainable and delivering the best possible education for all pupils/students.
Support and services
Executive Principal (CEO)
- Lead Trust Strategic Plan delivery
- Development of the leadership of the schools across the Trust
- Commissioning support from our procured improvement partners and other strategic partners as required
- Liaise with regulatory authorities and other key agencies such as the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), Charities Commission (CC), Department for Education (DfE), Regional Directors (RDs) and Local Authorities (LAs)
- Sign-off of agreed standardised and aligned frameworks for delivery
- Lead on expansion strategy for the Trust, including hub strategy development
- Lead weekly Senior Trust Leaders meetings to ensure communication and clarity around Trust, regional and national developments in education
Executive Leadership Team
- Delivery of the school improvement model including:
- Proactive identification of emerging risk, liaising with the independent SIPs, and deployment of school to school (S2S) support in order to mitigate/ minimise/remove risk
- Lead or commission reviews to inform S2S strategy
- Monitor educational standards including target setting, develop consistency and share good practice across the Trust
- Lead on CRST Distinctive Culture – People, Places and Processes
- Define and lead the delivery of the school improvement model key framework strategies (eg reading, disadvantaged and vulnerable, co-design curriculum, safeguarding, SEND etc)
- Agree the higher layer (Trust- and hub-wide) delivery programmes of CPLR&D
- Oversee Teach Central (ITT) including defining required recruitment to mitigate shortage subject areas
- Hold schools to account for performance
- Support liaison with the ESFA, DfE, RDs and LAs.
- Strategic risk management
- Deliver strategic succession planning strategies, including the required Let’s Talk People analysis
- Defining staffing structures to best support schools and ensure agility to respond to risk that are employed centrally (full- or part-time) or in hub or cross-school arrangements to provide affordable scarce resource
- Raising the profile of the Trust and its schools nationally
- Management of the CRST brand and protecting the reputation of its schools.
- Managing the strategic growth of the Trust, implementing hub development
- Due diligence of prospective schools joining the Trust in the future
- Overall statutory and regulatory compliance
- Development of national, regional and local partnerships.
Executive School Improvement Leader
Trust Primary Executive Principal
Leader of CPLR&D
Leader of ITT and Early Careers
Trust Safeguarding Lead
Director of SEND
Director of EYFS
Specialist Leaders of Education
To provide timely and expert support for all schools which enables the delivery of an ambitious and high-quality education for all pupils/students and facilitate a culture of collaboration and co-design which develops system leaders at all levels.
Support and services
Executive School Improvement Leader
- To lead on school improvement, as the Trust’s technical expert, for CRST and identified Trust priorities
- Strategic leadership for curriculum and pedagogical developments across the trust, liaising closely with the TPEP for primary curriculum and pedagogy
- Broker, co-ordinate, monitor and evaluate the delivery of S2S (in conjunction with others in the executive leadership team as required), based on risk analysis
- Oversee Accelerated Improvement Boards (AIBs) (secondary) for schools at risk, liaising closely with the Trust Primary Executive Principal (TPEP) for primary
- Liaise with School Improvement Partners to deliver standards schedule
- Lead the School Improvement Team, including CPLRD and Teach Central
- Promote and demonstrate a culture of continuous school improvement
- Ensure that CRST is a research informed Trust and links in with purposeful and effective partnerships and networks which complement and help drive the Trust’s school improvement (SI) work
- Work with Principals and their leadership teams in preparing for and responding to Ofsted priorities and post-Ofsted action plans
- Lead the Trust Disadvantaged and Vulnerable Pupils/Students Strategy (including the use of the Pupil Premium)
- Undertake and co-ordinate key reviews within schools as identified by the ELT as risks
- Reporting at Trust level on Standards, developments and risks and the impact of school improvement activity
- Line management support for Principals
- Support ensuring consistent delivery of required frameworks and Trust strategies
- Oversight of strategic improvement plans and school improvement processes
- Key partner for training, development and support for Principals
- Develop school leadership across the Trust
- Commission support from procured school improvement partners as required to mitigate and reduce risk
- Supporting Principals with HR cases, unions and Level 3 complaints where needed
- Identifying opportunities to strengthen cross-school working and practice
School Improvement Team
We have several frameworks to enhance collaborative practice and system leadership. Relevant colleagues meet regularly, and are supported by external expertise where appropriate:
- Curriculum and Pedagogy via our Teaching and Learning policy
- Primary Leaders
- Disadvantaged and Vulnerable (Pupil Premium) Strategy
- SEND Strategy
- Reading Strategy
- Aligned Curriculum Planning and Sequencing via Subject Co-Design teams in both Primary and Secondary phases
- Primary Year Teams
- Distinctive Culture
- People Strategy
- Central Professional Learning, Research and Development
- Teach Central (ITT and Early Careers)
- Let’s Talk People
- Leadership Behaviours and People Culture
- Succession Planning & Talent Management Toolkit
- Personal development and layered CPLRD toolkit (inc. Bluesky)
Access to School Improvement expertise via
- MAT Improvement Partner
- School Improvement Partners
- Expertise: National Leaders of Education (NLE), ESIL, TPEP, Executive Principal etc
- Central Specialist Leaders in Education
- Subject co-design Teams
Opportunities for Pupils/Students
The offer outlined above reflects our commitment to the development and support of all staff in our organisation in their shared work to improve outcomes and experiences for our pupils/students. Equally, being part of our family of schools offers a range of direct opportunities for pupils/students too. We run cross-school competitions and events across all phases of education, as well as bespoke leadership development programmes.
Being part of Central Region Schools Trust means that pupils/students will have access to a wealth of enrichment opportunities and a genuine focus on their personal development. Our distinctive approach to education means that we are committed to making sure our Knowledge-Attributes, Skills and Experience (K-ASE) curriculum develops character attributes and provides experiences that enhance learning and create memories that will last a lifetime. Combined with the knowledge and skills pupils/students will gain, this promise means they have everything they need to make the most of their time in all our schools and go on to be the leaders, innovators, creators, thinkers, community champions and change makers of the future. We will also work hard to make sure pupils/students get a high quality PSHCE curriculum, great Careers Education and an inclusive school experience. We will teach them about British values and equip them with the tools of active citizenship. For more about how our learning experience can enhance pupils/students social, moral, social and cultural education or how pupils/students can work alongside thousands of their peers, please visit https://centralregionschoolstrust.co.uk/ or follow @CRSTEvents on Twitter.
Our schools are expected to offer the following for all pupils/students across their time in school. Opportunities to:
- perform a piece of music, dance, poetry or drama
- develop your character and/or demonstrate the school/trust values
- take part in or play another role within a sport or physical activity
- create a piece of art
- take part in a debate, a discussion or speaking in front of others
- serve your local community by volunteering, researching or celebrating its heritage and culture
- visit a museum, art gallery, exhibit, or theatre
- visit somewhere or hear from someone who can inspire you to dream big
- read stories
- attend a residential (KS3)
- spend time in an environment where you can appreciate nature
Finance, Payroll and Procurement
Chief Finance Officer
Head of Finance
Trust Financial Accountant, Trust Finance Technician & Trust Finance Assistant
Trust Management Accountant & Assistant Management Accountant
Trust Payroll Manager
Procurement & Contracts Manager
To achieve financial sustainability through measured stewardship, enabling a Trust wide approach to ensuring that resources are available for Teaching & Learning priorities. Maintain strict compliance with statutory, regulatory, and best practice guidance and provide expertise that enables and complements Trust and school plans.
Support and services
Chief Finance Officer
- Strategic responsibility for all aspects of Trust financial management, including capital investment, procurement and financial risk.
- Delivering financial sustainability and security that can withstand short term shocks and deliver medium- and long-term strategic plans
- Accountable for the delivery of financial support services including trust accounting system and internal controls.
- Liaison with the ESFA and the DfE
- Statutory accounting returns and reports to Trustees
- Preparation and submission of Trust Company accounts
- Financial Governance and financial risk management
- Lead and promote sound financial management in line with Academies Trust Handbook and the Trust’s charitable status.
- Keep under review the infrastructure services are high quality, well-led and cost effective to enable focus on quality of education and school improvement.
- Financial management and oversight of all academies.
- Ensure the Trust adheres to the principle of added value on all dealings with suppliers and in negotiating contracts
- Implementation of curriculum led financial planning (CLFP) ensuring sufficient resource for school improvement is distributed by risk and local need.
- Ensure Central Trust structure and staff are skilled and enabled to support the Trust strategic goals and visions
- Ensure appropriate systems and reporting in place for schools: Ordering, HR/Payroll system, Finance system, Budgeting, benchmarking and financial reporting
- Foster a central commercial approach to reviewing procurement opportunities and decisions as a whole Trust
- Invest in and utilise appropriate trust wide finance systems to ensure consistent and accurate reporting across the trust schools
- Clarity of policies and procedures via up-to-date training offer
- Ensure strong communication within the central team and a culture of giving and receiving constructive feedback to all member schools
- Respond to audit findings to ensure compliance
- Start-up training and pre-join transition meetings
- Central Banking and cash flow management
- Access to a Procurement professional to support quotations and tendering
- Trust wide contract alignment and joint procurement opportunities via DfE frameworks
- Processing of weekly supplier payment runs
- Payroll processing service and access to Trust Payroll support
- HR System access to maintain school staff contract that feeds into monthly payroll
- Upload of payroll journals on to Sage
- Provision of training and support on Sage and budget software
- Provision of weekly and monthly timetables for finance processing
- Accrual and prepayment schedule support
- VAT advice, consolidation, checking and submission supporting including liaison with HMRC and appropriate training for Finance Leads
- Access to a dedicated Finance Professional to meet half termly with Principal and Local Academy Governing Board (LAGB) chair
- Monitoring of in year Forecast changes
- Time and set-up of Trust staff through transition
- Year-end support
- Review of your monthly financial position
- Review of CapEx needs
- Access to Trust finance updates (internal & external) for finance staff via central meetings
- Access to Trust Apprenticeship Levy
- Liaison with pension providers
- Pension-related financial policies and regulation and overseeing EOYC audits
- Financial modelling support for significant planned changes
- School expectations (central support and helpline available)
- Raising of POs locally on Sage
- Authorization and entering of approved invoices onto sage
- Entering all school income onto sage
- Submission of monthly payroll changes log by c 11th of the month to Trust
- Proposal of budget plans to Trust as supported by Principal and LAGB and monitoring thereof
- Completion of CLFP sheets provided by Trust
- Monitoring of key performance indicators
- Collation of all credit card receipts to match card purchases and entering onto Sage
- Identification of accruals and prepayments
- Line management of school staff fulfilling the local tasks
- Monitor the monthly finance position and conduct variance analysis as highlighted by variances or your Trust Finance Professional
- Capital asset planning and maintenance for trust review
- Reconciliations of payroll data to budget and explain variances
- School delivery of financial headline data to their LAGB meeting
Operations and Infrastructures
To facilitate the best possible educational provision and outcomes by successfully removing any non-academic barriers to achieving academic goals through leading on expert central services to aid school improvement, ensuring compliance and excellence in:
- Human Resources
- Governance and Corporate Services
- Health and Safety
- Risk Management
- Marketing and Public Relations
Head of HR
Hub HR Managers
HR System Administrators
Central Office Administrator
Delivery of excellence throughout processes, recruitment, staff development, retainment of expert professionals and effective, clear communication with employees and prospective employees.
The HR team will work with your school to help you identify and plan what your strategic HR needs will be in the coming year, linking them to your school improvement plan. They will also provide pragmatic solutions and options to swiftly bring to a successful conclusion performance and other HR issues.
Drive forward the People Plan within the Trust by aligning HR, People, Places, and Processes.
Support and services
The HR function helps to drive the Trust strategy by effectively recruiting, retaining, and developing staff. The HR objectives aim to develop policy, shape key HR practices and deliver service excellence.
Head of HR
- Process: an unwavering commitment towards process excellence across all areas of the People function supporting excellence in people, systems, and places.
- Recruitment: to implement a market leading recruitment and selection experience that will encourage expert professionals to join our family.
- Implement and maintain an impressive employer brand communicating our shared values that underpin all that we do.
- Development: retaining a talent register for our Trust that enables greater strategic talent planning that supports succession that links with our CPLR&D.
- Retention: Our Trust is a great place to work for all staff, build employee engagement with our values, vision, mission and overarching strategic objectives.
- Communication: effective internal dialogue that supports engagement, Trust distinctiveness and upholds transparency across the Trust.
- To support with organisational development initiatives across the Trust.
- To develop and seek out new ways of working to make processes more efficient.
HR Hub Managers
The South Hub HR Manager covers:
Abbeywood First School
Arrow Vale High School
Arrow Valley First School
Church Hill Middle School
Ipsley CE Middle School
St Stephen’s CE First School
Waseley Hills High School
The North Hub HR Manager covers
Gospel Oak School
Lickhill Primary School
Oldbury Park Primary School
Sutton Park Primary School
- To gather and report key people analytics to drive the people agenda forward.
- To liaise as appropriate with the legal provider, and other statutory and professional bodies
- To take an advisory and proactive role in the strategic management of staffing of the Trust Hub – in conjunction with the Executive Principal, Principals, Head of Finance and Head of HR.
- To lead on safer recruitment practices across the Hub.
- To lead and maintain procedures to ensure that safeguarding of children is maintained in Hub Schools through pre-employment checks and each Schools Single Central Register
- To aid the school-based HR administrators with the maintenance of up-to-date and accurate personnel records in accordance with statutory and audit requirements across the Hub.
- To aid in driving CPD across the Hub in conjunction with the Executive Principals.
- To support across the Trust Talent Acquisition & Staff Retention initiatives.
- To support on all HR Information Systems Reporting across the Trust.
- To aid with HR policy development.
- To support on Performance Management (Teachers) & Reviews (Support/Associates).
- To liaise with the hub school employees responsible for school HR administration and develop HR capability in all regional Secondary and Primary Schools.
- To provide compliant and swift advisory services to Executive Principals and Principals on all Employee Relation issues such as disciplinaries, grievances, absence management etc.
- To support the Head of HR with any further acquisitions.
- To support the Head of HR with developing the Trust People Strategy
Head of Governance and Corporate Services
Delivery of expert governance and compliance across the Trust, through recruitment representative of our communities, essential induction, a bespoke training programme, and measuring the effectiveness of Governors and Trustees.
Governance is managed by a committed Head of Governance and Corporate Services who manages central policies, and the accuracy of websites, Trust Board meetings and coordinates the work of governance professionals ensuring LAGB meetings are undertaken, and accurate information is recorded and published in a timely manner. The Trust uses Governor Hub as our communication portal and School Bus as our policy management system.
Support and services
- A dedicated Governance Professional to support and advise on governance compliance
- Bespoke Governor training primarily delivered through Educare and National Governance Association (NGA) learning link and linked to a yearly agenda planning for ease of management and statutory compliance
- Chairs forum and support networks
- Hybrid model of clerking and Trustee and Governor attendance
- Academy Ambassador Programme-a committed Trustee to aid communication and understanding of individual schools and LAGBs
- Trust Governor recruitment process for schools guided by the Governance Professional team
- Annual agenda planner and meeting schedule for each LAGB
- Trust Board updates and Local Academy Governing Board two-way communication pathway
- Website compliance audits, management and advice
- Use of School Bus for policy management, review and recording
Head of IT
Senior IT Technicians
All schools within Central Region Schools Trust have access to our in-house IT Services Team. The team is built up of experienced and knowledgeable IT professionals and led by the Trust’s Head of IT to provide support to all schools with regards to IT support, strategy, procurement, development, and implementation.
Support and services
Our fully managed IT Service includes:
- Access to our Central IT helpdesk: Our helpdesk team are available 8am-4pm (3:30pm Friday) weekdays to help your staff, students, and other stakeholders with remote support via telephone, email, or chat. Self-help guides are also available for instant or out of hours support.
- Onsite Technicians: Each school will have access to onsite technicians. Depending on the support requirements of the school, this could range from a scheduled weekly visit to a dedicated team based onsite full time.
- Management & Development of IT Staff: All IT staff are line managed centrally under the Head of IT and work as part of the wider IT services team. Being part of a larger teams promotes staff development and allows for progression opportunities within the team.
- Remote Monitoring: Our central software monitors for potential faults before they occur and alerting the IT Services Team to issues often before end users are even aware. Remote monitoring is a vital service that ensures disruption is kept to a minimum.
- Strategic Support: Through regular meetings with the Head of IT and Senior IT leaders, the team can provide expert advice and guidance to support schools’ digital strategy and boost digital maturity. The team will work with school leaders to align with the Trust IT strategic vision and work towards meeting DfE technology standards.
- IT Training: Onsite and virtual training is available for software, services, and systems. This may be on demand training when a requirement is observed or may be provided alongside the implementation of a new system or service.
- Cyber Security: Cyber Security is a priority across the Trust and all schools adopt industry wide practices to protect against the constantly evolving threats. In addition, vigorous backup solutions are in place for onsite and offsite data, and all staff are required to complete cyber security training to raise awareness. Lastly, annual testing and security audits are completed to provide further clarity.
- Offsite Backups: All schools have access to our dedicated offsite backup solution for onsite data, and access to our third-party service for backup and retention of cloud services data.
- Procurement Services: In line with our IT Strategy and based on school requirements we procure many assets and services in bulk via our annual CAPEX programme. This buying power allows us to secure best value for money and standardise technologies where practically possible.
- Connectivity Solution: We operate a fully managed connectivity and web filtering solution across all sites. This solution meets DFE standards and allows for several services to be shared across our schools securely.
- Ofsted Cover: We will ensure onsite IT Support is available for any Ofsted visit.
- Project Management: Our Head of IT and Senior Team will oversee delivery of IT projects and support with any planning and training requirements.
Head of System and Data
Trust Data Manager
Data Improvement Partner
Achievement of a Trust-wide approach to capture, analysis, reporting, and effective management of academic, pastoral, and other data supports the Trust’s present and future educational needs and objectives.
The Trust is supported by a centrally employed Data Manager and has developed a suite of pivotal data sets and dashboards over time that measure and flag progress, trends, and opportunities. They are used at Trust Board, LAGB, School improvement level, Senior Leadership Team level and beyond. We utilise a Data helpdesk to ensure requests are captured and delivered in a timely, consistent manner.
Support and services
- Suite of reporting dashboards covering all key stages from EYFS, Phonics, Key Stage 1 through to Key Stage 5
- SIMS expertise in creating assessment templates through to the presentation of results
- Online analytics available using Microsoft PowerBi for reports with information on pupil/student numbers, attendance, exclusions, behaviour, phonics, and assessments-the purpose of the analytics is to provide senior leaders and key staff with up-to-date information to actively monitor and identify areas early
- Supporting and harmonising all assessment data collection, providing dashboards termly in line with all schools and Trust teacher assessments
- Data protection lead and support on incidents and subject access requests across the Trust with a centralised software system used to support all record keeping and responses
- Standardised reporting and support for reading strategies across the Trust. Reading age test results automatically processed into reports via PowerBi for all schools to view and analyse pupils/students across all the key areas-eg Pupil Premium, Special Educational Needs etc
- Supporting SIMS in schools to ensure data is secure, accurate and consistent
- Adoption of best practice to ensure access to and reporting of data and analysis is best in class and deliver appropriate training to staff
Head of Estates
To deliver an estate strategy and vision to improve the infrastructure and learning environment through robust asset management planning. Embedding a sustainable estate strategy linking School Improvement, Infrastructure, and People. The core purpose is to provide a safe space that enhances the experience of both staff and pupils/students.
The Trust’s estates and health and safety are managed by an experienced team who are passionate about standards, continuous improvement, and safety. Each school receive estates support through the hub management and a helpdesk is used to record and monitor issues, resolution, and timescales. An outsourced provider assists with compliance and specialist works.
Support and services
- Career structure and progression pathway for the Estates team: there are opportunities for career progression and specialization within the Trust to appeal to a number of facilities professionals. This also allows for succession planning and the sharing of skill sets throughout the schools.
- A robust professional development program to ensure compliance and statutory checks are in place and maintained: All staff are trained to ensure that all the required statutory checks are carried out in a timely manner. This includes:
- Fire awareness training to ensure that all required fire checks are carried out within the required timetable e.g., Fire Points, Emergency lights, Fire doors, etc.
- Legionella awareness training and testing regime requirement
- Asbestos awareness and compliance training to ensure that it is being monitored and safely managed
- There is a regular program of testing that is required to take place from Gas soundness to Playground equipment safety audits, and all Estates Lead and their teams are trained to ensure that all of these required checks are completed in a timely manner
- Expertise within the Estates structure to ensure quality advice, guidance, and support: The Estates team has recruited staff from a number of differing backgrounds including:
- Care Homes
- Sports Centre Providers
- Asbestos removal companies
- Fire compliance organizations
- Staff with a number of years’ experience within school settings.
This varied knowledge and expertise is shared within the team.
- Experience of large-scale ESFA-funded capital projects: The Estates team has experience in managing extensive capital programs from upgrading roofs, windows, heating systems, etc. which support the Trust Asset Management Plans.
- Mobility of teams throughout the Trust to support when required and to give added value to new schools being onboarded: The Estates team work with any new school being onboarded to ensure that all required compliance and Estates-related requirements are up to date and in place before they join the Trust. When a school joins the Trust, their staff join a large team within Estates and they will get the added value support of support with any DfE returns, capital bids and day-to-day support for covering the Estates team when required.
- Robust reporting mechanisms in place to ensure high-priority tasks are actioned and remedial works identified: The Trust has employed the use of a portal that collates all of the Estates related testing regimes and compliance requirements. This allows real-time access to this information for the Trust, schools, and other relevant parties like Ofsted, HSE etc. The Trust also has a reporting tool that staff can utilise to report repairs and maintenance items which ensure that these tasks can be actioned, whilst at the same time allowing the team and the schools to monitor key issues within the schools-eg water leaks.
- Standardization of reporting and information gathering to ensure benchmarking can take place throughout the Trust-e.g., energy costs and savings: This standardization of key school information is used to benchmark energy usage, needs and effectiveness. As we have a number of schools that are both in the primary and secondary setting, schools within the Trust can be benchmarked with each other to ensure that the energy consumption can be modified if required. We can utilise this data when procuring new contacts on a trust-wide basis and ensure value for money and cost-effectiveness is a key priority. The Estates team has experience of analysing the varied statutory checks reports and compliance outcomes to ensure information is at hand to support any DfE audits, HSE investigations, Ofsted inspections and school rebuilding programmes.
- Expertise within the DfE reporting mechanism to ensure that all statutory estates returns are in place and enacted timely: The Estates Team have experience with ensuring that all key DfE reporting requirements are actioned in a timely manner e.g., Land and Building Collection Tool, carbon reporting etc. This allows the schools to focus on their key priorities and ensures that the information is reported on a Trust wide basis.
- Qualified Health and Safety team to give advice and guidance and to ensure that all actions are taken to ensure compliance: The Estates team have trained staff in the Health and Safety sector who can support and advise schools and senior leaders about the current requirements within the Health and Safety environments and also ensure that all members of the Estates team, as well as the wider school communities, are updated on any changes to legislation. The Estates team can also advise on risk assessments and undertake inspections of key functions-eg fire compliance and legionella practices. There is also additional support for school for trips and visits.
- Expertise within policy requirements to ensure standardise of Estates policies, processes, and procedures: The Estates team ensures that all Estates-related and Health and Safety policies are reviewed and updated to meet current legislation requirements and processes within the Trust. All Schools have the process and procedure documentation to ensure that the standard of the process is compliant with current requirements.
- An Estates team that prioritises the users’ needs and ensures schools are safe for all users: The Estates team advises schools in relation to suitability assessments and ensures that safety and educational needs are a key priority.
- Management of School Condition Allocations: The Trust currently receives its capital allocation directly from the ESFA and the Estates Team plays a key role in the prioritisation of these funds. They ensure that all schools have updated Condition surveys and Asset Management plans so that capital funding can be allocated to the schools that have the most need and to areas that ensures that the schools are safe and in good working condition.
- Multi-contract and services procurement: Being within a Trust allows the Estates team to take a Trust-wide approach when procuring services that allow good value for money. The team also monitors the performance of key contracts and works closely with key school stakeholders to ensure the best value and quality provision. A few examples include writing bids for tenders, procuring new energy contacts, catering provisions, management of transport fleet etc.
- Other Services:
- Induction and training for new starters
- Refresher training session for existing staff members
- Repair and maintenance of buildings and other assets for all Schools
- Accident reporting mechanism
- Contractor management to ensure they are competent, insured, and safe to work around pupils/students
- Finding and implementing resources for sustainability measures
- Health and safety training sessions for keyholders like Principals, Trustees, Governors etc.
Other Services and Opportunities
- Founder member of the RSA Education Network
- Working with, and opportunities to deliver for, a number of training school hubs and national professional qualification (NPQ) providers
- Career pathways for teaching and support staff across the organisation
Services and support
- Centrally procured catering service through Aspens, supported by our dedicated Client Manager
- QuickCall legal advice from Browne Jacobson (advice and support on all education matters, including admissions, GDPR, exclusions and safeguarding allegations)
- Membership of the Confederation of School Trusts
- External and peer safeguarding reviews