Academies

Academy body taps experts for ‘what works’ inquiry on trusts

Review will will aim to create resources on how to improve trusts and publish a report

Review will will aim to create resources on how to improve trusts and publish a report

20 Mar 2023, 9:00

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The Confederation of School Trusts has recruited sector experts for a wide-ranging inquiry into “what works” in academy trusts.

Steve Rollett, deputy chief executive of the sector body for trusts, said developing professional capacity for school and trust improvement was “the responsibility of the sector, which should be supported by not prescribed by government”.

It comes only a few months after the government formally dropped plans for controversial new academy standards of its own and intervention powers.

A regulatory review aimed at making the system more “capable of improvement” is ongoing however, with publication promised first by December and now by the end of this month.

Rollett will chair the sector’s own year-long inquiry, which will aim to create resources on how to improve trusts and publish a report after taking evidence.

The panel includes Professor Becky Francis, chief executive of the Education Endowment Foundation, Tom Rees, executive director of Ambition Institute, Ed Vainker, chief executive of the Reach Foundation, Rob Coe, director of research and improvement at Evidence Based Education, and Dr Kate Chhatwal, chief executive of Challenge Partners.

It will aim to draw on expertise from not only experts but also trusts of “different sizes, geographies and operating models”.

Rollett said: “This inquiry is about understanding what works and why, and how that can be applied so that everyone benefits.

“We don’t believe there is a single model of how to run or improve trusts, but we do think there is more we can collectively know about trust improvement, with insight into concrete practices and approaches.

“This inquiry will not be the last word on how trusts improve but we hope it will make a significant contribution and be of benefit to the sector.”

The panel also includes senior leaders at eight multi-academy trusts:

  • Dan Nicholls, Executive Director of Education, Cabot Learning Federation
  • Dawn Haywood, Chief Executive, Windsor Academy Trust
  • Jennese Alozie, Chief Executive, University of Chichester Academy Trust
  • Jenny Thompson, Executive Director, Dixons Academies Trust
  • Lekha Sharma, School Improvement Lead, Avanti Schools Trust
  • Rob Tarn CBE, Chief Executive, Northern Education Trust
  • Warren Carratt, Chief Executive, Nexus Multi-Academy Trust
  • Will Smith, Chief Executive, Greenshaw Learning Trust

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