How we support our schools
The Trust believes that schools should be run by, and their improvement driven by, their staff led by their leadership team and governing body. The Trust will provide the support and infrastructure the schools need to enable them to develop and improve and for the school leadership and governing body to achieve their objectives for their school.
The Trust and its schools will work in partnership, within a culture of trust and openness. We will promote honest and transparent dialogue with and between schools, and school-to-school collaboration to ensure schools receive the support they need. The school’s leadership team and governing body will take responsibility for the school’s educational and financial performance and developing their school’s individual character.
The Trust will aim for maximum delegation to each school’s leadership team and governing body, only qualifying that where necessary for the trust to fulfill its statutory duties and to ensure school improvement. In exercising their delegated authority, the headteacher / governing body shall have regard to the agreed policies and procedures of the Trust and any views of the Trustees.
Schools in the Greenshaw Learning Trust will need to act in accordance with the agreed policies and procedures of the Trust, which themselves must be in accordance with the Funding Agreements and Articles of Association of the Trust.
The Trust takes a small 'top slice' from each school's budget to enable it to carry out its statutory responsibilities and provide core services to the schools in the Trust, including:
- Audit, filing accounts, reporting to the DfE (individual schools do not need to do this).
- Clerking and administrative support to the local governing body.
- Monitoring school performance and reporting to the Board of Trustees.
- Performance management of headteachers on behalf of the Trust and in support of governing bodies.
- Regular liaison and communication between the Trust / Board and the school / governing body.
- Promoting and facilitating collaboration and joint working between schools.
- School improvement - advice and guidance from specialist primary and secondary experts, regular meetings, immediate support by phone/email,
- Brokering school-to school support as required by the school, directing support where required to ensure school improvement.
- Finance - advice and support on budget planning, monitoring, purchasing, capital projects etc.
- HR and payroll - payment of staff, support in resolving HR issues.
- Recruitment advice and support.
- Admissions - establishing and consulting on admissions arrangements and administering appeals.
- Supporting staff training and development.
- Policies and procedures - support for the development and review of policies and procedures including the provision of model policies.
- Governance - information and advice to the governing body and clerk, coordination of governor training and development.
In addition, the Trust can offer a range of high quality and cost-effective support services to its schools and others, including:
- Catering – providing cost-effective, freshly made, healthy meals for pupils and staff.
- Communications, web/e-presence and publications.
- Pupil services including curriculum support, data tracking, numeracy and literacy intervention, timetabling.
- Finance services, capital planning applications.
- Supporting admissions.
- SEN, speech and language.
Specifically, to ensure that the Trust can carry out its statutory responsibilities for school improvement, financial monitoring and audit, and as an employer, schools in the Greenshaw Learning Trust will need to:
- Ensure its local governance is in line with and supports the policies and procedures of the Trust.
- Participate in the Trust’s monitoring and support arrangements in relation to school finances and pupil outcomes.
Schools in the Trust will be expected to be open and honest about their challenges and to embrace a collaborative approach to improvement, taking responsibility for their performance, accepting the support they need and helping and supporting others where they are able to.
The school is responsible for ensuring the Trust receives the information it requires to carry out its responsibilities. If a school joining the Trust uses different systems, the school will over time move into line with the Trust procedures, on a plan and timetable agreed between the school and the Trust. Costs of data transfer/compatibility where a school chooses different systems will be paid by the school.
Schools will be expected to engage with the Trust in reviewing their policies and procedures to ensure they meet legislative requirements and are effective and represent best practice. The Trust will support schools in updating their policies and procedures and sharing experience and good practice, and will maintain a set of model policies and provide policy advice to schools.