Associate Academy Membership

Associate Membership of Schoolsworks Academy Trust Explained

Choosing to convert to an academy, or select an academy trust to work with, is a significant decision for any school. The opportunity to work with a network of like minded schools is an exciting one but the importance of the decision can’t be underestimated. Ultimately it’s vital to ensure the right synergy is in place.

In recognition of this we offer schools the opportunity to join us on a temporary basis through our Associate Membership.

About Associate Membership

Membership is offered to single academies and maintained schools that have an interest in exploring what life is like as part of a multi-academy trust. The programme has been carefully designed to enable schools and academies to benefit from some intentional peer-to-peer, school-to-school engagement and to experience how a multi-academy trust works. Membership runs for one term and is limited to two schools at a time.

Associate Membership in Practice

After entering into an agreement to become an Associate Member, school leaders, governors and staff can access a number of Trust activities. These include school visits, inter-school gatherings including our monthly Head’s Forum, Focus Groups, local governance meetings and CPD and training opportunities. We will also invite the head and chair of governors to observe a meeting of the Board of Directors.

School Visits

We feel school visits are particularly valuable and would be delighted to welcome visits to any of our schools to talk to members of staff or those in governance about life in a multi-academy trust.  

Head’s Forum

This group meets monthly with the aim of sharing good practice, offering mutual support and encouragement and providing alignment for the Trust. Last year the Head’s Forum: 

  • Devised a Trust wide support staff appraisal system  
  • Drew up a graded work scrutiny monitoring grid 
  • Shared resources for lesson observations 
  • Commissioned and implemented a Trust wide ‘assessment without levels’ programme – Insight 
  • Shared training on understanding the Inspection Dashboards 

Focus Groups

Staff members are welcome to attend attending any of the range of Focus Groups which are regularly held. These include: 

  • Maths Leaders Group – currently supporting schools to deliver a mastery curriculum 
  • English Leaders Group – recently reviewed and implemented the most effective strategies for teaching spelling and organising a range of moderation events for a variety of year groups 
  • Assessment Group – currently finessing Insight to support the tracking of progress and attainment 
  • EYFS Team – currently introducing our selected new baseline assessment scheme 
  • SEND managers – working together to share expertise in this demanding area 
  • Finance and Business Team meetings – ably led by the Trust’s Chief Financial Officer (an experienced qualified accountant), this group meets to face our ‘back-room’ challenges. These include EFA regulation, effective procurement and budgeting, financial and accounting software systems, internet banking as well as working to manage as many risk, compliance, HR and premises issues as possible centrally to remove pressure from schools
  • Deputy Heads Group – who meet to plan and deliver a number of positive development initiatives including a very popular ‘RQT’ INSET day 

Governance

Your Chair and/or Vice-Chair of Governors would be encouraged to observe our Chairs Forum which offers a termly support and briefing session for those leading our School Community Councils (formerly Local Governing Bodies). The aim of these meetings is to ensure inter-school dialogue and create strong governance structures which are effective in monitoring school performance, supporting the school in community engagement and fundraising, and managing compliance and risk issues. The Chairs Forum also ensures a healthy connect between the Board and local school governance.

CPD and Training

Staff members are able to observe and participate in joint staff meetings, held in different academy schools, which create a forum to share best practice. We aim to share staff meeting themes across the Trust, so staff can join relevant training sessions or INSET days in any of our schools which might also support individual CPD.

Board Meetings

In order to gain an understanding about leadership within the Trust any member of your SLT or local governing body would be warmly welcomed to observe one of the termly meetings of our Board of Directors. As well as being company directors, the Board acts as the Governing Body of our schools and the trustees of the Trust. Also available is the opportunity for the head, SBM or bursar of an associate member school to attend one of the half termly finance or audit meetings.

The Cost

The cost of the Associate Membership package is £499.

For more information

In the first instance please contact Louise Pope, Schoolsworks Executive PA, on 01903 739988 or louise.pope@schoolsworks.org.

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