The Trust has agreed a vision which can best be summarised by our motto:
Growing Excellent Learning Communities Together
We want the very best of futures all our pupils, we want them to find out about, be inspired by and enjoy the world they live in. We want them to have the confidence to recognise and grasp opportunities that they are given and to have high expectations of themselves and others.
We want our staff to feel valued, to be outward looking and have the skills that enable them to contribute and have an impact on the success of the Trust Schools.
Our vision is supported through our aims, which are:
- To cultivate and maintain high standards for all
- To help all schools succeed
- To invest in the development of our excellent staff
- To encourage positive relationships between all Trust schools and their communities
- To ensure financial stability
- To provide the best facilities, ensuring schools have excellent facilities and a safe environment
- OUR CORE VALUES
As a Trust we have 4 core values:
which for our children translate to
- Proud to be me
- Enjoy Learning
- Achieve Success
- Respect for the World
These are embedded throughout the curriculum and form the foundation of the education of our pupils. Through these values, our aim is to develop well-rounded individuals who will have the skills and aptitude to become successful members of British society and the world-wide community.
They can be seen in the daily life of our schools:
- Celebration of success and values in assemblies
- Work showcased around the school
- Learning which stimulates children’s interests and is clearly enjoyable
- Short term targets are set which mean children understand the steps they need to make to progress in their learning
- A curriculum which draws on the richness of society and encourages respect for all and for the environment
In line with our aims and values one of the main goals of the Black Pear Trust is to ensure that schools are well led. To this end schools will have core support in respect of administration and management so that leaders can focus on teaching and learning.
Leaders will be effectively supported in the running of their schools, enabling them to focus on ensuring that their school improves and that staff are supported and developed to provide the very best opportunities for the children in each school.
We will work together as a team to provide an excellent curriculum, share professional expertise and help with finance to allow leaders to maximise the potential of every individual child and adult.
Growing Learning Communities together, our vision, will be reflected in our approach to all of the work that we do with our schools. Our aims will be supported through strategic leadership of the following core areas;
- School Improvement
- Human Resources
- Building and Grounds
- Health and Safety
- Educational Visits
- Marketing and brand guidelines
- Community engagement
The Trust believes that through collaboration and by sharing best practice, teaching staff will grow in expertise and this will improve the experience of all children in our care. There are always areas which can be improved in a school and we will support a research and CPD programme in consultation with the headteacher of each school to continually develop school staff, speciﬁcally targeted on local needs and linked to the school development plan. All school leaders will contribute to, and inform the school development plan which allows school staff to be innovative and schools to build a culture that reflects their pupils’ needs.
The Black Pear Trust believes that school leadership should be delegated to headteachers from an operational perspective. The Trust will monitor the policies, procedures and systems to ensure they are ﬁt-for-purpose and will support the headteacher if and when appropriate.
Our central offer of School Improvement is aimed at supporting and challenging schools in their drive to deliver good or better outcomes for children. We aim, to secure sustainable improvements led by outstanding leaders, centring on pupil progression, behaviour, teaching and a curriculum that enriches children’s learning. The Trust will work closely with headteachers to lead and support quality assurance procedures and analyse performance. They will support leaders in recognising barriers to learning and will help broker support and monitor the impact of that support.
Through our regular headteacher meetings we will discuss current educational issues and legislation to ensure that everyone is up to date and that we work together to share expertise to support one another in developing excellent schools.
- The Trust can provide support in the following key areas:-
- Induction support followed by regular consultancy
- Targeted support to ensure that all schools make rapid and sustained progress
- Support with analysis of performance data to enhance targeted school improvement
- Pupil Premium Audit and Following Support to achieve recommendations
- Curriculum enrichment and development support
- Shared expertise and targeted support to underpin outstanding standards of teaching and learning including support for teaching improvement and competency cases
- Support for strategic planning for school improvement
- Support structural change where this is the required school improvement route
- Quality assurance framework
- Personal development and staff well being
- Support in providing school improvement documentation, including SEF, Summary SEF and development plans
- Annual school review by Trust members or where appropriate broker an outside consultant
- Access to the Trust’s shared portal of resources on Office 365
- Building partnership support across the Trust and with other local schools
- Support for the provision of additional adult and community learning
- Identiﬁcation of, and development of, talent across the Trust to support schools’ needs
- Benchmarking of standards, data analysis, target setting and action planning, including the tracking of progress and development of data dashboards
- School speciﬁc Ofsted support, including preparation for the visit, Trust support on the day of the visit
- An annual cycle of support, monitoring, evaluation and review, including:
- Performance Management
- Headteacher performance management target setting
- Termly support and challenge visits
- Due diligence with reports and actions plans
- Pupil Premium reviews
- Support of the achievement agenda, particularly in key transition year groups
- Leadership Development
- Performance review
- Headship NPQH and induction for new heads; peer support within the trust or affiliated schools
- Senior leadership development through nationally accredited programmes e.g. NPQSL
- Black Pear Trust programme for middle leaders
- Professional mentoring and coaching for middle leaders
- Continuous professional career development and training
- Schools’ network collaborative meetings and conferences with affiliated schools and associations
- Professional learning networks
The Black Pear Trust believes in strong local governance as knowledge of and response to local need promotes excellence. Each school that joins the Trust has its own Local Governing Body (LGB). A Scheme of Delegation empowers the Local Governing Body to make decisions in the best interests of the children and the community it serves. We keep a close relationship with our LGBs and can provide targeted support where appropriate. We have a framework for the year helping Governing Bodies meet ﬁnance regulations, discuss key information at key times during the year, and keep OFSTED ready.
The Trust will cover:
- Schedule of meetings
- Support with recruitment if needed
- Members AGM
- Quality Assurance of LGBs
- Governor training in key areas:
- Holding the Headteacher to account
- Data Analysis
- The effective use of Pupil Premium
- School Improvement
- Financial Management
- Health & Safety including the safeguarding of children
The Trust can support:
- Governor recruitment
- Governor training and development
- Governor networks
- An annual cycle of monitoring, evaluation, and review
- Governor toolkits
- Exceptional school improvement expertise
- Governor Induction, training and support
- An active commitment to excellent Governance at school level
- Updates to Governing Bodies on legal changes and changes to OFSTED frameworks
The Black Pear Trust can and will provide a first response service to personnel needs. Support can be provided for areas such as recruitment and advice for people management and operational support organisational and staff development. However schools within the Trust presently continue to use Liberata , as commissioned by Worcestershire Local Authority, for Human Resources. Through them schools have access to a high quality human resources specialist who can provide support for recruitment, capability and disciplinary processes and advice on employment legislation. The Trust uses Liberata model policies for HR as these have been agree by the local union representative board. Liberata are also responsible for Black Pear Trust contracts, payroll services and pension support.
Strategic support and speciﬁc expertise in Human Resources include:
- All statutory HR policies as referred to above
- Statutory Induction
- Advice and guidance on handling allegations made against teachers and staff
- Pension completion and return
- Procedures for managing staff welfare, absence and attendance
- Regular audit of the school’s Single Central Register and any template updates required in view of best practice and safeguarding
- Support with completion of the annual School Workforce Census
- Management of the recruitment checks prior to start of appointment including DBS, prohibition, section 128, reference application and checking, eligibility to work in UK and medical check
- Overseeing the issuing of employment contracts to new employees by Liberata
Each school retains its own delegated budget managed by the school leadership team. The Funding Agreements for the schools are with the Trust, but the Trust delegates almost all of the resources direct to the schools to ensure maximum possible beneﬁt to the pupils. Presently the Trust is proposing a delegation of 95% of allocated funds to the individual schools.
Any amount retained by the Trust is to ensure that the Trust budget covers the central support service. Members and Trustees are aware that this ﬁgure, dependent on growth of the Trust and issues faced, may vary year on year, but the commitment remains to ensuring maximum funding in each school. Consolidated accounts are kept linking all the schools and the Trust budget which feed in to the accounts. The Trust accounts are currently audited by Bishop Fleming. Individual schools will be supported by the Trust’s Finance Officer.
Academy Trusts are charitable companies and have to comply with Charity and Company Law as well as comply with reporting requirements to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).
The Black Pear Trust has a Finance Officer who will support schools and take care of statutory reporting requirements. The Trust has established accounting systems and procedures that ensure schools fully comply with ﬁnancial requirements of the ESFA and that their ﬁnance operations run efﬁciently.
The Trust aims to support its schools in reducing the ﬁnancial burden by improving the efﬁciency of the ﬁnance function.
The Black Pear Trust provides the following for its schools:
- Ensuring compliance with the funding agreement (Master and Supplemental)
- Ensuring compliance with the Academies Financial Handbook issued by the ESFA annually
- Ensuring all policies relating to Finance are compliant and implemented
- Ensuring the Trust ﬁnancial procedures manual is compliant and implemented appropriately
- Day to day support with VAT Accounting, submission of monthly returns to HMRC and dealing with queries raised by HMRC
- Day to day support with accounting and system queries
- Ensuring the Payroll function is completed
- Employee beneﬁt administration
- LGPS and TPS monthly administration and preparation/submission of annual certiﬁcates
- Management of capital projects and ensuring all spend is controlled
- Support for capital funding bids
- Strategic procurement reviews to leverage economies of scale across the Trust
- Insurance arrangements, including procurement of insurance cover for the Trust
- Management of banking facilities for the Trust
- Preparation of management reporting for Trustees
- Management of the annual budget setting process, providing support to schools where appropriate
- Update of budgets throughout the year including review meetings with schools
- Support with three to ﬁve year ﬁnancial planning models
- Strategic ﬁnancial planning, both medium and long term, including VAT and cash ﬂow
- Arrangement and management of Internal Audits, including reporting to the Trustees and ensuring recommendations are implemented
- First point of contact for external auditors, management of annual external audit for the trust, preparation of audit documentation and providing any training to academies as required
- Preparation of DfE/ESFA ﬁnancial returns
- Year-end close down of the ﬁnancial systems, including processing year-end adjustments
- Preparation of annual ﬁnancial statements ensuring compliance with the Academies Accounts Direction issued by the ESFA annually
- Submission of annual ﬁnancial statements to the ESFA and Companies House
- Ensuring corporation tax returns and payments are accurately completed and submitted on time
- Ongoing management of Trust accounting and budgeting software and providing training to staff
The central offer will ensure a programme of external audit and completion of statutory accounts has been set, ensuring year end ﬁles are collected and submitted to the auditors, submitting returns to the DfE, ESFA, Companies House, Charities Commission and Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Strategic and ﬁnancial planning such as preparing monthly reports and an annual ﬁnancial report to Trustees, ﬁnancial benchmarking, exchequer services and supporting academies in making capital (CIF) and other bids in order to enhance their funding streams.
Property and Grounds Management Including Health and Safety
The Trust is committed to the development and maintenance of high quality, safe environments for children and staff to work within.
As the employer, the Trust retains corporate responsibility for health and safety and will broker, presently through MBNH, strategic support and speciﬁc expertise in:
- All health and safety related policies
- Quality assure all health and safety procedures including: – Asbestos, Legionella, Fire Alarm checking – Risk Assessing –
- Quality assure the site management and development plans
- Project management for building works
- Compliance with food standards
- Business rates
- Gas, electricity, LPG, Smart Metering, Forward Pricing, energy management and efﬁciency, sub metering and monitoring, Green Policy development, CRC management, Carbon Trust funding and implementation, renewable and sustainable energy sources
- Review and develop bids from academies for Capital Expenditure based on health and safety related issues
The Trust presently brokers BS educational visit support. The Trust believes that Educational Visits are an essential part of curriculum enhancement and should be planned within the whole school curriculum. Educational Visits widen the experiences of disadvantaged children and provide massive opportunities for language development.
The Trust takes its safeguarding responsibility very seriously. All staff are checked for suitability to work within our schools and all Trust schools are supported in ensuring safeguarding policies and procedures are robust, relevant and up to date. The trust brokers regular audits to ensure schools are compliant with national legislation.
- Engagement with the communities that the school serves to both provide wider educational opportunities and to empower them to tackle barriers to educational achievement and progress.
- The Trust values partnerships with the local community for mutual gain and works with local charities and organisations to provide the widest experiences possible for our pupils.