Key principles

•    The purpose of the trust, captured in its vision and mission, is to improve schools. As such all our activity should be seen through the prism of school improvement, and our school improvement approach reflects this.

•    We believe that the most critical factor in driving school improvement is our people. We are committed to recruiting, retaining, and developing a the best staff, instilling in them a passion for education. These people are then held to account through a robust accountability framework to deliver top quality performance. These principles reflect our values.

•    We are committed to a cyclical process of continuous improvement in all schools, based on knowing our schools in depth, challenging leaders and those charged with governance to deliver the very best for their schools, and supporting schools in delivering their plans and meeting their ambitious targets.

•    We adopt a risk-based approach to school improvement, to ensure we prioritise the mitigation of the highest educational risks in our trust as quickly as possible, whilst committing to drive improvement in all schools.

Process used to establish key strategic priorities

School improvement priorities for the first year of operation were established by reviewing the trust’s structures, processes and ways of working against the CST Strong Trust Quality Assurance Framework.

Details of the process of mapping this framework against the trust’s core values, the self-assessment undertaken against each area of the framework, and the rationale for identifying the following priorities is available within the board papers for the 5th October 2023.

The Trust’s Strategic Priorities 2023-24

1.    Establishing a Culture of continuous improvement
To establish a culture of continuous improvement based on knowing our schools through rigorous self-evaluation, data analysis, and quality assurance work, providing robust challenge to drive further improvement, and effectively identifying and deploying support to drive improvement.

2.    Systematically identifying and utilising expertise

To identify a body of subject and aspect school improvement specialists across the trust central team, within schools, and externally, deploy these specialists to support schools, and ensure this support is clearly defined and its impact is monitored.

3.    Defining quality education and establishing accountability frameworks to embed this

To define high quality educational provision, with reference to the Ofsted inspection framework and National Curriculum, and establish suitable qualitative and quantitative accountability frameworks to enable the trust to hold schools to account for delivering on this definition.