We are delighted that you are considering joining The Dean Trust. We hope this information will provide you with the guidance that you need to decide whether your school would like to start the conversation about applying to join our Trust.
A Trust is a group of schools working in deep and purposeful collaboration as one entity, under a single governance structure, to improve and maintain high educational standards across the trust.
Leora Cruddas, CBE
Confederation of School Trusts
I’ve been a headteacher for 15 years. I started as a headteacher of a single-form entry, local authority school in Lancashire before moving to a two-form entry school in Trafford. Our school then converted to an academy and joined The Dean Trust.
I became Executive Headteacher in 2017 of Forest Gate Academy and Partington Central Academy
One of our most significant successes in recent months has been the collaboration between the primary and secondary schools. Secondary subject leaders have spent time in primary schools to look at the curriculum, talk to children, look at books and see lessons in action. This exercise has been really useful to develop partnerships across phases and for our secondary colleagues to see the standards of achievement in the primary settings. It’s been particularly significant for Year 6-7 transition. In 2022, we had our first well-being INSET day and we had such positive feedback that this is now an annual event. This builds on the success of our joint primary INSET day which is an annual event attended by staff from all 4 primary schools.
Another highlight is the levels of engagement of our pupils in the school enrichment programme and the variety of clubs on offer. Almost all of our children attend a club and access enhancements to the curriculum through trips and visitors to school. A full and varied enrichment programme is a key priority for the Trust and this is really beneficial to our children. Staff offer an extensive range of clubs, supplemented by bought-in agencies and community groups. This has been received really well by our families and the clubs are thriving.
Chair of Governors
Technically retired although I am active in a range of charities and community groups.
When I retired I decided I wanted to give something back to the community, I was attracted to Forest Gate which at that time was a local authority Community School.
Although we were already part of the West Trafford Learning Partnership and could see the value of collective and collaborative working it was a big step to become an Academy as part of the Trust.
The main concerns were linked to taking a step into the unknown, what would it mean in practice, where would responsibilities lie, would the school still retain its independence. I was also concerned that the concept and development of academies was being driven by central government.
As part of the West Trafford Learning Partnership, we knew the team that we would be joining. The main thing we knew was that they had a commitment to improving educational outcomes through a very inclusive and community-based approach. This gave us the confidence we needed to move forward.
The support provided by the Trust was excellent, we went though all areas of the conversion process, talked about the implications, and agreed the way forward. It was a very inclusive process; they were always available to answer any questions and take the views of everyone into account.
I realised that academisation whilst being driven by central government created the scope for responsibility and control for improving educational outcomes to be delegated to the right people.
• Clarity of the vision for improving educational outcomes.
• Clarity over roles and responsibilities
• Economies of scale and the effective use of resources.
• Collaboration and co-production across all schools.
• Focus on the future – where would you like your school to be in five years’ time.
• Do not be afraid to ask questions – especially the difficult ones.
• Talk to other schools that have joined the Trust.
• The behaviour and conduct of our pupils inside and outside the schools, visitors and observers regularly comment on how we should be proud of the way our pupils conduct themselves.
• Our continued approach and development of inclusive leadership and teamwork, everyone in our schools knows the value of the contribution they make to improved educational outcomes.
• Our continued focus on improved educational outcomes through our knowledge of the needs and potential of every pupil in our schools, our effective use of systems, processes and management information.