As funding for education reduces in real terms, even the best, most successful schools and academies will have to consider how they will be able to maintain front-line teaching and support staff in the medium term
SGS Academy Trust was established after a request by Sir David Carter, the South West Regional Schools' Commissioner to our parent sponsor, South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, to support schools in Gloucestershire and the West of England who may need the economies of scale and specific expertise within the College – especially the back-office capabilities.
All Multi Academy Trusts profess to have a clear focus on the type of education approach they advocate and will state that they have a constant focus on improving quality through staff development. However, at SGSAT we believe a Trust should be doing this as a minimum and that with our current expertise we can deliver that and much, much more 'added value' services to free up budgets and create economies of scale.
Each school is different and whilst we will provide peer support, advice and structure where needed, we also respect the approaches taken at Good or Outstanding Schools and will not change what is obviously working in that school's context.
SGSAT does not believe that one size (or approach) fits all. We will not ask a school to adopt a single pedagogy, change into a homogenous corporate 'brand' or indeed insist on a 'central -office' dictated method of working. We will ask schools to work with each other openly and transparently to share best practice within the Trust's family of schools. Headteachers will be recognised for their expertise and desire to be leaders within their schools and will be asked to contribute to the growth of the Trust.
Our Trust will support schools only when required - otherwise we will focus on reducing bureaucracy and back-office costs so schools can continue to flourish
So, for Good or Outstanding Schools, joining SGSAT will not mean that the Head Teacher or Governing Body loses control or influence over the school. SGSAT will work with the Head Teacher to take back-office workload away from their role, focus on improving system efficiency and reduce the costs of non-teaching functions and of purchases such as consumables, energy, waste, catering and cleaning etc.
An effective Head Teacher focusses on teaching and learning and the pupil experience. Academisation has placed a considerable non-teaching burden on school leaders and this is at best costly, at worst it can distract from the primary role of being the Head Teacher.
SGSAT, as with all Multi-Academy Trusts, will legally be accountable for any school's financial health and academic performance who join the Trust. However, for Good or Outstanding Schools we will delegate most responsibilities to the Local Governing Boards.
SGSAT would cover any central service costs through savings identified within the school, with 50% of all savings identified being split between the school and Trust, with the Trust taking up to a maximum of 4.9% of a School's General Access Grant. Any additional savings would be retained within the school. If savings are not found, then the school would receive support services for free.
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