Our role will be to ensure there is an unremitting focus on improvement in our schools, through our leadership, support and challenge role. We will focus on every pupil being able to achieve their potential and through that, have highly performing schools that are proud of their achievements and have the capacity to continue to improve.
- Where necessary, we will transform the leadership and governance arrangements in our schools, ensuring that staff have access to high quality support, advice and challenge with a focus on school improvement, including discipline and behaviour for learning. Our focus as sponsor will be on the value we add to individual schools, backed by our strength in being able to utilise data and other information to ensure that our resources are targeted (for example on work with underperforming groups) to where they can make the most impact.
- We will work with our schools to maximise the use of new technology, using the capacity we have in Learningpoint, to develop and sustain a stimulating curriculum and learning environment in school and beyond that supports both teachers and learners 24/7, and establish effective professional networks across all the Trust’s schools.
- A benefit of working with a number of schools across the age range is the potential to highlight and share excellent practice through professional collaboration and we see one of our key roles as being the provision of mechanisms to enable this to happen in an easy and cost effective way.
- We will support our school leaders through the provision of high quality advice and well-targeted staff CPD while ensuring value for money in the provision of services, maximising the funds available for teaching and learning.
Our offer for Pupil Referral Units who aspire to academy status
The Active Learning Trust (ALT) has been created to support all establishments to meet the highest aspirations for their pupils and we believe that high quality Alternative Provision is essential in ensuring that the needs of some of the most vulnerable learners are met. Concerns about outcomes for pupils educated in Alternative Provision were highlighted in the Ofsted report from June 2011, ‘Alternative Provision’ and the recent Taylor Report, ‘Improving Alternative Education’. The Taylor report highlighted that only 1.4% of pupils in PRUs achieve 5 A*-C including English and Maths compared to 53.4% of their peers in mainstream education. There are a number of characteristics of PRUs which make them different to any other form of provision, including volatile mixes and social groupings of pupils. We know that local provision with excellent leadership, supported by our national team, can make a real difference for young people who are educated in alternative provision. This offer sets out how we would support the transfer to academy status through the Trust and how PRUs would form part of the Trust once that status has been achieved.
Our offer to the leaders of PRUs both at the local authority and at institution level is underpinned by our aims to oversee the leadership and management of a group of successful academies where a professional, collaborative network ensures that good practice is shared across the Trust. Our offer includes the ability of the staff in PRUs to have access to our team and to become part of a Trust where their expertise is valued and their knowledge and skills are used to support other colleagues across the Trust.
Should a decision be made to seek academy status, our team is ready to support both the initial process of moving to academy status and provide the sponsorship of the establishments once approval is given. This includes:
- Support in the consultation process and helping with the engagement of stakeholders by sharing with them the Trust’s aims and vision
- Support in all the human resource, legal, financial and property areas that are impacted upon in the transfer process
- Working with the PRU leadership on the key activities that the Trust’s team must undertake in the first month, first three months, and first year to support the move to the new status , including setting out clearly the resources (both in terms of time and funding) that are to be available to support development.
Once the PRU is part of the Active Learning Trust, we will:
- Provide both the curriculum and other support needed by PRU leaders in their work in line with an agreed improvement plan
- Provide access to day to day support to minimise the administration and maximise the time spent on improvement activities that have a direct impact on learning
- Ensure that PRU staff are fully engaged in appropriate CPD activities that will provide access both to quality curriculum support and support in the delivery of that curriculum to pupils attending the PRU
- Seek to build strong relationships with other schools in the area covered by the PRU which will seek to build transition arrangements for pupils that supports their learning
- Maintain close working relationships with Local Authorities to ensure that the development of the PRU aligns with any other local developments.
- Maintain/establish local governance arrangements for the PRU that support local delivery and help us to meet our obligations as employer to the staff and leaders of the PRU.
Our guiding principles regarding the effective operation of the PRU include the following;
- The establishment of a broad, balanced and relevant curricula, including the Ebac, well integrated with the needs of business, local communities and the realities of work beyond school, valuing all forms of learning including experiential learning and opportunities to work in real life assignments in partnership with local communities and employers.
- The establishment of a calm and purposeful learning environment where staff and pupils are valued and proud of their achievements, and where those achievements are owned and shared by parents, carers and the community
- Effective and appropriate use of new technologies for staff and pupils to support learning both in the classroom and elsewhere – including links with mainstream schools where this is beneficial
- Community ‘ownership’ of our Academies and schools and that they are seen as the schools of choice by their communities
- Strong and sustained links with further and higher education
The Trust's legal advisers are Mullis and Peake LLP. The commercial team at Mullis & Peake LLP are able to provide a wide range of services to assist with the legal and procedural aspects of running a business from the formation of a new company to reorganising and restructuring an existing business. The combined experience of the team means that they are perfectly placed to assist schools in their conversion to academy status with the Active Learning Trust.