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Alpha Academies Trust

School Improvement Model

The Trust School Improvement Model – 2020/2021


The Trust has set a strategic agenda to ensure it delivers excellence in education to raise aspiration and ensure every child meets their full potential. It has devised the following six aims in order to meet this strategic ambition.

  1. Adding capacity
  2. High performing
  3. Collaborative
  4. People (to attract, develop and retain the best talent)
  5. Finance and Infrastructure (sustainable finance and infrastructure)
  6. Effective leadership

The Trust’s work on school improvement is evident within each aim with clear success criteria to ensure educational transformation. The Trust will work with every academy within our family of schools to support school improvement on two levels:

  • Innovate: Educational development is always advancing. To build great schools, the culture of innovation and ongoing development needs to be fostered. The Trust school improvement strategy aims to support academies working together on common priority areas using research and development and sharing of good practice.
  • Repair and Stabilise: All students within the Trust should benefit from high standards and effective provision. Where standards stall, the Trust will act quickly to implement effective practice supported by a central team of proven leaders.

Components – Trust School Improvement Strategy

Audit and Analyse: Key Performance Indicators

The following performance standards have been adopted to provide a clear line of sight on the quality of education/curriculum and overall academy performance:

Target Setting- At the start of every academic year the Trust will set targets with each academy to realise the performance standards above. The targets set will be challenging but achievable to ensure rapid progress or sustained high performance. The targets proposed for each academy will be reviewed at the local governing board before being formally agreed by Trust Board in October. Once targets are agreed they will form the success criteria in development plans and the performance management for senior leaders across the Trust.

The Academy Card (appendix 1), which is centrally managed, will document each academy’s targets and provide live data on how successfully these targets are being achieved over the year.

Plan and Implement

Academy: The targets set will inform the priorities in academy development plans with a clear timeline for implementation. Where there are common priorities academies will seek to work together across the Trust.

Trust: The level and nature of how the Trust will support academy improvement work will be classified into 3 tiers, which will be identified at the start of each academic year (see below):


The following mechanisms are in place to review the effectiveness of academy improvement planning and how Trust support is allowing all academies meet the strategic aims and performance standards set by the Trust.

Local Governing Boards

The Trust board has delegated the standards review for individual academies to each local governing board. The Trust board will ensure each local governing board has the appropriate skills and experience to conduct the support and challenge role effectively. Governors at each academy will use the following tools to ensure improvement planning is leading towards set targets.

  • External review/school improvement partner reports
  • Academy card review (how well targets are being met)
  • Position statement by the Trust on school improvement activity and how well each academy is meeting set priorities
  • Reports from senior leaders on key priorities
  • Academy development plan review
  • Link governor visits
  • Challenge and Improvement committees (held more regularly in Tier 2+3 academies)

Trust Board

The CEO and other members of the executive will report to Trust Board regularly on how well academies are performing and the effectiveness of Trust school improvement support. The evaluation provided will support the Trust Board in setting the future strategy to meet the set performance standards. Tools that the Trust board will use to review performance and effectiveness:

External support

Each academy will have an NLE or other suitably qualified educational expert to act as the Standards improvement Partner. All Standards Improvement Partners will be approved by the Trust board with the primary role to:

  • Quality assure and ensure the correct school improvement actions have been identified with robust data underpinning evaluation.
  • Support development where appropriate and connect leaders to good practice.

In addition, the Trust will commission external reviews to evaluate and support the development of the quality of education in each academy.

New schools joining the Trust

A baseline assessment is undertaken during the due diligence process to establish overall school performance against national benchmarks and Trust KPIs. A review of published data together with the school’s latest in-year data is undertaken along with a review of the school improvement plan and latest SEF. The Trust will evaluate whether a broad and balanced curriculum is in place that is effective and appropriate. All schools joining the Trust will be welcomed into the collaborative family with a role in supporting school improvement across the Trust. Where a school has been identified as a capacity taker through the due diligence process, the Trust will use its central capacity (see appendix 2) to support rapid school improvement. In addition, when appropriate, the Trust will commission support from other MATs and individual specialists in order to take swift action and implement strategies to make a positive impact on educational outcomes.

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