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Alpha Academies Trust

School Improvement Model 2020/2021


The Trust has a duty to support school improvement for all academies within the Trust. The Trust school improvement strategy aims to work on two levels:

  1. Innovate: Educational development is always advancing. To build great schools, the culture of innovation needs to be fostered. The Trust school improvement strategy aims to support academies working together using research and development to innovate around areas of strength.
  2. 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.

Principles linked to the six aims of the Trust

  • Students/Children First: Plans positively identify solutions and all students benefit from the most effective practice.
  • High performing: Improvement is rapid; innovation continually raises the bar.
  • Collaborative: “We are the Trust,” moral purpose to support each other.
  • People: The best talent is used to support improvement.
  • Sustainable finance and infrastructure: Plans are costed and access a central resource pool.
  • Leadership: Effective governance quality assures and helps identify the right things to do.

Components: Trust School Improvement Strategy

[Trust School Improvement Strategy Venn Diagram]

Audit and Analyse: Key Performance Indicators

Five performance priorities have been adopted to provide a clear line of sight on the quality of education overall academy performance:

  • All children are making at least expected progress
  • Curriculum provides breadth promotes personal development
  • Teaching is assessed as being at least secure ‘Good’
  • Pupil attendance is in line with the national average or better
  • All pupils value education and achieve a positive post school transition

The academy card (appendix 1), which is centrally managed, will document each academy’s KPIs and provide live data on how successfully these targets are being achieved. This, along with individual academy risk registers that evaluate educational standards, will inform Local Governing Boards, which conduct regular standards reviews. The Trust Board has oversight of all standards reviews through the Trust Standards Committee. This Committee, whose membership includes a National Leader of Education, will also evaluate the effectiveness of school improvement actions implemented through the plan and implement phase.

[Plan and Implement Section]

Plan and Implement

Academy: Academy improvement planning will use the audit and analyse cycle to evaluate priorities and inform academy development plans. these plans will be scrutinised through governance during the course of the year.

Trust: The level and nature in 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):

Tier 1 Criteria

Positive outcome trend

Overall effectiveness – Good

Annual Reviews identify effective capacity

Low risk of school improvement failure (Risk Register)

Academy Led

Building on area of strength through innovation with results shared across the Trust.

Trust Support

  • Commission partner to support evidenced based research and development.
  • Trust network group to support innovation.
  • Information shared through teaching and learning netowork/website.

Tier 2 Criteria

Negative outcome (One Year)

Overall effectiveness – Good

Annual reviews identify effective capacity

medium risk of school improvement failure (Risk Register)

Academy Led

Time limited period to implement bespoke improvement strategy. KPIs identified through academy development plan and monitored through academy card.

Trust Support

  • Commission good practice school partner.
  • Central team deployed. (See Appendix 2)
  • SLE / Lead Practitioner support.
  • Trust network group support.
  • Commission additional reviews.
  • Trust CPD programme.

Tier 3 Criteria (Any One Descriptor)

Negative outcomes pattern and trend beyond one year

Inadequate / RI Overall Effectiveness

Annual reviews do not identify capacity to improve

High risk of school improvement failure (Risk Register)

Trust Led

Standardised: The Academy will implement the Trust standardised policies that are proven, for either a specific area, or all relevant areas of the Academy’s work.

Trust Support

  • Whole academy external review identifies precise areas for intervention.
  • School to school support commissioned.
  • Central team (See Appendix 2) coordinates implementation of standardised policies and bespoke solutions.


The Local Governing and Trust Boards will regularly scrutinise reports detailing the impact and effectiveness of school improvement actions, evaluated by a calendar of monitoring throughout the year. In addition, the following external moderation will support effective review:

School Improvement Partner

The School Improvement Partner, who will be an educational expert e.g. NLE or Ofsted inspector, will be assigned to each academy. All School Improvement Partners will be approved by the Trust Board with the primary role to:

  1. Quality assure and ensure the correct school improvement actions have been identified with robust data underpinning evaluation.
  2. Support development and connect leaders to good practice.
  3. Support Trust commissioned reviews

The School Improvement Partner will produce a report for the Local Governing and Trust Standards Board after each visit. Tier 1 academies will receive a minimum of 1 visit annually with Tier 2+3 academies receiving a minimum of 3 visits.

Trust Commissioned Reviews

The Trust will commission annual reviews to evaluate the quality of education in each academy. The evaluation from these reviews will link to the work of the School Improvement Partner. Academies in a Tier 3 category will have termly reviews to support rapid school improvement.

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, the Trust when appropriate, 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.

[Academy Card]

[Central team Capacity]

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