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Chester Diocesan Academies Trust

Trust Strategy

CDAT will seek to provide the very best education for every child in its schools so that they succeed and are well prepared to move onto their next phase of education. Our ethos, based on clear, Christian values will be the foundation of all we do and by guiding and informing the actions of children, staff and governors we will:

  • ensure that all children achieve their full potential – making strong progress in developing their knowledge and skills across the whole curriculum;
  • value and respect children from all faiths and beliefs – and taking into account their beliefs when planning for their learning and the learning of others;
  • provide a curriculum that is broad, rich and balanced; focused on developing knowledge and skills; and meeting the needs of each child;
  • provide learning opportunities that are inclusive, engaging and challenging for every child;
  • create a learning environment within which children are happy and motivated learners;
  • support our leaders to be highly effective in leading school improvements;
  • support our teachers and support staff to be outstanding practitioners – providing high-quality teaching so that every child learns;
  • listen to the children and taking their views into account;
  • work with parents to enable them to contribute to their children's learning;
  • work with other schools and the wider community to ensure that we maximise on the learning opportunities that they can provide for our children and staff.

Our Accountability Structure

The Board of Directors delegate the day-to-day leadership of the Trust to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and hold the CEO to account for the Trust's performance.

At a school level, the principles and expectations of governance are the same in academies as in maintained schools. Each school will have a local governing body with parent and staff representation. Each school's local governing body manages the school on behalf of the Trust in line with the Scheme of Delegation approved for each individual academy. Because the Trust provides many services centrally, it is expected that governors on the local governing body will be able to concentrate on those aspects of their role that make a positive difference to teaching and learning in their schools.

Academies are funded directly from central government through the General Annual Grant (GAG). The Trust retains a small, set percentage of this funding to pay for the provision of central services, while the vast majority of the GAG is delegated to the school. Governors are expected to ensure that this delegated spending is used prudently for the purposes intended.

Our Approach

We believe that all children are entitled to an excellent standard of education and that high-quality education enables children to grow and reach their potential academically, socially, creatively, physically and spiritually. Furthermore, we believe that excellence in education is based on outstanding leadership, a high-quality curriculum and excellent classroom practice. The CDAT School Effectiveness package includes a range of support in all these areas. We also provide new networking opportunities for schools to share best practice, while still encouraging schools to retain existing, effective school networks.

The Offer

Our School Effectiveness package is developing all of the time in response to our schools' particular needs, and as we develop working partnerships with key external providers, such as Early Excellence. In addition to the CDAT-specific programme outlined below, all CDAT schools remain part of the DBE core family of schools and are able to access DBE training, which covers aspects of Christian/church school distinctiveness, leadership, support for RE and preparation for SIAMS.

Collaborative and Network partnerships

These involve:

  • Headteacher meetings in geographical clusters
  • Subject leader meetings (in clusters and/or across CDAT)
  • Moderation cluster groups locally and across the Diocese
  • Focused project work, looking at specific areas for development in geographical clusters and/or across the Trust

Leadership Support

CDAT is there for you

  • Annual headteachers' residential conference
  • Inspection readiness – support for self-evaluation etc.
  • Support for senior/middle leaders through networking, CDAT-wide CPD and access to key development programmes (e.g. NPQML)
  • Ad-hoc support for school leaders from members of the Central Team – this may include focused activities such as Pupil Premium reviews
  • Support for governance: an annual governors' conference and regular governor training/briefings delivered via webinars

Professional Development for all staff

A programme of professional development which is focused on key priorities for our schools, as well as national priorities. Recently, this has included:

  • subject leader training
  • talk for writing, maths mastery and phonics training
  • EYFS and Year 1 training, led by Early Excellence
  • training for SENCOs, including access to the National SENCO award
  • opportunities to undertake the 'NPQs'
  • School Business Manager network meetings
  • governor training
  • training specifically for Teaching Assistants
  • we also ensure that all of our schools have access to the full DBE training offer

We believe that the quality of our School Effectiveness Support is a key benefit of CDAT membership. Schools are supported by an experienced School Improvement professional with whom they are able to develop a strong working relationship over time.

Chester Diocesan Academies Trust

Chester Diocesan Academies Trust

We believe that the quality of our School Effectiveness Support is a key benefit of CDAT membership.

Contact CDAT
01928 245500

Room 518,
The Heath Business and Technical Park,

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