This document outlines the Central Offer for schools when they join Embark. This is paid for from the top slice from each school which will initially be set at 5%.
Whilst we strongly believe that each school serves its own community and should retain their autonomy we also recognise our key role in providing central support and expertise which will allow school leaders to focus on delivering the very best outcomes for their children.
Each school will receive support and challenge from our two National Leaders of Education and also our Executive Team of Heads will support each other. The trust provides and facilitates the following key areas:
- Support for each school regarding strategic planning.
- Shared expertise and targeted support to enable exceptional standards of teaching and learning.
- A core offer for school improvement that includes a whole school audit, regular data reviews and bespoke self-evaluation activities each term for every school. This allows our headteachers to undertake this work alongside our NLE’s and will help us grow leadership capacity within the trust.(see school improvement diagram)
- Guidance will be provided when writing key documents such as the Self Evaluation Summary (SES) and School Improvement Plans.
- Quality assurance around the key aspects of the schools work.
- Opportunity for all schools and their leaders to help shape policy development within the trust.
- Access to our MAT directory of excellence which will set out where there is quality assured outstanding practice within the trust.
- Pupil Premium reviews as appropriate led by our NLE’s.
- Access to Ofsted trained staff and support for inspection.
- Access to shared portal of resources within the trust for leaders and staff.
- Support with performance management. Headteacher Performance Management to be conducted by the trust alongside Local Governors.
- Access to our shared tracking system ‘iTRACK Primary.’ Benchmarking of standards, data analysis, target setting and action planning, including the tracking of progress and development of data dashboards.
- High quality professional development for all staff.
- Network of partnership across the trust in line with our 4 core beliefs Family, Integrity, Teamwork and Success.
- Regular updates outlining new ideas/best practice across the trust.
- At least once a half term each school will receive a support visit from one of our NLE’s with a focus on School Improvement.
- Support will be personalised for each school, not a one size fits all approach.
- Development of adult/family learning across the schools.
Leadership Development and Governance
We understand as a trust the importance of outstanding leadership, both at school and governor level. We know the difference this makes to a school and therefore we place great emphasis on this as part of our offer.
- School Leaders will have access to 10 Development Days throughout the year which will be of the highest quality.
- Every school leader will undertake Disc profiling and receive a personalised report.
- Every school to take part in a Peer Review facilitated by the trust.
- Access to coaching and mentoring from our National Leaders.
- Good links to local teaching school alliances and the opportunity to become accredited system leaders eg. SLE/LLE/NLE.
- Regular meetings of the Executive Team to shape the future direction of the trust.
- Local Governors to have access to our NLG and be developed where necessary so they can provide effective support and challenge and fulfil their key functions.
- Support for local governors in the build up to inspection and regular updates on any changes to Ofsted Frameworks and any statutory requirements.
- Local governors to attend monitoring visits by our NLE’s so they have a good knowledge of their school and can therefore, provide support and challenge to the headteacher at meetings.
- Support with governor recruitment.
- Governor induction and ongoing training and support.
- Opportunities for local governors to meet with CEO/Chair of Trustees to feedback key local issues.
- Quality assurance of local governance.
We understand this is an area where schools welcome support so they can concentrate on their core purpose of educating and developing their children. Therefore, we aim to provide a wealth of knowledge, expertise and support in this key area for schools including;
- Support with Payroll processing (schools may buy back into LA).
- All statutory HR policies.
- Support with safeguarding and regular audit of the schools Single Central Register.
- Regular updates outlining any changes to statutory duties regarding safeguarding.
- Simple and effective systems to use.
- Negotiate best value for HR systems whether this is buying back into LA initially or starting with a new shared system.
- Procedures for managing staff welfare, absence and attendance.
- Commitment to becoming an employer of choice which understands staff workload and well—being and actively does something about this. (see National Case Study where Embark Federation was chosen to highlight best practice in this area)
- Issuing of employment contracts to new employees.
- Recruitment support when required.
- Pension completion and return.
- Capability process and procedures.
- Attendance at any formal sickness meetings.
- Management of the recruitment checks prior to the start of appointment.
- HR representation at any trade union meetings, consultation and negotiation.
- Advice on staffing restructures.
We believe that each school should retain their own budget. Therefore, our trust will delegate 95% of the funds back so they can achieve the best for our children. In addition, the trust will seek out best value on contracts for all our schools so we can see the benefit of working together as a team in a larger group. The trust will also ensure we fulfil our reporting requirements as set out by the ESFA.
- Ensuring compliance with the funding agreement (Master and Supplemental).
- Ensuring compliance with the Academies Financial Handbook issued by the ESFA annually.
- Ensuring all policies relating to finance are compliant and implemented.
- Ensuring the Trust financial procedures manual is compliant and implemented appropriately.
- Day to day support with VAT accounting, submission of monthly returns to HMRC and dealing with queries raised by HMRC.
- Support for capital funding bids and management of capital projects.
- Strategic procurement reviews to ensure best value and economies of scale across the Trust.
- Insurance arrangements, including procurement of insurance cover for the Trust.
- Management of banking facilities for the Trust.
- Preparation of management reporting for Trustees.
- Support schools with annual budget setting and three to five year financial planning models.
- Budget review meetings with schools. (Termly)
- Arrangement and management of internal audits, including reporting to Trustees and ensuring recommendations are implemented.
- Arrange annual external audit of the Trust.
- Provide training for schools as required.
- Preparation of DFE/ESFA financial returns.
- Prepare annual financial statements to ensure compliance with the Academies Accounts Direction issued by the ESFA annually.
- Submission of annual financial statements to the ESFA and Companies House.
- Ensure corporation tax returns and payments are accurately completed and submitted on time.
Estates and Health and Safety
As a trust we are committed to providing high quality environments for our children and staff that are safe places to learn. The Trust as the employer, retains corporate responsibility for health and safety and will provide strategic support and specific expertise in:
- All health and safety related policies.
- Quality assure all health and safety procedures including;
- Asbestos, Legionella and Fire Alarm checking
- Risk assessing
- Educational Visits
- Electrical testing including PAT tests
- Quality assure the site management and development plans.
- Ensure compliance with food standards.
- Review and develop bids from academies for Capital Expenditure based on health and safety related issues.
- Access to a named Trustee with a specialism in Health and Safety to provide advice and support.
- Secure best value for a range of services such as Gas and Electricity.
Wider Opportunities for Children
Finally, the most important thing for us is to ensure our children receive the very best education. The core purpose of our MAT is to develop well rounded children who have the skills they need to make a difference in a world that is changing rapidly. Therefore, everything we do has to make a positive difference for our children and give them a wide range of opportunities so they can thrive. As a MAT we will provide a number of opportunities centrally and also our schools are committed to share expertise, collaborate and support each other in line with our core beliefs Family, Integrity, Teamwork and Success. Some examples are below:
- Each school will have access to our Embark Award for KS2 and Embark Experience for EYFS and KS1. These resources keep a focus on the wider offer for children which will allow our schools ‘to stand out at the heart of their communities.’
- We have an outdoor learning specialist who is available to deliver training to your school or for your children in the forest at Kilburn.
- Every school will have the opportunity to take part in an Embark residential which will be an opportunity to meet children from other schools.
- Mini Leader training can be provided for each school.
- Nurture provision – there are excellent examples of nurture provision across the schools that can be shared.
- Shared bank of learning resources for staff will be set up and the opportunity to collaborate with teachers at other schools.
- Shared software systems to increase opportunities for pupils.
- Embark sports competitions and inter–school sports sessions.
- Wide range of peripatetic music opportunities across the schools.
- Subsidised theatre/sport trips for Embark pupils so children can experience world class performances.