An introduction from the Chairman of Trustees, Henry Massey
There is no doubt that these are exciting times to be at the forefront of changes to the educational landscape in the UK. The Cornerstone Academy Trust provides a rich offering to children, and their families, who live on this edge of Exeter in East Devon.
Our governance structure is headed by a group of Members who hold the Trust to account, ensuring legal compliance and both academic and financial performance. We recruit and train Trustees to the Board who have strong relevant experience and competence – from finance, education, business and human resources – and each individual school within the Trust has its own local advisory board, including parent representation. This allows us to achieve and maintain the highest standards of governance, whilst still ensuring that each school can meet the needs of its local community.
The Trust Board is responsible for all schools ensuring legal compliance and both academic and financial performance. See our Governance Plan for a more detailed account of the Board's role and responsibilities.
Our high-quality, strong, resilient and flexible teaching workforce provides great progress and achievement for the children, a highly-inclusive environment for all needs and a very broad curriculum which includes diverse opportunities that range from climbing and sailing to the creative arts, performance and music.
We have an exemplary track record that started with Broadclyst Community Primary School, which became one of the first Academies in 2010. Based on its success, we established the Cornerstone Teaching School in 2015, and have now formed a Multi-Academy Trust; Westclyst Community Primary School opened in 2016.
On the 1 January 2019 Yeo Valley Primary School, Barnstaple, became part of the Cornerstone Academy. As a result of the sponsorship by TCAT there has been considerable investment in improving the school’s facilities, through refurbishment and new resources to raise standards in teaching and learning. We also look forward to opening a new primary school in Monkerton, which is planned for 2020.
We are looking to open Monkerton Community Primary School in September 2020. Although distinctive, it will be built from the outset as a new school in line with the trust-wide vision, so it will be a key member alongside Broadclyst Primary.
We are proud of our national and international reputation for the innovative use of digital technology to support learning; an expertise we share with other teachers and schools through the Teaching School and our specialist staff. We have also developed crucial strategic partnerships, with companies including Microsoft, Babcock, GL Assessments and the British Council, that help us to further develop and share knowledge widely.
Co-Design is a small, local, education training partnership which can offer bespoke and affordable training within your own Multi Academy Trust. Our aim is to help Trustees/Directors strengthen their strategic leadership role to meet the ongoing challenge of heightened accountability for school improvement and education outcomes.
Governance: Promoting Effective Change
Upcoming event: Saturday 2nd November 2019 repeated Saturday 16th November 2019.
‘We want governors and trustees to be able to support their schools well, and to be able to ask the right kind of strategic, big-picture questions without getting dragged down into the weeds.’ (Amanda Spielman, National Governance Association June 2019)
Without doubt, an encouraging statement from the Head of Ofsted, but how do Governors, Trustees, Directors and Members hold an effective strategic conversation with those for whom they have direct responsibility without becoming bogged down in minutiae?
Co-Design’s bespoke training packages offer simple yet innovative approaches to Change Management designed to help Trustees and Governors explore the future development of their organisation whilst ensuring a readiness for the new Ofsted Framework. Our active, workshop approach will provide excellent opportunities for governors and trustees to explore their key responsibilities for communicating clearly the vision, ethos and strategic direction of the trusts and schools they lead.
Attendees will experience a range of activities to assist with self-reflection, self-review and self-evaluation, thereby empowering them to share common goals, plan strategically, challenge where appropriate, and secure long-term school improvement. All activities are designed for you to take back and use with your own boards.