Our Methodist Trusts
The Methodist Church will have 2 Multi Academy Trusts to provide a home for their schools. These will be built upon the Methodist ethos and will enable the Methodist Church to meet the many requirements from Conference in 2017, Transforming Lives in 2021 and aspirations of the DfE through delivering strong education outcomes by serving schools well.
Epworth Education Trust is already a successful and established trust who will serve schools in the North of the country. They will use a hub model to ensure that they are truly able to be a family of schools with shared Methodist values, who can support their individual communities in their own unique way. Enabling strong collaboration to be a firm foundation yet providing the organisation for schools to work in smaller groups that support each other and know each other well. Epworth Trust welcomes you to find out more about the trust and would welcome informal conversations regarding how they work.
The newly developing Inspiring Lives Education Trust will be established to serve schools in the South of the country. The Trust will be utilising best practise in the sector to ensure they are able to quickly provide all that is required and will build upon the strength of the founding schools. More information can be found here.
Both Trusts have been established to serve community schools alongside our church schools with a commitment to serve the communities in which the schools are situated. Yet, aligned and working together our schools will be able to achieve much more than we can working on our own, especially in an increasingly pressurised climate. Our trusts will work alongside schools to secure best practice in every area of school life – in curriculum, outcomes, pedagogy, SEND, wellbeing and many other areas. Through this mutual support we will be to achieve so much more. The Trusts will be able to offer holistic and proactive CPD for your staff and career opportunities in contributing to the group that go well beyond what a school can provide within their own walls. They will work across those walls enabling schools to take opportunities together – sharing the work will share the workload, there will be access to the highest quality practice across the group. There will be less need to reinvent the wheel because tasks can be shared.
What is an academy?
Academies are state-funded schools but they are independent from local authorities, meaning they aren’t run by councils. Academies receive funding directly from the government and are run by an academy trust. They have more control over how they do things than community schools. Academies do not charge fees.
Academies have more freedom over things like setting their own term times and they do not have to follow the national curriculum.
Academies continue to be inspected by Ofsted. They have to follow the same rules on admissions, special educational needs and exclusions as other state schools and pupils sit the same statutory assessments and exams.
Over half of pupils are now already educated in academies and there are three types:
- Converters – formerly maintained schools that chose to become academies;
- Sponsored – previously underperforming maintained schools in need of support, and/or judged ‘Inadequate’ by Ofsted, where the law requires them to become academies; or
- Free schools – brand new schools established to meet a need for good school places in an area.
More information about the different types of schools can be found here on the government website.
What are multi academy trusts?
Multi academy trusts are not-for-profit companies that have responsibility for running a number of academies. They employ the staff and have trustees who are responsible for the performance of the academies in the trust.
By working in partnership with each other, the schools within a trust can share staff, curriculum expertise and effective teaching practices, and work together to deliver the best outcomes for pupils.
While other types of school partnerships can be effective, the key difference with multi academy trusts is that there is shared accountability for standards across the trust; all schools within the trust support each other and work towards the best for all schools. More information can be found in the government guidance ‘Building Strong Academy Trusts’ which explains what a strong trust looks like. We are delighted that one of our Trusts, Epworth Education Trust, was used as a case study within the guidance.