Frequently Asked Questions
What do we ‘get’ as part of the Trust?
It is hard to not make this feel like a transactional ‘shopping list’…our hope and belief is that there are some wider points around strength in unity and collaboration, synergy, and reduced workloads that should also be considered. That said here is a list of sorts:
- A supportive approach to school improvement, delivered through a range of professionals
- Regular visits (minimum termly) from the Director of Education
- Full access to the Rise curriculum planning and resources
- Access to the various CPD programmes offered by the Trust
- Access to at least six regular network meetings, led by experienced professionals
- Support for Clerks through a facilitated network
- Half termly Chair’s forums
- Full training program (minimum 9 sessions per year)
- Reviews of local governance via our governance professional
- External DPO expertise
- Training and development
- Management Portal for managing compliance
- Development of all relevant policies
- Training to support effective implementation of said polices
- Case work support for Heads and senior leaders
- Management of restructures and change processes
Operations inc. Procurement
- Competent Person support in all Health and Safety Matters
- Support for all building compliance and reactive maintenance
- Monthly meetings for Business Administration through facilitated network groups
- Full staff and governor access to the IHASCO platform for training and development
- Fully centralised support for schools
- Economies of scale with bulk-purchasing
- Program of internal and external audit
- Detailed management accounts
- Inclusive approach to budget setting
- Finance dashboards for all key stakeholders
- Extended support in fundraising and project management
- Professional development for Heads and office staff, as required
How much do you charge for central services/what is the ‘top slice’?
There are many different ways to fund MAT services. Rise used to have a ‘low’ top slice and then a wide range of additional charges. In the last 12 months, we have saved in excess of £60,000 in our recharges to schools (indirect costs of being in the MAT). We currently charge 6.2% of GAG and have a 3 year commitment to reducing this figure year on year.
What happens to staff if we transfer into your MAT?
Staff retain their roles along with their pay and conditions. Nothing materially changes. Rise MAT become the employers through a TUPE process.
If I work in a MAT, can staff be directed to work in any school?
No. We do not move staff against their will, at short notice between schools. We do often have secondments, maternity cover and internal professional development opportunities that people can apply for and seek but this is different to being compelled to work somewhere else.
Do you have local governors?
Yes. They are a key part of our governance structures. Local governance in our MAT is different to community school governance and it would be disingenuous to state otherwise. Our local governors are a committee of our Trust Board, for it is Directors who have the ultimate responsibility for governance in a MAT.
We set out clearly who does what in our Scheme of Delegation, our Governor Handbook has even more detail and our training program to support strong local governance. In the best MATs, local and Board governance work in harmony to secure great schools and that is exactly what we want also.
What do we have to do if we are in Rise?
This is sometimes an area of tension. As a standalone community school or a single school trust…there is no need to have synergy with what others are doing. In a MAT, that is different. We cannot get the efficiencies, collaborations and synergy if we all do different things at different times. Below is an overview of some key areas of MAT alignment.
Almost all our schools now use Sounds Write, a government approved SSP programme. We believe that the CPD for staff is first rate, and the program secures consistency through it’s structure and approach. It is a programme that supports reading and writing extremely well, and this can be seen through the outcomes of schools who have used the programme. The reason that most schools use the same programme is primarily that it gets great outcomes, but also so that we can share expertise, so staff can move between schools without retraining, and so our central quality assurance can be stronger.
That said, some of our schools, for legitimate reasons, are not yet Sounds Write schools and that is okay. Each school will make the move when the time is right for them, their staff, and their pupils.
Assessment, record keeping and target setting
We must have a Trust wide view of progress and attainment. We need to identify strong pupil outcomes, be clear of any Rise strengths and weaknesses, and then use our resources appropriately. In order for the processes to be administratively seamless, all Rise schools use FFT for both the setting of targets to ensure pupils make at least minimum expected progress, and for the tracking of outcomes.
To support teacher assessment, systematic identification of gaps in knowledge, and to provide national benchmarks, we use Rising Stars PIRA and PUMA standardised tests for reading and mathematics, and schools use the Shine intervention packages linked to the assessments to ensure we ‘plug’ the gaps of pupils in order to get the best outcomes possible.
To ensure that curriculum delivery is supported through blended opportunities and high quality IT provision, we procure a Trust level provision to meet the demanding needs of online learning and cloud based solutions.
All Rise schools use Arbor as our MIS solution. The Trust also uses a cashless system through ParentPay where all parental payments are managed.
School improvement is supported through the use of FFT Aspire which allows benchmarking of National and Trust data. The Trust use CPOMs for the recording and managing of safeguarding.
Rise leaders and teachers collaborate on a first class, ambitious curriculum. The Rise curriculum enables a reduction in teacher workload, focuses on raising standards in all subjects, and works to develop Trust wide subject specific professional development. The curriculum is academic, rigorous, and ensures high expectations for all pupils. With a range of resources, scaffolds, teacher knowledge documents linked to content that is to be taught, and quizzes to support learning. The Rise curriculum is of the highest quality.
If schools already have a curriculum that is as strong or stronger than the Trusts, then schools do not have to adopt the Rise curriculum. Given our curriculum will be built on the best of the work of Rise schools work; it is likely that all schools will use the Trust’s curriculum.