The key aim for TTMAT is to provide academic environments where students have the opportunity to achieve their personal best and where individual talents, in all forms, can be maximised. Students will enjoy conditions that enable them to be successful and confident learners who make progress. Each Academy will offer a broad curriculum that includes the national curriculum and opportunities to specialise in certain fields, such as Business, Physical Education, Science and Technology. In the post-16 phase, a broad spectrum of vocational and academic options will be available to suit all abilities and wide-ranging ambitions giving students the best possible conditions from which they can secure their chosen pathways to future employment.
The day to day role and autonomy of the Heads within the MAT will remain unchanged and he/she will continue to be the independent lead of their own Academy. The Heads will continue to be accountable to the Local Governing Board (LGB) and control their own staffing appointments and budgets with support from their Director of Finance. It will be the responsibility of the Heads to support and develop their staff and to request collaborative support from colleagues in the MAT or from Thomas Telford School, if required.
Each Academy will maintain its own identity, heritage and uniqueness which are symbols of their individual success. They will retain their existing names and logos and continue to serve their local communities. The Academies will continue to adopt the Thomas Telford Template through the “Memorandum of Cooperation” which has been previously supported by the existing Governing Boards. This provides each Academy with the flexibility to organise its curriculum provision and shape the educational conditions which will support students to grow in to confident, articulate and responsible adults with the skills necessary to function in modern society. A special needs provision, with internal counselling support for those who are most vulnerable, will operate and there can be mutual cooperation, where practicable, with shared in-house referral units for hard to place students and to assist the Academies to reduce the number of permanent exclusions.
The Heads will continue to meet termly to discuss common issues, to further develop the group’s established innovative educational principles and to strategically prepare for future changes in the educational landscape. The Heads are currently faced with the challenges of a government imposed curriculum framework and methods of assessment which will dictate the level of scrutiny that schools and academies will face. However, the opportunities which now exist for innovation and research are at the forefront of the Heads’ current discussions and the possible changes which can be made to the educational programmes in Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and Sixth Form. It is expected that the individualised learning concept and schemes of work will be further developed with students in the post-16 phase experiencing a university style of education with students taking more control of their learning pattern. The “lost years” in Key Stage 3, provides opportunities to bring more relevance and improved engagement and motivation through an earlier options programme, if desired, and the timing of the demanding reforms in Key Stage 4 subjects affords a way in which the Academies can work closely together to develop online learning content which could be shared through an “online resource centre”. Progressing the “state of the art” ICT infrastructure and equipment in the Academies within TTMAT will also be key to maintaining the pre-eminent position of our group in being leaders in the way we offer access to learning content.
Careers education can continue to be a key feature for the Academies and the established joint provisions which are already in place could be further expanded under TTMAT. The requirement for all secondary schools and academies to promote apprenticeship opportunities is an area of significant focus. Part of the goal is that all students within TTMAT will secure a destination at the end of Year 11 or Sixth Form and that there will be no NEETs.
Coordinated training days will be formalised and further developed under TTMAT framework providing peer support opportunities and professional development for staff. The Heads will continue to work together to establish shared arrangements and formulate joint departments, where appropriate to do so. They will also actively identify and nurture those employees who are suitable for succession opportunities across the group. Further Information of the contractual arrangements for each Academy’s employees under TTMAT is provided on page 5 under “Human Resources”.
Economies of scale possibilities will be routinely reviewed to secure best value for money and the practice of combining roles, where prudent to do so, will continue. The systematic overview of policy and procedural documentation to achieve commonality is a process, which already operates effectively, and this will continue as part of the process of ensuring consistency is achieved, where practicable, and that experiences can be shared.