Purpose, vision and values of Arden Forest MAT
The Arden Forest C of E MAT was created to support and ‘protect’ local schools by creating a model that is built on collaboration, not a model where schools are ‘done to’ as is the case with some other MATs.
Our collaborative approach champions the sharing of best practice through promoting creative thinking and innovation. Every opportunity for schools to support each other, without compromising success, will be explored. A sense of community at all levels is vital to our MAT and therefore the geographical location of its academies is central to any growth plans.
The Arden Forest C of E Multi Academy Trust, has Church of England Articles but is not exclusive to C of E Schools. The vision and values of the MAT underpin what we do and we therefore look to schools that share these values and who will support the collaborative working approach to promote them for the benefit of everyone; children, parents and staff.
We advocate a holistic approach to education. We work together to develop children with the values and virtues they need to be the responsible citizens of the future.
To find out more about our vision and values please click here.
Commitment and Collaboration
Commitment and collaboration are the two key driving elements of Arden Forest MAT. The schools within the MAT are committed to the success of each school ensuring better opportunities and experiences for the children of each school.
The Heads of all MAT schools meet regularly, this allows us to share challenges we are faced with and find solutions together. We are able to spread the load which has a positive impact on each individual’s workload as well as the mental health and wellbeing of Heads. Support is given to on preparing for Ofsted, developing SEF and Improvement Plans.
In addition to this, networks are developed and encouraged across a range of areas allowing leaders at all levels to work together and reduce the feeling of isolation some teachers experience in all schools.
There are opportunities for staff to lead projects across a group of schools – not just within their own school. A recent example of this is the development of a Recovery Curriculum group who meet regularly to share resources and ideas allowing each school to develop a curriculum approach that is right for their school following the reopening of schools in September 2020 and again in March 2021. It is important that meetings do not add to staff workload but assist in reducing it and provide help to staff.
Leadership roles and other vacancies are advertised within the MAT first, giving the opportunity for promotion within the organisation allowing us to retain talent and develop staff.
There will shortly be two Special Resource provisions with the MAT that will allow for the sharing of expertise and the opportunity to develop staff to support children with SEMH or communication and interaction needs.
The role of the Governing Body
The governing body acts largely in the same way they do now. Recruitment remains the responsibility of the Head and Governors – details of this can be found in the Scheme of Delegation which can be found here. The governors are expected to set a balanced budget, decisions which fall inside this won’t be challenged. Support is given to schools in setting budgets and opportunities to purchase services as a group of schools in order to reduce cost are always explored. There are also opportunities to share services with other schools within the MAT to allow schools to access services they may not have previously been able to access due to budget constraints. Policies regarding the curriculum and teaching & learning remain the School’s to set. Where MAT wide policies are required, these are shared with Local Governing Bodies who pass comment on to the Trust Board. This ensures that any MAT wide decisions are taken collaboratively.
For more information
If you would like to have an informal conversation to find out more, please contact Adam Walsh, CEO on firstname.lastname@example.org.