Why Join Us?
There are multiple benefits of joining the Wythenshawe Catholic Academy Trust, including the following:
Being part of a larger organisation results in financial gains and economies of scale. Whilst our schools pay a “top slice” of around 3% of GAG income to find the Trust Central Team, this is typically less than the amount retained by local authorities to fund central services for maintained schools.
By centralising procurement, we have been able to achieve economies of scale, which have already resulted in cashable savings over a five-year period of more than £250,000.
These savings can be reinvested directly back into the classroom. As soon as another school joins our Trust and our pupil numbers exceed 3000, we will also benefit from receiving the School Condition Allocation whereby the Trust automatically receives funding towards building maintenance rather than individual schools having to apply separately for LCVAP or CIF funding – often unsuccessfully!
Expert back-office support
Our centralised back office support enables leaders to focus more on delivering education and less on day-to-day operational matters. As we employ specialists in the key areas of finance and HR, it means that these functions can be managed in a smoother and more efficient way than possible at an individual school level.
It’s also good to know there is always someone at the end of the phone with whom you can discuss any worries or concerns, in confidence, and always in a supportive manner.
In terms of workforce, there are many benefits to belonging to our Trust. We have a strong history of deploying staff from one school to another when the need arises. For example, we have supported school business managers who are new to post, covered absent caretakers and provided executive headteachers in schools whilst they recruit a substantive head.
As well as covering absences, staff have been deployed in other schools within the Trust to provide professional support, including across different phases. These deployments not only support leaders during times of difficulty, but they also provide fantastic development opportunities to staff members.
One staff member said the following when asked why they liked to work for the Trust, “The growing school-to-school support where the forming of relations leads to the sharing of resources freely… they are acts of kindness which serve and promote the common good”.
In addition, as a larger organisation, we are also able to provide a wide range of employee benefits beyond what is typical at smaller maintained schools, which promotes staff well-being and attracts new staff. For further information, please refer to the “Why work for us?”
Challenge and support
Schools joining our trust do have accountability to the Trust board, but retain significant autonomy to make their own decisions at a local level in line with the scheme of delegation. Where a school is in an Ofsted category and not making progress towards securing a “good” judgement, or where there are concerns about standards, there will be a higher level of direct input from the Trust’s senior executive leadership team and the Trust board.
However, the overarching principle is that Trust adopts a supportive approach where direct input is given and the ultimate aim is to develop existing leaders to raise standards and to ensure they have appropriate external support where this cannot be provided from within the Trust. We have a track record of providing financial support from Trust reserves to fund school improvement work to ensure that our resources are deployed where the need is greatest.