About us

The Circle Trust believes that all children and young people deserve to have an excellent well-rounded education and to flourish in first-rate schools where the best teaching, the best facilities and the most up-to-date resources are made available to them.  

Our name “The Circle Trust” symbolically reflects features of this Multi-Academy Trust (MAT).  It is a name that is deliberately neutral and without association of a specific school, educational phase, school type or local place.  The circle gives a pictorial sense of inclusivity, which can naturally expand, with the overlapping circles in our logo depicting our desire to collaborate.

 

Our Trust’s values

Our Trust is a community of schools that have shared values and share an essential common ethos and vision for education and learning, as encapsulated in our values.  These values drive our behaviour, decision making and ambitions:

  • The highest educational outcomes for every learner is paramount
  • Preserving the unique identity and ethos of all partner schools is essential
  • To be anything but utterly inclusive is non-negotiable
  • Being self-reflective is essential in encouraging innovation, our Trust is always driven to improve further
  • We value strong clear moral purposed leadership
  • We depend on recruiting, retaining and professionally developing members of staff who are ambitious for all children and young peoples’ futures
  • Our Trust promotes collaborating with others and being outward looking

Our fundamental view is that schools should be led by, and their improvement driven by, their Headteacher with their local governance.  Our stewardship of public funds and resource will always be open to scrutiny and above reproach. Our Trust wholly accepts our educational, legal and moral duties and will decisively act when required.

In essence, our Trust is accountable to schools and schools accountable to the Trust.

 

The Circle Trust

Stemming from our vision and values we believe it essential that schools should be run by, and their improvement driven by, their staff led by their Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and Local Advisory Board (LAB).  The leadership team and LAB have responsibility for the educational standards and the development of the individual character of their school.

Therefore The Circle Trust provides support to LAB’s to help them perform their monitoring duties, as well as provide challenge to the leadership of the school, including the performance management of the Headteacher.  This includes regular support to the chair and clerk of the LAB in planning all meetings.  We will provide financial guidance and oversight on budget planning, monitoring, policy development, capital projects and will deliver the legal functions of audit, filing accounts, and reporting to the DfE, as well as high quality HR advice and guidance on payroll and personnel issues.

At the heart of our Trust is access to school improvement advice and guidance from high-quality leaders which includes regular meetings, support, specialist input and shared staff training and development opportunities.  We promote and facilitate collaboration and joint working between schools within and across phases.  We ensure school improvement secures improved outcomes for students and provides high-quality professional development for staff.  This trust encourages the retention and professional development of all staff, whatever role they might hold in a school. 

 

The Circle Trust’s core offer

Our Trust receives a central service fee – more commonly known as a ‘top slice’ – from each school’s budget to enable it to carry out its statutory responsibilities and provide core services to the schools in the Trust.   The central service fee therefore is the level of contribution from each school to our Trust.  The charge will be between 3% and 5% of the General Annual Grant and will be set and agreed annually by the Trustees.  Decisions will be guided through the principle of maximum delegation of funds to our schools.  This fee is used to deliver our Trust’s core offer the most important element of which is school improvement support, guidance and advice. 

As an all-through Trust (5 years – 18 years) The Circle Trust is able to provide school improvement advice and strategy based on consistency and fluency in education.  We are able to create and promote an educational environment for the 21st century with wide-ranging opportunities for our students; accommodating a wider breadth of activities for the more able pupils as well as enabling primary age pupils to access the secondary phase specialist teacher, resources and facilities more easily.  Bespoke strategies to address the ‘dips’ in learning usually associated with transitions and transfers from school to school which begin with the opportunity for mixed age work, stage not age and learner mentoring and exploits distinctive opportunities for flexible deployment for staff.  Simply put, we promote the potential to stimulate the development of imaginative approaches which focus on achieving high levels of success for all. 

Access to school improvement advice and guidance from high-quality leaders includes regular meetings, support, specialist input and shared staff training and development opportunities.  We promote and facilitate collaboration and joint working between schools within and across phases.  We ensure school improvement secures improved outcomes for students and provides high-quality professional development for staff.  This trust encourages the retention and professional development of all staff, whatever role they might hold in a school. 

 

Joining The Circle Trust?

We seek schools to join The Circle Trust who are sympathetic to our vision, values and way of working and will expand the Trust only when we have the proven capacity to do so.  We believe there is wisdom in geographically clustered schools to facilitate and benefit from our Trust’s central functions and school to school support. 

We are utterly inclusive.  We are committed to being outward looking and working collaboratively with other professional groups at local, regional and national level and actively encourage wide professional partnership working.

We act with exacting due diligence when exploring new partnerships with schools.  We acknowledge that due diligence is a two-way process.  As such, schools exploring joining our Trust will be provided detailed information about the processes, financial arrangements and structures of our Trust.  In turn, our primary purpose of due diligence is to obtain sufficient information about any school for The Circle Trust and make an informed decision whether the transfer should go ahead.  In our Trust we will always behave in a respectful and positive way to future partner schools ensuring confidentiality throughout the process.  All due diligence will be conducted in a sensitive manner to engage and maintain effective professional working practice.  If you would like to know more please contact us via contact@thecircletrust.co.uk