The Vale Academy Trust (VAT) was formed on 1st October 2013 when three local schools (King Alfred’s Academy, Charlton Primary School and Wantage CE Primary School) came together to work in partnership. There are now eight member academies; the three founding schools, four other primary academies that have since joined the Trust and Larkmead School in Abingdon (another secondary school) that joined the Trust on 1st January 2017. It is expected that other local schools will seek to join the Trust in the next year or two.
Our Trust was the first to include primary, secondary, non-faith and Church of England schools in a single multi academy trust. As such, the individual ethos or faith element of member schools is protected. The Department for Education has approved the Trust as a Sponsoring Academy Trust. A video has been produced to explain more about the workings of the Trust – viewable by clicking here.
As in all schools, Headteachers have operational control of their academies, although many of the issues which may have previously distracted them from Teaching and Learning and supporting teachers in the classrooms have been removed.
We are centralising key services such as finance, premises and operations, HR and legal support, thus leaving the Headteachers and senior staff to focus on Teaching and Learning with their schools. This has led to a number of key appointments across the Trust, including;
- A Chief Executive (former Headteacher of King Alfred’s 2010-2015 and National Leader of Education) supporting the Headteacher and Governors in each academy and working closely with the Board of Directors on strategy and long-term planning for the VAT
- An Executive Headteacher for Primary schools, as well as a Secondary School Improvement Leader
- A Director of Learning – Primary and Transition, responsible for performance and outcomes, working with key groups and supporting staff through high quality CPD. This person is supported by staff from across the Trust with key skills in English and Maths
- An Assistant Head to oversee Teaching and Learning – Primary
- An Assistant Head to oversee Inclusion/SEND across the Trust, working with SENCOs and staff across all the academies
- Members of the Central Team – click HERE to see an organogram with full details.
The Board of Directors is made up of twelve individuals who are passionate about local education from ages 3 to 18. They include representatives of the founding schools, including Foundation Governors appointed by the Diocese, along with other appropriately skilled individuals from across Oxfordshire. Directors appointed by the Diocese of Oxford and other appropriately skilled individuals from across Oxfordshire. This Board is responsible to the Department for Education in relation to key areas such as finance, staffing and pupil progress.
The day-to-day local operation of each academy remains the responsibility of the Headteacher, their staff and the Local Governing Body. Both the Board and the Local Governing Bodies are supported by a number of Committees. To see the Vale Academy Trust Structure Chart CLICK HERE.