About the Dales Academies Trust

About the Dales Academies Trust

Dales Academies Trust is a Church of England multi-academy Trust serving North Yorkshire and the northern parts of the Diocese of Leeds and York. Dales is a charity and company limited by guarantee, governed by a Board of Directors who are responsible for, and oversee the management of the company.

After discussions between the Diocese of Leeds and York and a number of Church of England Schools in North Yorkshire, the decision was made by 11 schools to come together to form a new Multi Academy Trust. Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust (BDAT) was commissioned to set up the new MAT for North Yorkshire and appointed the BDAT Chief Executive Officer (CEO) interim CEO of the new Trust. A dedicated CEO for Dales was appointed in September 2017 and a Finance Officer shortly afterwards.

About academies

Academies are publicly funded independent schools. They have greater freedom over the education they offer to their pupils, as they do not have to offer the national curriculum.  They can also change their school term dates and school opening times.  This means they can adapt how the school is run to meet the needs of the pupils and parents in their community.

Academies still have to follow the same rules on admissions, special educational needs and exclusions as other state schools.  They are still assessed against the same government floor standards and inspected by Ofsted.

Academies are also funded differently to other schools as they get money direct from the government, not the local council.  They are run by an academy trust which employs the staff.   Academies receive the same level of per-pupil funding as they would get from a Local Authority but they have more freedom as to how they spend their funding, as they no longer have to buy services in from the Local Authority.  Sometimes this means there are more resources available for teaching and learning.

Some academies which have historically had low results or issues around performance have sponsors, also known as Trusts.  These can be businesses, universities, other stronger schools, or in the case of Dales, the Diocese. Sponsors are responsible for improving the performance of their schools.  All staff in the academies are employed by the Trust and the Trust is ultimately accountable for performance in all their academies to the Secretary of State through a funding agreement.

Since 2010, the Department for Education (DfE) introduced a presumption that any school falling into an Ofsted category or persistently failing to meet floor standards for attainment and levels of progress would be expected to move to academy status with a sponsor.  For church schools falling into this Ofsted category in the Diocese of Leeds or York, an agreement is in place that assumes the school will be sponsored by one of the Dioceses’ Multi Academy Trusts.  Currently Dales sponsors Trinity Academy Richmond (formerly known as Richmond CofE Primary and Nursery School). Non church schools may also be sponsored by the Trust; in our region, this decision would be made by the Regional Schools’ Commissioner.

About joining the Trust

There are many advantages to being part of a MAT, these range from a closer professional working relationship with a number of other schools and the benefit derived from sharing best practice, through to opportunities to work across more than one school and those associated with economies of scale in buying services. To find out more about the Trust, its activities, its partner schools and how you can become a partner, please get in touch with the CEO, Damian Chubb, by email (damian.chubb@dalesmat.org) or telephone (03301 242618).

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