The Peninsula Learning Trust is a group of schools clustered around St Austell Bay and the surrounding region in beautiful South Cornwall. The Trust has a discrete geographical area that it works with to ensure that the Directors of the Trust understand the context of each school within the trust and that staff from those schools are close enough to work together collaboratively.
The Trust has two simple objectives:
- Improve every school to become outstanding through sharing school improvement activity, challenging each other to do even better and offering support.
- Help headteachers and governors focus on the progress of children by bringing together centrally all the ‘back office functions’ of the schools and removing this burden from individual school leaders. This generates savings and greater effectiveness but is still a local, responsive service.
We believe in offering maximum delegation of powers to the governing bodies of each school, for those schools to set their own ethos and values within the broad goals of the whole Trust. For each school to be unique in its own way. They will have different uniforms, different signage, different curriculum ideas, different leadership models but there is one united purpose: to be better by working together.
All the schools in the Trust have chosen to be together because they can see the advantages in it. There is no one school which is dominant and all are equal partners. It is a primary/secondary partnership but it is not based on catchment areas and the children from the Trust primary schools go to a variety of secondary schools and the children at the secondary school come from a wide variety of primary schools.
It is a ‘loose-tight’ fit. Loose enough for each school leader to feel they have independence and autonomy but tight enough that under-performance does not go unchallenged and working together is automatic.
I am always happy to talk to school leaders and governors about the Peninsula Learning Trust and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Parker, CEO Peninsula Learning Trust