WMAT

Establishing West Midlands Academy Trust

 

The Governing Bodies of Hall Green School, Kings Norton Girls’ School, and Swanshurst School proposed in spring 2024 to jointly establish a new multi-academy trust (West Midlands Academy Trust, WMAT) and for all three schools to become academy schools within WMAT.

Hall Green, Kings Norton and Swanshurst are each high-performing, popular and successful. We share high aspirations for our students, high expectations of staff and students, and cultures of excellence. This proposal is about our shared commitment to future improvement. We are proposing to establish West Midlands Academy Trust (WMAT) because we believe that there are advantages for our students and staff. 

Public consultation was held during June 2024. The consultation document and a more detailed Question and Answer document were issued to stakeholders, and both are available on this webpage. A report detailing the consultation process, feedback received and responses to questions raised is available on this webpage. The Governing Body of each school considered all of the consultation responses.

In July 2024 the Governing Body of each school made the decision to proceed with establishing WMAT. It is anticipated that the schools would transfer to WMAT in early 2025.

The schools have confirmed that each school will retain its school name, its age-range, school uniform, admissions criteria, and existing staff. Term dates will continue to be set within the context of local schools. Hall Green will continue to be co-educational, while Kings Norton and Swanshurst will continue to educate girls for Y7 to Y11 and have co-educational Sixth Forms.

Key principles for WMAT

The key principles for WMAT are:

Mission

  • Relentless focus upon delivering an excellent Quality of Education, resulting in strong progress and attainment for all groups of pupils.
  • Emphasis upon personal development and well-being for staff and pupils.

Culture

  • High ambitions and high expectations for all staff and pupils.
  • Individual school identities matter – names, logo, uniform etc – not a ‘corporate look’.
  • Staff focused culture – role of leaders is to facilitate outstanding provision, supporting and enabling all staff to perform exceptionally well and in pupils’ best interests.
  • Collaborative practice – in all aspects of the trust (peer review, policy development) – horizontal and vertical – collaboration within and between schools is the cultural norm and is built into quality assurance / review processes in all aspects of trust operations.
  • Collective responsibility – an issue is everyone’s issue, every pupil and staff member is of equal importance across the trust.
  • Responsive to context, while strategic in approach – i.e. not one size fits all, but always looking towards the future implications or options.

Operations

  • Earned autonomy with accountability – i.e. potentially variable delegations / school freedoms based upon performance and risk.
  • Central services where they achieve more and / or cost less and / or enhance school leadership capacity to focus on educational provision and where they are accountable to, and work collaboratively with, Headteachers and the executive team.
  • Central policies where they increase the ability to collaborate, reduce the risk of non-compliance, and reduce workload.
  • “Good growth” – i.e. the right schools at the right time.
  • Safe and stimulating physical environment.
  • Financial sustainability:
    • School led budgeting (including reserves being retained) with expectation of all schools being financially self-sufficient.
    • Maximise funding spent on direct T&L / pupil support.