for schools

Our school improvement programme

Our schools

Lincoln Anglican Academy Trust (LAAT) is a multi-academy trust formed by the Diocese of Lincoln in October 2013. As of March 2024, the Trust has 21 schools across Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire and is led by our CEO, Jackie Waters Dewhurst.

Our schools cover a broad range of contexts but with many serving deprived areas. Our schools vary in size from around 40 pupils to over 500 and we have approximately 4,000 pupils across our schools.  Although predominantly primary, we also have William Lovell Secondary within our Trust. 

Support for Schools

We are proud of the support and challenge we offer our schools leading to increasingly robust and positive Ofsted judgements.  Over time, all schools that have entered LAAT with Ofsted grades less than good, have improved their grading at the next inspection.

We have central team of Education Development Advisers (EDAs) led by the DCEO, Tamara Allen, who work closely and directly with schools to offer them bespoke school improvement support, via our School Improvement Framework and this covers a raft of educational areas. 

Some of our current work with schools is around:

  • middle leadership
  • subject specific work
  • phase/KS led work
  • pedagogy
  • assessment
  • staff meetings
  • coaching support for leaders
  • remote learning
  • phonics and reading
  • Ofsted preparedness

In addition to this, there is a growing range of specific networks, led by school staff and valued external expertise, which connects and unites all of our schools. Currently, these are:

  • English
  • Maths
  • EYFS
  • History
  • Science
  • Computing
  • PSHE
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Feedback not Marking

On top of this, we encourage a school led approach to school improvement and all of our schools have the opportunity to work with each other, either via the Trust hubs or individually or in small groups on particular projects.

LAAT Hubs

A strong, self sustaining  infrastructure for school improvement is essential for delivering excellent outcomes for pupils. As part of this infrastructure, there is a hub model which enables schools to work closely together to address key priorities innovatively using the expertise that exists within and beyond the hub. The hub model will enable:

  • Schools to have a shared ambition to support and challenge each other resulting in a consistent drive to improve pupil outcomes.
  • Opportunities for effective staff to have impact beyond their own school.
  • Staff within hubs to receive a broad range of continuous professional development (CPD) from within and beyond the hub. High quality external CPD which was not affordable for individual schools is accessible for schools within hubs as they are able to share costs.
  • Schools to use the LAAT School Effectiveness Advisers’ knowledge of where best practice exists so they can assimilate this information into the hub activity schedule.
  • Schools to work together on shared priorities within hubs but the hub model will not restrict academies to work in other networks such as teaching school alliances and collaborative partnerships.
  • Schools to work openly, honestly and generously with each other sharing good practice as well as concerns for the sole purpose of providing the very best education for all pupils in LAAT

The hubs have been formed primarily around the location of schools although there needs to be flexibility in the structure to allow schools to participate in projects led by other hubs where this is a school improvement need.  As new schools join our Trust, we review and adapt the model depending on geography.

Our current hubs can be found by clicking here

Support for School Leaders at all levels

We believe in the collective capacity of all staff to make a difference to the life chances of the children we serve and in order to do this, we strive to support leaders at all levels to be the very best they can be.

Through subject leader networks, we are able to bring colleagues together to develop their own subject knowledge and subject leadership and to develop strategy for the Trust. These networks meet online and in person and are led by subject experts, either from our schools, or via our Associate Consultants and Subject Association Experts such as the Geographical Association and STEM.

We meet our highly valued Headteachers , Executive Headteachers and Heads of School each half term. These days are co-designed and led by our School Leaders and address not only current issues but also include the sharing of research and next practice to challenge our thinking and move our schools continuously forward.

Improving Teaching and Learning

Our Trust has identified the following long term priorities.

  1. Improving outcomes for disadvantaged pupils and those pupils with SEND
  2. The development of an inclusive and diverse curriculum
  3. The development of middle leadership to drive curriculum excellence and expertise
  4. Developing excellence in assessment principles and practice

These priorities are explicit in school development plans and underpin the school’s areas for development, as well as meeting regional priorities and the collaborative hub working empowers schools leaders and the wider school teams to work together.

Education due diligence

Before a school enters the LAAT, the Trust undertakes a range of due diligence activities to get a clear understanding of the school’s strengths and areas for development in terms of the quality of education (intent, implementation and impact), behaviour and attitudes, pupil behaviour, personal development and leadership and management. Diligence activities include a review of external reports such as inspection reports, performance data, the current SDP and SEF. Discussions are held with senior leaders and governors around key priorities for development and there are joint monitoring activities such as a learning walks, lesson observations and a scrutiny of pupils’ work. It is through these due diligence activities, the LAAT is able to determine the level of risk evident and the type of support required to improve pupil outcomes and achieve the LAAT vision for its academies.

Directors are aware that schools must enter in a way that strengthens the whole. If through LAAT due diligence it is evident that a school wishing to enter the Trust exhibits issues that could potentially reduce the overall performance of the Trust (e.g. issues relating to finance, pupil projections or standards), then directors may defer the entry of that school until either the school has addressed such issues or the LAAT has sufficient capacity to support the school without negatively impacting on other schools in the Trust. Directors will prioritise schools that add capacity to the Hubs and the Trust as a whole.

“LAAT’s business support has allowed us to focus on teaching and learning, and school/staff improvement plans has enabled the school and staff to develop beyond what would’ve been possible had we not joined LAAT”

George Trafford Exec Head, Morton School and Ruskington Chestnut Street School