Esteem MAT ... STRONGER TOGETHER
Stronger Together ... Working as a community
Esteem Multi-Academy Trust is passionate about promoting opportunities and celebrating the successes of children and young people in all its academies.
Through our stimulating, exciting curriculum and the efforts of our committed and talented staff, we seek to engage pupils in their education, and to improve progress, attainment, and attendance. In doing so we also work in partnership with parents/carers and other agencies involved with our pupils’ educational and personal development.
We want our pupils to develop a positive outlook on life, which will enable them to work hard to achieve their best, be happy and become as independent as possible. We also want our pupils to feel part of their home and school communities, by providing academies that are local and which engage with their community.
We create stimulating, emotionally supportive and communication-rich learning environments where pupils and staff value themselves and others. By providing meaningful experiences, we aim to challenge, motivate and empower individuals to acquire the skills and knowledge they need for the challenges of life beyond school.
As a Trust we are committed to supporting pupils with SEND within our schools, but also in the wider school system, and we welcome the opportunity to contribute to the integrated resources, special-led hubs and outreach programmes that are being developed by local authorities. To that end we will work collaboratively with mainstream and special settings to develop and share expertise and approaches.
We share expertise across our Trust, such that best practice and best resources are shared. We will recruit high quality staff at all levels, offer a comprehensive induction process, and thereafter high-quality training, supported by effective ongoing appraisal. This appraisal will include the identification of opportunities for continuous coaching, mentoring and monitoring tailored to the needs of the individual and the requirements of the school improvement plan.
We are also committed to supporting our pupils’ families where we can. The Trust has its own Families and Student Support Team (FASST) and liaises with other professionals who are involved in supporting a pupil and their family referred to the service. For example, our FASST keyworkers can:
Prepare and deliver an agreed supportive and needs led intervention plan
Design and deliver targeted activity working either on a 1:1 basis or in groups using a holistic approach
Provide strategies to the family where needed to support the pupil’s education
Participate in conferences, reviews, meetings and other forums as required
Ensure that the pupil’s or family’s voice is captured throughout the whole assessment and intervention process
Signpost parents/carers to activities or additional services available to the family
Support the pupil to develop better social and emotional skills, communication, the ability to manage their own behaviour and mental health
Stronger Together ... Growing and improving as a community
Esteem MAT grew from 7 to 10 academies within its first year, and as at April 2020 includes 7 special schools, 3 support centres (pupil referral units) and one infant and nursery school, from three different local authority areas. We wish to grow further to fulfil our vision to become a centre of excellence for SEND, supporting SEND and disadvantaged pupils and their families both within our Trust schools and the wider schools’ system, across the midlands.
Our aim, by the end of 2023, is for Esteem MAT to consist of at least 15 academies to ensure financial sustainability and maximise economies of scale. We may also explore the possibility of merging with smaller special school and PRU trusts. When taking on new schools we will be mindful of alignment with our values; the balance of special schools, primary schools and alternative provision; and the role that geography plays in how we work together.
Esteem MAT was formed in a collaborative way by seven previously local authority-maintained schools and we are committed to continuing to work in a positive and proactive way with all the local authorities admitting pupils to our schools. Our CEO sits on several local authority, regional and national working groups and forums, all designed to promote and progress the needs of vulnerable children and young people across our education system.
The ethos of Esteem MAT is that collaborative, partnership working is the key to achieving improved performance for our own pupils and for those we can help to support outside of our Trust.
To this end the MAT provides a clear sense of identity and purpose to improve the results for young people with SLD, complex learning disabilities, and other special needs and disabilities. This is achieved by offering a full range of opportunities across the 2-19 age range, with the opportunity to develop programmes of study across all the schools by sharing expertise, best practice and resources to achieve best value for money. Better practice in some schools in the MAT is used to improve weaker practice in others.
Within the MAT it is our school improvement function that has particular responsibility for turning collaboration into improvement.
Stronger Together ... Our pupils
Our pupils are our shared purpose and our passion.
They come from many communities, all with their unique character, strengths and challenges. Some are very vulnerable young people. All have exceptional, individual talents and abilities and we celebrate their differences.
We focus on supporting pupils to overcome the barriers to learning that they face, and by using effective and individualised approaches to address these. We enable them to fully access a broad and balanced curriculum, which is based around their needs and targeted at achieving meaningful personal outcomes for individuals, whether these are focused on developing the skills for independent living or on working towards and gaining external accreditation. Learning in our academies is accessible and enjoyable.
We understand the importance of multi-agency involvement in supporting the development of our pupils and will work in partnership with colleagues from appropriate support services such as health and social care. We aim to develop and support a holistic approach towards both the child and the family in order to best meet individual needs.
We believe in ‘being brave’ and our pupils and their families are constantly faced with having to be brave in negotiating the demands and challenges of the education and social care systems as they prepare for adulthood. Our staff are there to support and inspire them along the way and to be brave, bold and ambitious in their shared efforts and aspirations.
The MAT will also be brave in continually pushing our pupil focused agenda with local and national policy makers.