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The Equinox Way

As an outward-facing Multi Academy Trust, the Equinox Learning Trust is committed to education, enabling young people to secure exceptional life chances which stretch far beyond our schools. Regardless of whether schools are part of our Trust, we always look to see if there are areas where we can collaborate or offer support across the sector. We believe in transparency and actively seek to share and collaborate with other schools to drive school improvement and create a broader collective impact. Our schools’ approach is alignment with autonomy; this provides the safety of consistency and collaboration but with the flexibility for individuality. If you would like to know more, please get in touch, and we would be delighted to see how we can help your school/academy forge a successful partnership together.

How We Work

Our staff are passionate about delivering excellent education and committed to driving improvement through our core principles and collaboration.

Our approach to school improvement, governance, curriculum, learning and leadership is open source, adapted by our schools and rolled out across the Trust. This process enables our alignment with autonomy to play out in every school within the Trust to suit the needs of pupils best locally. The goal is to ensure every child secures the best chances in life through excellent education, regardless of background.

We are committed to leading by example, and our leaders work together to ensure our schools are aspiring examples of the art of the possible through our Leadership Behaviours Framework. Our staff live by our values >>>

Pupils observe adults in our schools and, as such, they are role models to our children for the core behaviour principles which are taught to them as they learn and share. Our Trust values proactive engagement with parents/carers and has built this into the programme of work for governors at local school level. We want our school communities to be aware of the targets we set ourselves and contribute to the review of progress, and, where possible, we seek constructive guidance on how we can improve. Our school leaders continuously seek ways to improve and enhance the education provided by each school and act as a network of support for each other through our Trust Leaders' time and informally through personal connections.

School Improvement Cycle

Based on a simple annual cycle, our established school improvement approach includes reviews and planning activities led by school leaders. The critical review and plan steps for each school are set within the calendar (alignment), and schools plan their ongoing review cycle (autonomy), all of which synchronise seamlessly with the programme of work Governors carry out.

Trust leaders support this work with interim reviews and training. Governors act as the school improvement and standards committee, and provide support and challenge for school leaders throughout the year. A strong track record of collaboration provides support and efficiencies for maximum impact. In addition to the routine school improvement cycle, we have a range of strategies to support more rapid improvement where required. This is headed by the CEO, who carries out school improvement work, ensuring we have the necessary expertise and capacity to sustain and develop excellence within all our schools.

Central to this mantra is the value of our staff, who continuously drive to provide an environment in which they can thrive, grow, and develop in their careers. We have a Leadership Behaviours Framework enabling new and experienced leaders to engage in professional development. Sharing expertise amongst peers is highly valued within our Trust, with systems allowing for continued development utilising peer-to-peer collaboration within schools and across the Trust.

Alignment with Autonomy

All schools are genuinely at the heart of their community and are best placed to make local decisions freely and flexibly, adapting to the needs of their local communities. While our schools align with our principles and the business of education, we firmly believe that to harness and celebrate diversity, individuality and personality, every school should have the flexibility to be different where needed.

As a Trust, our role is to provide leadership development and governance, set expectations and create the space for school leaders to work together. This constructive collaboration and simple approach to school business enables school leaders to focus on ensuring their school offers opportunities for every child to access the very best chances in life.  

The five core areas of alignment are as follows:

Core Areas Description
1) Business Process Finance, HR, estates management and IT are centralised and adapted to each school's needs. We are unapologetically focused on education standards and have clear operating procedures to support leaders at all levels.
2) Principles for Learning We have seven principles for learning that structure successful lesson design; each direction has a toolkit behind it. There is a wealth of research to support these principles, and schools have the flexibility to implement them in a way that suits them. The principles apply cross-phase and create the structure for consistent review work together when visiting lessons and how we value the design of learning opportunities.
3) Curriculum Development Our curriculum is constantly reviewed and developed through the school's review cycle and subject working groups. We have a framework for excellent curriculum design that is ready for implementation if required. Still, more importantly, we welcome the input of new thinking and provide space for schools to make curriculum decisions to best suit their pupils. We aspire to ensure every child has a qualified teacher in front of them, with specialist teaching provided in planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) in primary schools and central cover staff as part of the curriculum teams within our secondary school.
4) School Improvement Reviews School leaders conduct the ongoing school improvement reviews locally with evaluation and planning aligned throughout the Trust. They adapt the continuous review cycle design to suit their specific setting.
5) Governance Everyone involved in governance has a clear role and responsibility, with training and support provided throughout. Directors are legally responsible for the overall management of allocated public money, as well as the strategic direction of the organisation and standards across the board. All schools have a local governing body to whom the Directors delegate the responsibility for school improvement work. A carefully planned and synchronised work programme underpins the school improvement cycle, putting children and employees at the heart of its work.

Sustainable Growth

The Equinox Learning Trust is dedicated to sustainable growth that prioritises excellence in education. Our commitment extends beyond numerical expansion to ensuring the lasting impact and vitality of our academic community. Here's how we approach sustainable growth:

1. Mission-Driven Expansion: Our growth is guided by a steadfast commitment to our educational mission. We aim to empower pupils with exceptional life chances through a holistic and high-quality education. As we expand, our focus remains on maintaining the integrity of our mission and fostering positive learning outcomes for every child.

2. Quality Over Quantity: Sustainable growth for us means emphasising the quality of education over sheer numbers. We prioritise the establishment of a nurturing and enriching learning environment in every academy within our trust. This approach ensures that each pupil receives the attention, resources, and support necessary for their academic and personal development.

3. Expertise Enhancement: Central to our sustainable growth strategy is the continuous improvement of our expertise. We invest in developing our central team, providing them with the skills and knowledge needed to navigate the evolving landscape of education. This commitment enables us to maintain high standards across all schools within our Trust.

4. Environmental Responsibility: Sustainability isn't just about educational growth; it also encompasses our environmental impact. We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint, promoting eco-friendly practices, and instilling a sense of environmental responsibility in our pupils.

5. Board Oversight: Our growth plans are subject to regular review by our Board of Directors. This ensures that every expansion aligns with our commitment to excellence, providing the highest quality of service for our pupils. Directors evaluate the effectiveness of our growth strategies, making adjustments to ensure they are purposeful and in line with our overarching vision.

6. Community Engagement: Sustainable growth is a collective effort. We actively engage with our local communities, listening to feedback, and incorporating valuable insights into our expansion plans. Building strong community partnerships enhances the overall impact of our schools on the pupils and families we serve.

Join us on this journey of sustainable growth at Equinox Learning Trust. Together, we are creating a lasting legacy of excellence in education, ensuring that every child within our trust has the opportunity to thrive and succeed.