We are actively seeking schools in the West Midlands, of both primary and secondary phases, to join Central RSA Academies Trust. If you are, having found out a little bit about our schools and our Trust, through this website or other means, keen to have a confidential conversation with us, then please do not hesitate to contact us.
Outlined below are seven reasons why you might consider joining us as a school – we are very happy to discuss these, and other benefits, should you wish to.
Please contact us by filling out an enquiry at the bottom of the page.
RSA Academies are specifically distinctive in that they were set up with the belief that communities and the schools within them know and understand their communities, and know best how to engage with them. We share a collective vision, which is based on ensuring the highest educational standards, the development of skills and acquisition of expert knowledge, and promoting creativity and innovation in all aspects of our schools curriculum. We are only interested in schools joining us who share our vision for our schools and young people.
By being an RSA Academy, we have access to a mass of expert resource in the arts, business, design and other areas. We have experts coming to school to support the students in a wide range of fields, because they want to make a difference, such as the RSA Fellows, RSA Royal Designers for Industry, Royal Shakespeare Company to name a few. We are passionate, as a group of schools, about ensuring a broad curriculum where students develop the qualifications and attributes to enable a happy and fulfilling life. We seek to develop passion within them in whatever field they choose to pursue, and develop programmes to enable them to experience a wide range of careers and hobbies so that they can find passions that may otherwise be left dormant.
Our schools have expertise in a range of settings from Early Years Foundation Stage through to post-16. Engagement for staff in a range of networks, teams, research groups and initiatives to develop effective practice in all areas of school improvement. The collaboration between primary and secondary colleagues in planning a superb learning journey in each and every subject has led to amazing curriculum innovation and student success.
School leaders meet regularly with the challenge of ensuring that each child in each of our schools is getting the best possible education. Senior and middle leaders help each other to be the best they can be.
As just one example of a collaborative project that would not have happened but for our strong relationship with the RSA, we have, as RSA Academies, gained grant funding from the Pears Foundation, of £80000. This has been provided to enable school leaders to develop staff training and delivery on the very important issue of effective management of mental health in schools. Experts from all settings are contributing to this, gaining professional knowledge and growth as a result, putting our staff at the forefront of practice in this area. Of course, as a result, and most importantly this benefits the young people in all of our schools.
We provide direct support in school for teachers and leaders from our own core team, which includes National Leaders in Education, Specialist Leaders in Education, experienced Ofsted inspectors, as well as commissioned highly effective school improvement support staff.
We ensure we enable support for colleagues in school in all areas from experts within our schools. All staff and leaders take responsibility for all pupils in all of our schools. We take the view where there is success, we have all succeeded, and if we experience failure in any area, it is a failure by us all.
Recruitment of staff is strong, and with current challenges in shortage areas, this is a great benefit. Staff want to work in RSA Academies, and as a result we are lucky to be able to select from the very best to work with our children. As our Trust has grown, we have been able to take the decision to ‘over-recruit’ teachers in areas of national shortage, such as maths, primary specialists, and so on. Stand-alone schools are far less able to do this, as it would put budgets at risk, which as a Trust is not the case. As a results, each September we are protected from being left with classes with non-specialists teachers. Clearly this is in the interests of the learners.
We have a detailed succession plan for all our settings, making us able to plan for areas hard to recruit to, and to map career progression for talented leaders across our settings, so that expertise and quality is grown from within. The ability for staff to access such a wide pool of talent and knowledge makes our staff strong – staff retention and progression within the family is very high – leading to the best staff staying in our schools – As a result, all of our young people gain from high quality staff at all levels of all of our schools.
A key leadership role for all Governors, Principals and senior leaders, in primary and secondary settings, is to shape and drive the Trust Vision and Mission. Chairs of our Local Academies Governing Boards meet as part of the RSA Academies Governance Support meetings. Governors, along with our Principals, who form the Trust Executive Team, identify key priorities and shape the future direction of the Trust as a whole, and the schools within the Trust.
We provide direct support for school leaders and governors in the development of a strong and sustained trajectory of school improvement through management support. Areas include data analysis and follow up, appraisal, CPD and governor support and training.
Schools often have great leaders – when they leave a gap can emerge. When a gap emerges in our Trust, it is the Trust that is responsible for ensuring continuity of provision. If a difficulty arises, we are duty bound to support – ‘the wagons will circle’ and sustainable solutions ensured. This is not always easy in a ‘stand-alone’ academy. We strongly believe that school leaders and teachers can share thinking and planning, to spread expertise and tackle challenges ahead. Each of our senior leaders and Principals have strength and expertise in a variety of different areas. Together we collectively learn and benefit from each other’s knowledge and develop our leadership to support the development of our children and schools.
We ensure access to a full range of professional development opportunities for all staff from NQT’s through to senior leaders through our Teaching School offer. We are a National Teaching School as a Trust, with strong provision in both primary and secondary phases, training our own teachers in both phases. As leaders of the RSA Academies Teaching School Alliance, we have the added capacity and knowledge from two other RSA teaching schools, Whitley in Coventry and Holyhead in Birmingham.
Opportunities to work in other schools within and beyond our MAT, across the RSA Family of Academies as leaders, coaches and direct classroom support and/or in an advisory capacity for other Trust activities.
We are a ‘not for profit’ organisation. Any income we receive is spent for the benefit of our pupils. We aim to grow, and have a strategic growth plan, in a way that benefits our own pupils and the pupils of schools wishing to join us. Schools must sign up in principal to the key strands of RSA Academies – social justice, creativity, academic standards, well-being, breadth of curriculum, community and the arts
Support services for finance, ICT, procurement, human resources, and data are led by a Central Team operating across the Trust. The Central Team budget has a maximum annual cost of four percent of the Trust’s budget, which means that ninety-six percent of the Trust’s budget goes directly to individual academies. We do not pay our Trustees.
The economies of scale gained by being part of a group of schools, we can demonstrate, more than pay for the central costs, and of course give the strong benefits gained by not working in isolation in these areas. We are growing expert teams with high capacity, rather than as an individual academy trying to procure services in all areas, of which the academy has little control over the quality of delivery.
All of this means pupils get better provision than that of most schools working in isolation, and through scale, succession planning means that vacancies can be covered much more easily without damage to pupil learning or provision quality.