The values of the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust are ‘clear, explicit and shared across the trust’, Ofsted wrote in its second summary report of the multi academy trust (MAT).
Heads described ODST as a ‘listening trust’ with a ‘personal touch’. The trust was committed to ‘preserving schools’ individual characters’.
Leadership and teaching were effective.
Although the level of challenge provided by governors to heads wasn’t ‘consistently strong across the trust', local governing bodies were ‘well-supported’ by ODST’s governor services team.
The Active Learning Trust was praised by inspectors in its summary report. Like ODST, the trust had a ‘strong and collective ethos, vision and values’. ALT celebrated each school’s ‘individual characteristics’ and provided ‘a good balance of autonomy and central oversight and accountability’.
Although pupil progress and outcomes were ‘mixed’, inspectors said pupils’ attainment in five school where pupil performance had been ‘significantly below the national average’ had ‘improved steadily over three years’.
The ‘quality of training and development’ across ALT was a ‘strength’, inspectors wrote.
One quality shared by these two trusts and the first trust to receive an Ofsted summary evaluation, Truro and Penwith MAT, is that they all recognise and cherish the individual characters of their schools. They do not seek to impose a uniform curriculum or way of working; neither do they appear to promote a trust ‘brand’ by changing school names to include the name of the trust such as ARK, Harris or Ormiston.