Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

A question of trust

Paper people

 My school is talking about applying for trust status but I'm not sure how this is different from foundation status and what we would gain by changing. Can you enlighten me?

A A trust school is a type of foundation school, so if your school doesn't already have foundation status it will need to apply for it. In most aspects a trust school is the same as a foundation school except that it is supported by a charitable trust made up of partners including community organisations, businesses, colleges, universities, charities or anyone else the school wants to involve.

A trust school can work in isolation but ASCL believes that the real benefit of trust status is to promote collaboration by bringing several schools together linked by one trust. The advantages of trust status include:

  • formalising existing partnerships and securing them for the long term

  • providing a framework for schools and colleges to work together

  • securing support and commitment from external organisations

  • bringing outside expertise to help shape the strategic direction of the trust

As with most initiatives however, there is a financial cost involved in becoming a trust and a significant amount of work to get partners on board and mechanisms in place and to agree the purpose and vision, according to schools that have been through the process.

Trust schools are funded in the same way as other local authority schools, must abide by the Admissions Code and are subject to reorganisation plans.

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