“Ebor are supportive, highly skilled and genuinely care about the children, their families and our staff. The central services team includes a varied wealth of expertise which has been invaluable throughout this time. Thank you all very much!” – staff survey, July 2020 (during the Coronavirus pandemic).
We are always interested in talking to like-minded schools about joining us. Below is a glimpse of what it would mean if you were to be part of the Ebor ‘family’.
The trust operates a central fund to provide a range of core services. This replaces the current de-delegations and some of the services maintained schools purchase from the local authority. We also provide what we believe to be value-added services.
We will continue to invest in additional central services, to remove or reduce costs from individual schools and yet provide high quality, more efficient and effective services shared across our schools.
Two examples from the Covid-19 public health crisis highlights the advantages of being part of a successful multi-academy trust: 1, the need for a coordinated approach to maintaining contact with vulnerable children away from school for some time; and 2, regular communication with staff and parents in the face of constantly evolving government guidance. Our safeguarding, wellbeing and pastoral lead worked with our IT providers to quickly equip staff across schools so as to be able to maintain regular contact safely with children, families and at-risk groups. The implementation of our wellbeing strategy was highlighted as an example of best practice nationwide in a subsequent Education Select Committee meeting in Parliament. Our director of communications was able to help staff and schools keep their communities informed of what was happening, with parent letters, leaflets, posters and providing information resources to schools.
Both of these roles are unlikely to exist within individual state schools. At trust level, they have proved their value and Ebor has been applauded for being fleet of foot in terms of proactive responses to unplanned circumstances. This assistance is of huge benefit to school leaders, providing extra capacity and in depth expertise they could rely on.
Capital funding is paid directly to the trust, so after joining us, schools no longer make funding bids to the local authority. Instead, capital work is funded by the trust based on the condition surveys of your buildings.
As part of the due diligence process, which begins when your application to convert is approved and you receive your Academy Order, our finance team will work with you to review your current financial forecasts and create revised projections under the new structure.
Similarly, we will examine your school estate and work alongside you and the local authority to make sure any critical issues are resolved before conversion.
We offer support and advice at all stages of the conversion process, which can begin with an informal discussion with senior staff and/or governors at your school. Your school leaders are also welcome to visit existing Ebor schools and talk to the heads to help complete the picture. As an observer they can also join one of our regular heads’ strategy meetings. We know this is a big step for a school, which is why we work with you to smooth the transition. Equally, we want you to be fully aware of what it’s like before making a commitment.
Based on our experience, we believe you will be glad you made the move. Here’s what some of our school leaders had to say in an anonymous staff survey, in July 2020, when we asked them what they believed were the benefits of joining Ebor:
“The autonomy to run your own school but lots of support when we need it.”
“Allowing our team to adapt and be flexible, growing and changing processes where they need to, friendly teams, doesn’t feel really hierarchical.”
“Genuine care and good communication.”
“Central systems help schools to focus on teaching and learning.”
“Flexibility, understanding of individual staff circumstances, although the organisation is large, it does retain a feeling of community and ‘all being in it together’.”
“Proactive and forward-thinking.”
“Fantastic opportunities to progress and develop own pedagogy.”
“Staff are listened to and supported. The whole pandemic was superbly handled centrally with space to reflect individual school needs and systems. Proactive rather than reactive to situations. Praise and thanks, recognition of work and commitment is strong.”
“Communication has been excellent. Hearing from colleagues at other schools how they have been left to flounder has highlighted this.”
“Ebor has often thought of jobs and done them before I’ve even thought about doing them (saves us so much time!)”
Your contact at Ebor at this preliminary stage is Tim Moat, Director of Communications and Development, telephone 01904 806806/07395 604168 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Download our brochure, which contains more information, here