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Understanding Ebor Academy Trust

Understanding Ebor Academy Trust

With its headquarters in York, Ebor Academy Trust is a values-led multi-academy trust – a family of schools with a sense of responsibility for each other.

Ours is a mixed trust comprising both Community and Church schools. We have strong links with York St John University, work closely with the Diocese of York and have established many successful and innovative partnerships with organisations sharing common values and the same moral purpose.

We consist of small village schools, large urban schools, schools in challenging circumstances and those which have the capacity to support others.

Our schools operate in geographic hubs in York, Selby, on the Yorkshire Coast and in the East Riding and The Humber.

Ebor stands for Excellence, Belonging, Opportunity, Respect:

  • Excellence in all we do
  • A sense of belonging and solidarity for everyone in our group
  • Opportunities that are presented when we work well together
  • Respect for what we do and for each other.

We celebrate the uniqueness of each individual setting and share skills and resources, where appropriate, across our group.

Ebor was established to help a school in York that had been failing for over a decade. Less than three years after it joined the trust, Ofsted awarded the school its first ‘Good’ rating.

We provide a quality education provision for two-year-olds through to 16-year-olds. Our vision, continually evolving with regular input from school leaders within our group, is to provide great outcomes for pupils, staff and the wider leadership team, including governance.

The Trust is ambitious for all its component parts, creating an environment where there is a desire to learn. Our pupils develop the ability to communicate effectively, collaborate with others and think critically and creatively.

Excellence in Early Years teaching

An innovative partnership to increase excellence in early years teaching has been set up with Early Excellence, an established national leader specialising in developing young children’s education.

The partnership is based at Osbaldwick Primary Academy, part of Ebor, and will become a regional centre of excellence for early years education.

Ebor is predominantly a primary school based trust.

This is a collaboration which provides benefits to all concerned and especially young children in York and North Yorkshire. We share Early Excellence’s vision for high quality training and support for school improvement.

Liz Marsden, Early Excellence founder and director, said: “Every day we champion the development of inspirational learning and teaching, offering expert advice, support and training to schools and settings across the UK. We are delighted to be working alongside Ebor in York.”

Developing literacy

A partnership has been formed with Just Imagine, an international consultancy specialising in developing outstanding reading and writing in schools.

The initiative puts stories and literature at the heart of learning. The expertise, resources and research opportunities Just Imagine offer means that children at Ebor schools will be engaged in rich reading experiences that are in addition to their individual school’s core offer.

Nikki Gamble, chief executive of Just Imagine, said: “Developing literacy means children and young people can communicate effectively and helps them make sense of the world. It’s at the centre of all learning.
We are pleased to be working alongside Ebor Academy Trust to deliver truly innovative ways for children to get excited about literacy and start to develop a lifelong love of reading.”

Maths mastery

“Mastery approaches” to teaching maths are being developed by Ebor Academy Trust.

The Teaching for Mastery Programme, run by the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics, has been put together in conjunction with 35 Maths Hubs spread across England. Each hub is led by a school with a record of high achievement in maths and support improvements in the teaching and learning of maths. We have accredited personal development academy specialists in maths.

A maths mastery teacher exchange programme, funded by the Department for Education, saw one of Ebor’s academy specialists in the subject visit Shanghai, where maths teaching outcomes regularly top academic ability tables across the world.

Creativity in the curriculum

Teachers from schools across Ebor Academy Trust have been visiting schools in Finland and in Plymouth as part of an initiative to develop creativity across the primary school curriculum.

Finland has a reputation for innovative, creative schools and the Plymouth School of Creative Arts focuses on ‘make, discover, perform’ learning. The Ebor teachers, part of a curriculum innovation team, say examples of good practice they have witnessed will be considered as part of the review.

The need to re-think the curriculum is partly driven by Ebor’s success in gaining central government approval to establish a Creative Arts Academy, for 5-11 year-olds. The idea behind the new school is supported by Dame Judi Dench and Sir Nicholas Serota, chair of Arts Council England, among others. Discussions are ongoing as to where this will be located.

“I have always believed creativity and the creative arts should be encouraged in our schools and the approval of our bid has given Ebor the opportunity to thoroughly research how we can plan a 21st century education for 21st century citizens,” said Richard Ludlow, chief executive of Ebor Academy Trust.

“It’s a tremendous career development opportunity for our teachers and the ideas they are bringing back may yet have profound beneficial consequences for our children.”

Continuous Professional Development

Ebor has linked up with Inspiring Leaders to help develop and advance the careers of its teachers and school leaders.

The continuous professional development relationship means accredited training can be delivered from entry level teaching qualifications right through to nationally recognised leadership training courses including National Professional Qualifications for Headship (NPQH), Senior Leadership (NPQSL), Middle Leadership (NPQML) and Executive Leaders (NPQEL).

We want colleagues to fulfil their potential and create the most inspirational teaching environment for pupils – this sits at the heart of both Ebor Academy Trust’s and Inspiring Leaders’ ethos.

Chris Wheatley, a director at Inspiring Leaders said: “The challenge for the education profession is for its recruitment, improvement and development to become sector led. We have shown that the most effective model is where practitioners support practitioners and lead their own profession.
This relies on increasing capacity to deliver on this vision and our link with Ebor facilitates their growth to achieve it in the Yorkshire region, offering teachers more career opportunities and ultimately improving education for all.”

EborHope Teaching Schools Alliance

The new, much more collaborative EborHope Teaching Schools Alliance has solid foundations for the future. Our key strands of initial teacher training, career development and school to school support now have greater depth and is multi-faceted.

Woldgate School and Sixth Form College, Huntington Research School and York St John University are valued partners in our alliance, underlining our collective strength while retaining strong individual identities.

Both Robert Wilkinson Primary Academy, led by Ebor, and Manor Church of England Academy, led by Hope, are formally designated by the Department for Education as teaching schools. Teaching schools identify, develop and co-ordinate expertise for the benefit of pupils across a network of schools, making for better results, fewer poorly performing schools, more good and better schools and a self-improving and sustainable system.