Our Central Services
Being part of a MAT encourages collaboration, innovation and inspires idea generation, helping to continually improve educational standards.
Members of the Executive Leadership Team, within Aspire's Central Services, have many years of successful Headship experience. Current involvement in OFSTED inspections around the country, as well as learning taken from completion of the National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership (NPQEL), adds to the extent of their skills and expertise. The team are key facilitators and trainers for Best Practice Network, regularly leading the National Professional Qualification programmes for Senior Leaders, Headteachers and Executive Leaders. As qualified coaches and mentors, colleagues within Aspire Academies Trust and beyond can readily access their wealth of knowledge and experience. The Executive Leadership Team work closely with each school, as individuals or teams, offering advice, guidance, training and support in a wide range of contexts. They also oversee each school’s annual Academy Improvement Plan, which is discussed regularly, reviewed and evaluated on a termly basis.
Efficient financial management is crucial in the current economic climate. Education funding and public sector pay awards are hot topics and both these have a huge impact on the economic health of our Trust. Budgets are often a frustrating and time consuming activity for Senior Leaders, but support from Aspire's finance professionals and working alongside other departments in the MAT (i.e School Improvement) helps to ensure that the children are getting the most out of the money that is available. With statutory obligations to adhere to, changing legislations and varying funds, the finance team at Central Services help to relieve some of the pressures of budget creation and take care of the day to day financial management of the Trust.
MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS
The way people consume and process information has changed drastically over the last 10 years. The marketing & communications team helps each school develop their brand, improve the effectiveness of their communications, understand more about their stakeholders and raise awareness of all the fantastic teaching and learning opportunities they are providing their children.
In addition to reducing the admin workload of the schools, the Trust's operations function allows us to share best practice, standardise processes, reduce costs with multiple site discounts and benefit from economies of scale.
Working in partnership with School Business Managers and Site Managers/Caretakers, our team ensures premises management and Health & Safety is maintained consistently and effectively. Overseeing routine maintenance checks, procurement of all things relevant to premises and management of external contractors from quotation to completion of large on-site projects, our premises team have developed key processes and checks for internal monitoring of premises to ensure everything runs smoothly and is compliant.
The Central Services team lead on all areas of H&S, Safeguarding, HR and GDPR compliance, ensuring each academy is aware of relevant changes. Information and supporting documents are provided to those it affects, whilst policies and processes are put in place to make sure both the school and Trust are compliant in their legal and moral obligations to all stakeholders of the Trust. Regular reviews are carried out to monitor compliance. Where potential gaps are identified, recommendations, additional monitoring or training opportunities are suggested.
Aspire's Senior Catering manager oversees all in-house catering functions at the schools, including staff management, kitchen best practice and compliance, menu creation, invoicing, stock control and parental, pupil & supplier engagment.
ICT & DATA MANAGEMENT
With the increase in the use of technology and the importance of GDPR, the Aspire Central Services Team support our schools with their ICT & Data Management. We are able to take a strategic approach and introduce new platforms and processes, saving the schools time and money.
Governance is integral to running a successful MAT or maintained school. The Central Services Governance Team ensure the highest standards of Governance throughout the Trust and assist with daily tasks, including recruitment of governance members, clerking of LAB meetings, completion of mandatory returns and management of the annual policy schedule which ensures every policy is reviewed, ratified and distributed to the schools by the statutory date. As a MAT that encourages collaboration, we understand the importance of harbouring different opinions, experience and expertise. The Central Services Governance team supports our Trustees, Members and school LAB Members to ensure consistent and transparent communication across our governance community to help achieve the best outcomes for our schools.
The Central Services HR team works both operationally and strategically. They have years of experience recruiting and looking after the health and wellbeing of staff in education and support our schools on a day to day basis, offering hiring advice, assisting with staff grievances and supporting with best practice in implementing HR policies and procedures. Strategically, the HR team focus on talent management, ED&I, workforce planning, skills progression and succession planning. They are forward thinking and always looking at ways we can improve our HR function and offering to meet the needs of future workers.
THE TRAINING CENTRE BY ASPIRE
Schools within our Trust receive the added benefit of our in-house training centre. The Training Centre by Aspire offers schools access to the most current and up to date training, including the opportunity to be part of the decision making process for the times and dates of statutory training courses. It is also valuable for staff CPD, with regular networking and the opportunity to not only take part in training but create and deliver bespoke programmes around their expertise. As a Trust, we are always looking for areas of improvement and try to identify any needs or skills gaps amongst our staff. Having an on-site training centre allows us to create a bespoke course to suit this purpose, which we can then deliver complimentary to our staff.