What is a Trust School?

Trust schools are state-funded foundation schools which receive extra support (usually non-monetary) from a charitable trust made up of partners working together for the benefit of the school.

Achieving trust status is one way in which maintained schools can formalise their relationship with their partners. Trust status can help schools ensure that their partners are committed to the success of the school for the long term, helping to shape its strategic vision and ethos.

Any maintained school – primary, secondary or special schools (but not maintained nursery schools) – can become a trust school. Trust schools remain local authority-maintained.

Trust status will help schools to

  • raise standards through strengthening new and existing long-term partnerships between schools and external partners
  • broaden opportunities and increase aspirations for pupils, support children’s all-round development, and tackle issues of deprivation and social exclusion
  • strengthen overall leadership and governance
  • give business foundations and other organisations the opportunity to be more involved in their local community
  • engage with parents – schools will need to consult parents before entering a trust
  • bring a renewed energy and enthusiasm to the way they work by learning from other schools and external partners
  • create a distinctive, individual or shared ethos.