TEACH is a Multi Academy Trust of primary schools, currently composing two infant schools, and two Junior schools, all situated on Canford Heath, a large housing estate in Poole, Dorset. All four schools are currently judged Good to Outstanding by Ofsted. The Trust serves a mixed community with a fairly equal measure of affluent and disadvantaged families. The Trust was originally founded as a Co-Operative Foundation Trust in April 2013. The initial Co-Operative Foundation Trust sought to build on and strengthen the existing collaborative partnerships that already existed amongst the four local schools. Although the legal entity was more `light touch`, there existed a strong desire to collaborate and work together as a group of schools, and leadership at all levels agreed that more could be achieved by working collaboratively than by working alone.
However, as the Co-Operative Foundation Trust grew and developed it quickly became apparent that more capacity was needed if the vision and aims of the Trust was to come to fruition. Significant funding from the Government to convert to Academy Status became available in the summer of 2014, and Trustees took the time to explore what this could mean for the Trust. Various options were considered, one being the 4 schools work under an existing `umbrella` of Trust based in the Southampton area. However, following consultation with parents and staff, a final decision to convert independently to Multi Academy Status was taken in January 2015. The four schools legally converted to a Multi Academy Trust on 1st April 2015. The Trust worked with a local firm of solicitors in Southampton, Paris Smith, and a local Business Support organisation, SBS, to complete the conversion process.
In the summer of 2015 the Headteacher of one of the Junior schools made the decision to retire. This created an opportunity to reflect on general leadership arrangements across the Trust schools, and a single Executive Headteacher was appointed in May 2015, over the 4 schools, supported by a part time Chief Executive Officer. This arrangement seeks to provide the coherence of leadership necessary to raise attainment universally across the 4 schools.