CBAT Support & Guidance

Our vision is to develop a thriving partnership of schools with a strong collective identity that work together to generate and celebrate success.

By working together we create an environment that supports and challenges our schools allowing them to develop and thrive, whilst removing some of the operational burdens that distracts leaders and teachers from their core business.

Cotswold Beacon Academy Trust provides a full suite of educational and operational support to schools; our “back office” operational functions are fully compliant and affordable.

Our central team ensure your operational activities are streamlined and compliant, allowing your leaders and teachers to focus on the core business of teaching and learning. The achieved economies of scale allow an increased level of your funding to be directed towards your classrooms.

Meanwhile, our education team provide support and challenge from highly skilled professionals, who understand the context in which schools are operating and have the same commitment as you to raising standards and providing the best possible experience to pupils.

Schools in CBAT make a contribution to CBAT of 5% of their central school budget. This pays for;

CBAT - Leadership support and collaborative working
• Leadership peer support and challenge - belonging to a group of senior leaders with a wide range of experience and skill, and with a desire to share best practice
• Combined leadership expertise providing intelligence of upcoming threats and opportunities
• Access to experienced senior leaders working in a range of settings to support understanding of next steps, transition, and the 2-19 learning experience
• Networking for staff in similar areas across schools e.g. SENDCo, subject leads, pastoral leads
• Access to a wide range of CPD opportunities
• Progression opportunities within the trust (clear career pathways for all staff), leading to staff retention
• Opportunities for staff to offer school to school support, inside and outside CBAT, to develop their own practice and experience
• Opportunities for senior leaders to shape and influence the Trust development through weekly Trust Leadership Team meetings
• Expertise in data analysis (including SIMS, FFT, INSIGHT) to support school improvement
• Opportunities for staff to work with the trust to develop new schools to extend our offer to a wider number of children and young people
CBAT - School Improvement
• Research focused professional learning groups including teaching, learning and assessment, subject leadership, disadvantaged pupils (funding for visits and materials)
• External reviews to confirm good practise and support improvement using an established team of experienced current and ex-Headteachers, Ofsted Inspectors and ex-HMI.
• Networking at all levels for Headteachers, senior and middle leaders, teachers, governors and support staff
• The opportunity to be involved in moderation and standardisation across CBAT schools
• Access to a literacy and numeracy secondary ready transition project
CBAT - Recruitment and Training
• Access to recruitment of primary and secondary NQTs through the CETA Schools Direct Programme
• Opportunities for staff to work together including joint planning of INSET and school to school support to meet the needs of our staff and schools
• Access to CPD offered by the Cotswold Edge Teaching Alliance (CETA) working in strategic partnership with the Balcarras and Odyssey Teaching Hubs
• Support for teachers and leaders through CBAT schools and CETA, including support for specific subject areas or school priorities such as transition from KS2-KS3
• Access to National and Local Leaders of Education who can support governors and leaders on school improvement before or after inspection
CBAT - Ofsted Support
• Support in preparing for Ofsted visit
• Support in managing the Ofsted process when the visit is taking place
• CBAT CEO and Board involvement in meetings with inspectors including a link Trustee with more detailed knowledge of the school
• Support in preparing and delivering the post-Ofsted action plan
CBAT - Premises Support
• Premises expertise including staff training, PAT testing, Health and Safety, and compliancy across your school site
• Access to expertise in the capital bidding (CIF) process – more than £6M capital funding achieved so far for CBAT schools
• Support with major or minor refurbishment and rebuild works, and new build projects
• Joint negotiating powers for purchasing or agreeing service contracts
• Support in Risk Assessment, Risk Management and access to CBAT experience and advice
• Critical Incident and Business Continuity support
CBAT - Finance & Business Support
• Experience and expertise in guiding schools through the academy conversion process
• Access to full time CBAT Finance Team for advice and guidance.
• A Finance Team who recognises that you want to maximise your income and spend it in a way that has the greatest impact on the educational journey of your students.
• Financial expertise and support through a central finance team including; Policy compliance, Annual Audit, VAT returns, Annual reporting to the ESFA, budget forecasting, financial reporting, cash accounting, statutory returns, pension audit
• Payroll services and claims management
• Networking for business professionals, sharing best practice and supporting skills development
• Managing the pensions deficit
• Support for the use of parent payment systems
• Insurance through the government risk protection arrangement (RPA) which is specifically designed to provide comprehensive cover for schools including for Employers, Governor and Public Liability; Property; School Trips; Professional Indemnity; Hirers; Business Interruption; Money Cover.
• Central procurement for a range of services
• Contracts management
CBAT - HR / Legal
• HR support including administration of recruitment processes and access to Trust policies
• Access to internal HR support and a retained professional HR provider
• Direct support for higher-level issues – capability, grievance, disciplinary, etc.
• Mentoring and networking for the member of staff in your school handling personnel issues
• Opportunities to jointly appoint key staff e.g. SENDCo
• Recruitment support and guidance, including leadership recruitment
• Performance Management for Headteacher
• Restructuring support
• Access to a retained legal support from one of the sectors leading providers
• Support from the CBAT Data Protection Officer
• Single Central Record support and checks
CBAT - IT Support
• A clear Service Level Agreement tailored to the needs of your school and its location.
• Access to experienced full time in-house IT Manager and team of technicians
• Advice and guidance on IT software and hardware development
• Full website development (if required)
• Off site server back-up
• IT expertise to provide support, development and resourcing.
• Access to colleagues who can assist in developing your IT curriculum and providing exciting resources for pupils in a constantly changing subject area.
CBAT - Governance
• Access to experienced Governors for support, mentoring new chairs etc.
• Access to shared training
• Updates and alerts linked to national educational and governance developments
• Opportunities to network with Governors from other schools
• A Clerk’s network for sharing best practise and peer support
• Opportunities to share best practice and influence governance across CBAT
• Trust-wide core policies, and support in developing and maintaining local school policies
CBAT - Marketing, Enterprise and Business
• Access to CBATs Brand and Marketing Partner for support with marketing including design and PR
• Crisis support to balance negative PR
• Support in developing enterprise initiatives, such as fund-raising events and links with sponsors
• Support with maximising the use of social media

CBAT – How are we supporting our schools? – some real-life examples

  • We worked with a school to counter some negative press with legal support, leadership support and some positive PR and social media. We have bloggers and professional article writers on our team who can help you publicise what is great about your school.
  • We have used mentoring and sharing best practice to drive school improvement in targeted areas and we can source external school improvement partners to help you review and develop a specific area.
  • We supported a school and the employee who was experiencing long-covid symptoms with our HR expertise. We pride ourselves on being a family friendly employer and have developed accessible policies for managing sickness absence and special leave requests.
  • We have supported Governors, as they experience turnover changes in their board, with general and targeted training. Each of our schools has an experienced Link Trustee who can provide support in areas of Governance.
  • When recent lockdowns cancelled all our school trips, we achieved 100% refunds to all our parents via the RPA.
  • We are working with colleagues across the Trust, giving opportunities for development in their role, including Project Management, Free School Opening, opportunities to experience Teaching across phases, sharing TA skills between schools, and support for professional studies, including an accessible Trust-pooled Apprenticeship Levy.
  • We were able to re-direct some valuable donated resources to one of our schools increasing the learning opportunities for the pupils in that subject area.
  • We have sought input from all our schools to source a compliancy and health and safety training platform which is fit for purpose in every school.

CBAT – With you as part of our future

 We want to work with more like-minded schools to grow and develop our offer even further. As a part of the CBAT family you will have access to the wide-range of skills and resources we have in CBAT and you will have the opportunity to;

  • Bring your skills and expertise into a Trust in which everyone’s contribution is valued
  • Share and swap best practice, enabling all our pupils to benefit from what you do best
  • Help drive our direction of growth over the next five years
  • Join a successful MAT that is pupil oriented, family friendly and focused on equal opportunities
  • Be ambitious with us, for yourself, your staff and your pupils.



If you would like further information about CBAT please don’t hesitate to contact us:

Dr Stuart Wilson     Chief Executive Officer                     

Emma Gray            Chief Finance and Operations Officer