Bourne Education Trust (‘BET’) was established in 2011 and has grown steadily since then. It is largely Surrey based with 20 of its 25 schools there. Recently, it has expanded into Hampshire and Richmond. It is made up of 19 academies and 6 associate schools. Of its 25 schools, 13 are primaries, 9 are secondaries, 2 are alternative provision and 1 is a special school. It is responsible for the education of approximately 12,000 pupils and employs just over 1,300 staff. The Trust is organised into both phases and clusters to support specialist and cross-phase collaboration.
The size of its schools range from a one-form entry primary to an eight-form entry secondary school with a sixth form. Schools are equally important and carry the same influence in terms of decision-making within the Trust. Each school has its own head and local governing committee. The Trust is led by a team of 5 senior leaders who report to the CEO, Alex Russell.
Since 2012 it has taken 9 schools from special measures or requiring improvement to good or outstanding. The rest have maintained their good status whilst in the Trust. BET has transformed the finances in 12 of its schools so that no school in the Trust is in deficit.
BET’s values are summarised by our strapline: ‘Transforming schools; changing lives’. We absolutely believe that all children regardless of context or background deserve a great education, hence our involvement in schools and communities that have not experienced this. Whilst we want our schools to retain their own identity, all BET schools share environments that are extremely warm and welcoming, professional, relentlessly positive, highly aspirational and characterised by happy and safe pupils with excellent relationships between them and the staff. In all classrooms and beyond pupils enjoy creative and effective teaching and learning that fosters belief and confidence.
BET’s philosophy is to have schools working as effectively as possible and serving their community. We err towards independence on the independence/standardisation continuum but never forget we are one organisation working together. Our schools welcome the support of the Trust and its collective ethos but relish their remit as local schools and the responsibility that brings. Where we have centralised, it has not been driven by us but by the legal framework in which we operate and the requirements of the Academy Trust Handbook.