Welcome to our website. On this page you can find out more about our Vision, History, Growth Strategy, Staff and news.
The Birmingham Diocesan Multi-Academy Trust (BDMAT) recognises that the future for schools lies in formal collaborations; schools working together, in partnership, to offer life in all its fullness for the young people who attend them. Church schools have a very distinctive purpose: Education is taught in an environment where there is a set of values and ways of behaving that stem from and express the Christian foundation of the school. Our schools are about providing an education within a Christian framework for children of the local community of any faith or none; Our Trust seeks to provide a place where church schools and non-church schools who support our philosophy can continue to provide high quality education, knowing that their distinctive ethos will be protected into the future.
Our mission is:
To provide high quality education within a Christian framework that allows all pupils to reach their full potential through experiencing a broad and balanced curriculum whilst ensuring staff have a good work / life balance and are fulfilled in their roles.
We have adopted the values of the Church of England, as articulated in the document ‘Deeply Christian, Serving the Common Good’ which sets out the vision for education that the Church of England believes should be seen in all schools, and not just those of a Christian foundation, as a result the values apply equally to our church schools and our non-church school.
Our key values are:
- Koinonia (community)
These are lived out in our schools and we aim to provide pupils and parents with schools which are:
Educating for Wisdom, Knowledge and Skills
Good schools foster confidence, delight and discipline in seeking wisdom, knowledge, truth, understanding, know-how, and the skills needed to shape life well. They nurture academic habits and skills, emotional intelligence and creativity across the whole range of school subjects, including areas such as music, drama and the arts, information and other technologies, sustainable development, sport, and what one needs to understand and practise in order to be a good person; citizen, parent, child, employee, team or group member, or leader.
Educating for Hope and Aspiration
How we learn to approach the future is crucial. Good schools open up horizons of hope and aspiration, and guide pupils into ways of fulfilling them. They also cope wisely with things and people going wrong. Bad experiences and behaviour and wrongdoing need not have the last word. There are possibilities for healing, repair and renewal; repentance, forgiveness, truth and reconciliation. Trust, generosity, compassion and hope are more fundamental than meaninglessness suspicion, selfishness, hardheartedness and despair.
Educating for Community and Living Well Together
Education needs to have a core focus on relationships and commitments, participation in communities and institutions, and the qualities of character that enable people to flourish together. We believe our living is inextricably involved with others, sharing our humanity and life on a finite planet. If those others are of ultimate worth, then we are each called towards them and to contribute responsibly to our communities.
Educating for Dignity and Respect
Human dignity, the ultimate worth of each person, is central to good education. The basic principle of respect for the value of each person involves continual discernment, deliberation and action, and schools are one of the main places where this happens, and where the understanding and practices it requires are learned. This includes vigilant safeguarding. It is especially important that the equal worth of those with and without special educational needs and disabilities is recognised in practice.
‘Deeply Christian, Serving the Common Good’ is inspired, as we are within BDMAT by scripture, in particular John 10:10 where Jesus declares “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”. The words of Jesus act as a guide for our vision, which is encompassed in our three guiding principles:
Life in its fullness for all
As stated, BDMAT is committed to the declaration of Jesus, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”. It is our mission to ensure that we act as God’s servants in ensuring that this vision of Jesus can be delivered. We think we can best achieve this through creating inspiring curricular which is specific to each school – our schools cover a large geographical area and serve such contrasting communities that it would not be appropriate to have a ‘one-size-fits-all’ curriculum across our settings. What we have established though is a curriculum network for curriculum leads to attend in order that they can share best practice and help support one another; other subject networks will also allow this to occur.
We accept the importance of literacy and numeracy as these subjects can unlock all aspects of education and open-up opportunities for all; one of the greatest Christian duties on us is to make sure that each child has the opportunity to achieve in these subject areas. Poor literacy and numeracy skills are the greatest barrier to social justice, especially for the most vulnerable pupils.
Whilst a key focus of the trust will always be on the promotion and improvement of literacy and numeracy it will not be at the expense of the child experiencing a wide range of subjects and activities whilst in our schools, both in the primary and secondary sectors. Pupils therefore should have plenty of opportunities to learn about the world through the humanity subjects; they should experience the arts as both artists and as audiences; and they should experience a wide range of sports. These opportunities in the primary and secondary stages are of particular importance as they will allow them to become ‘rounded – individuals’ and give them experiences that they might wish to develop in the future for either employment or social reasons.
As an organisation with Christian values at its core, we wish all to know who Jesus is and the key aspects of Christian teaching. Many of our staff and pupils have a faith different to the Christian one, or have no faith. Our schools serve all and all are welcome. We therefore provide an education within a Christian framework that we feel will be appropriate to those with faith or no faith equally. A key aspect of our work is developing pupils’ spirituality.
We are committed to ensuring ‘life in its fullness’ for our staff, as well as our pupils. In order that staff can have “life in its fullness”, we will ensure that all staff, including our leaders have an appropriate work / life balance and we will examine ways to reduce workload through collaboration and support. BDMAT will put in place a work / life balance charter to ensure all leaders are committed to this agenda.
Success for all
In the current education world, ‘success’ is often measured just by literacy and maths attainment at the end of key stages. At BDMAT we are committed to the holistic development of each child and therefore we see success as much wider. So, we want our pupils to experience a range of subjects and experiences in order that they have the opportunity to achieve in these. As previously stated, this
approach should not be at the expense of aiming high academically for all pupils – especially those who are vulnerable. Therefore, we expect all of our schools to aim for FFT 50 targets (for attainment that is in line with that seen nationally) and should set aspirational targets of FFT 20 (aiming for performance in the top 20% of all pupils nationally).
Success for pupils is likely to be secured if staff are also ‘succeeding’ in their roles. Performance management and appraisals will be undertaken with all staff on an annual basis with at least one mid-point review. Leaders across the MAT, both at a central and school level should be demonstrable in their praise for staff. Staff should also be encouraged and supported to improve their skills and knowledge etc through appropriate CPD – each member of staff should have an opportunity for an individual CPD plan for the year that clearly helps them to succeed and improve.
Positive well-being for all
Two-year old children who start in our nurseries in September 2019 will leave compulsory education in 2035 and therefore we have a responsibility to educate them in preparation for what society is likely to be like then. As a result, pupils will need to be supported to be resilient and willing to transfer skills. They will also need strategies to ensure that they look after their health – both their physical health and mental health. Therefore, each school should have in place a comprehensive personal, social and health education programme, incorporating a Relationships and Sex programme that meets current recommendations from the Department for Education and the guidance issued by the Church of England through ‘Valuing All God’s Children’ and subsequent advice. The majority of staff who have direct contact with pupils should have mental health training and they should be aware of the symptoms of mental health and then either support or signpost pupils and their families to the relevant professional support.
The well-being of staff is also important to the Trust and we will therefore ensure that we have appropriate occupational health services to support any staff who require this. We will also establish access to the services of a counselling service for any staff who require this, either for professional or personal issues. The executive and headteachers will all receive training on identifying stress in themselves and their staff and provide guidance on how best to support staff.