School Trusts as new civic structures – A framework document

In February 2019, the UPP Foundation Civic University Commission launched its final report, Truly Civic: Strengthening the connection between universities and their places. The report sets out how universities have the capability, opportunity and responsibility to be civic partners and further support the places where they are based to solve some of their most pressing and major problems.

Lord Kerslake, Chair of the Civic University Commission said: “The deep economic and social changes that are happening in Britain today have, alongside Brexit, made the civic role of universities even more vital to the places they are located in.”

CST gave evidence at the commission. We believe school trusts are also well set up to play this role – particularly the larger trusts who may be quite large employers in an area and will have the capability and capacity to act with other civic partners. But even smaller trusts can all play a role – as many already do – as good civic partners to their local authority to advance education as a public good in their community.

A group of CST member trusts and Public First – who were the secretariat to the Civic University Commission – have produced this guide to help school trusts think through how they might maximise and build on their civic impact.

Systems of meaning – three nested leadership narratives for school trusts

Over the past 12 months, CST has been developing a new narrative promoting school trusts as education charities with a single legal and moral purpose – to advance education for public benefit. As part of our work on a new narrative, we have also been developing three ‘nested’ leadership narratives.

CST’s sector-led ‘white paper’ on the future shape of the education system in England

This paper sets out a direction of travel and calls for all political parties work to together with the sector to agree a long-term plan for education, to complete the reform journey which has its origins with the Labour administration at the turn of the century and has continued through the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition and successive Conservative governments.

CST School Funding Policy Paper

As a first principle, CST believes that schools should be funded in a sufficient, equitable and sustainable way.  The future of our society and our economy depends on the knowledge, skills and qualities of our children and young people.

MAT assessment

Half of our children and young people in England are educated in the academy system. Over the past eight years, multi-academy trusts have become a powerful force in education reform. Trusts are the legal entity and accountable body for the schools in each group. As the accountable body (and because of the amount of public money), the public has a right to feel confident in the quality of leadership and governance exercised by the trust. 

CST has developed concrete policy proposals for MAT assessment which we are discussing with the Secretary of State and senior civil servants.