While we cannot know the future, the purpose of the CLF Strategy 2030 is to ensure the CLF is prepared and focused on meeting the challenges of this decade, while also providing hope and opportunities to our learners, our people and our communities; it is against the ideals of this narrative that work of the trust is monitored and its future success judged.

Steve Taylor, CEO - Cabot Learning Federation

Our Core Strategy

Equity Through Education is underpinned by three core strategies central to all trust activity. They guide decisions around development and improvement, while adhering to our commitment to create equity of opportunity, promote inclusion, remove disadvantage and reject discrimination.

  • Through the Lens of Disadvantage

    • Strategic emphasis on delivering excellence for disadvantaged learners even over other groups.
    • Benchmarking our impact through the lens of disadvantaged learners.
    • Developing best practice among CLF People to deliver for disadvantaged learners.
    • Working in tandem with others via CLF Partnerships to support our most disadvantaged families.
  • Investing in People

    • Sector-leading support, learning and professional development.
    • A welcoming, diverse and inclusive environment.
    • Resilient, empowered teams, with leaders at all levels.
    • Meaningful commitment to wellbeing and career progression.
    • High standards and ambitions for learners and their families.
  • Investing in Partnerships

    • Deep and collaborative connections throughout our communities.
    • Clear understanding of community issues and opportunities, and enthusiasm to engage.
    • Strong relationships with learners, parents, carers, volunteers and alumni.
    • Contribute to the educational and social landscape – locally, regionally and nationally.
    • Partner with other civic agencies to be a force for good in our local area

Our Sub-Strategies

Designed as enablers of our core pillars, these seven sub-strategies transcend teams and departments to resonate throughout the CLF. Driven by senior members of staff and reviewed annually, these ambitions will contribute to the sustainable development of the trust.

EDI
Wellbeing
Digital
Voice
Leadership
Operating at Scale
Environment
  • Unwavering commitment to advancing equal opportunities for all, eliminating discrimination, and upholding CLF values of equity, equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Ensure the Trust remains a place where everyone feels they belong and supported to succeed.
  • Support the drive to diversify the CLF workforce to reflect the diverse communities we serve.
  • Grow EDI Networks which create safe spaces for children and adults to be themselves.
  • Provide resources to help staff and students positively and proactively manage their wellbeing.
  • Ensure support is signposted and easily available if people are struggling.
  • Further evolve a wellbeing curriculum which aligns with our goal of self-agency.
  • Play an active role in communities which supports equitable access to mental health services for all – particularly those experiencing disadvantage.
  • Enable all staff and pupils to safely and effectively work and learn anytime, anywhere.
  • Be future-seekers, equipped and ready to adopt technology which has ‘crossed the chasm’.
  • Give people the right tools to support their work, and train them to excel.
  • Embrace technology which supports partnership ambitions within the community and across clusters and wider education system.
  • Be a listening organisation which puts its people at the heart of strategic choices.
  • Nurture cohesive and coherent systems which gather and understand stakeholder views.
  • Maintain strong understanding of our trust and its impact through the eyes of our communities.
  • Be a model for CLF students, staff, families and communities to use to enact societal change
  • Utilise Trust experience to develop leadership to meet the challenges of this decade.
  • Raise standards by investing in capacity and expertise across the Trust.
  • Nurture a leadership culture which sustains a high-performing Trust which improves as it grows.
  • Empower leaders to take ownership of improvements which raise standards
  • Deploy the right resource at the right time to deliver maximum impact.
  • Establish efficient and effective systems which add value and support core priorities.
  • Build a scalable model which enables both standardised and empowered future growth.
  • Develop a new financial operating model, shaped by the above outputs, which delivers successful outcomes.
  • A shared commitment to reducing environmental impact which will see all schools hold Eco Schools Green Flag status.
  • An annual environmental conference where green champions can showcase positive action in schools.
  • Deep pupil engagement in environmental matters, supported by the CLF curriculum.
  • Provide data to help schools understand and reduce their impact through behaviour and technical change.

Strategy In Action

09
Jul

Weston plays host to the CLF Summer Conference

Pic: Nic Hamilton

The Cabot Learning Federation (CLF) celebrated a milestone event with over 2,000 colleagues from over 30 academies attending the CLF Summer Conference at Winterstoke Hundred Academy.

This annual event offered a unique opportunity for colleagues to network and engage with the latest in educational thinking.

The CLF Summer Conference is designed to be a dynamic blend of professional development, educational enrichment, celebration and fun activities.

This year, the event featured an impressive lineup of keynote speakers, including Prof Sir Jonathan Van-Tam, Covid medical officer, Ben Smith, Ultra runner, Professor Sir Steve West, VC UWE Bristol, Nic Hamilton, who was the first disabled athlete to compete in the British Touring Car Championship and brother of Lewis Hamilton, and Lauren Chiren, CEO of ‘Women of a Certain Stage’, among many others, concluding with a performance from Lemn Sissay.

Throughout the day colleagues participated in various educational workshops and discussions that included, adapting teaching for learners with various SEND, child exploitation, knife crime, School Foodbank campaigns, classroom Science experiments, barriers experienced by Black and Black Mixed-raced students, to more physical activities that included Laughter Yoga, Pilates, Cross Fit, archery and climbing.

 

Pic: Prof Sir Jonathan Van-Tam

A highlight of the day was the celebration for our School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) trainees attending their graduation ceremony before embarking on their careers this September. CLF colleagues also collected peer-nominated ‘HEART’ awards in recognition of their exceptional work and contribution to the trust’s core values. A record number of over 1,000 HEART Award nominations were received this year.

The arts were well represented with live performances from CLF Voices, a scratch choir, a staff dance ensemble, and a scratch music ensemble, who all performed on the day.

Various exhibitors set up stalls to share information about their organizations, providing colleagues with valuable resources and networking opportunities.

Alison Fletcher, Director of the CLF Institute and chief organiser said: “This summer conference had our largest attendance and biggest programme to date for our trust and was the first time we have held this in Weston-super-Mare, where we have six schools.

“We kept a close eye on the weather as marquees were pitched on the field at our new Winterstoke Hundred Academy site at Locking Parklands! The calibre of our keynote speakers and breadth of specialist input generated excitement amongst deliverers and delegates alike. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to and participated in this conference.”

 

03
Jul

Cabot Learning Federation Hosts Pupil Parliament

An initiative designed to give students and understanding of democracy and a voice in their school community has been held by the Cabot Learning Federation (CLF).

The Pupil Parliament brings together representative pupils from each CLF academy to discuss important issues and topics identified by the students themselves.

Twenty-five children from KS1 to Post 16 pupils spent time connecting,

co-constructing, and exploring their aims, aspirations, and thinking together about our collective responsibility.

The Pupil Parliament included two significant areas of focus –

  • Looking after the world – climate action: With the support of CLF Eco Leads, students explored ways to promote environmental sustainability.
  • Looking out for each other – inclusion and diversity: Pupils delved into themes of inclusivity and diversity, highlighting the importance of these values in their communities.

Pupils and students offered some really useful and insightful feedback on the World’s Largest Lesson and the Big Ambition themes.

The World’s Largest Lesson promotes use of the sustainable development goals in learning so children and young people can contribute to a better future for all.

The Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, published The Big Ambition, compiling the voices, views and experiences of children about their lives and aspirations.

Pupils also gave feedback and reflections on the TED talk they watched delivered by Cole Blakeway with the theme of We Are All Different – and THAT’S AWESOME! Which further explored inclusion and diversity.

At the end of the session, all the Pupil Parliament representatives were given their Big Parliament badges, some wildflower seeds and teamwork bees to plant, grow and flourish – representing the work of the Pupil Parliament across the trust.

CLF Education Director Susie Weaver said: “It has been my absolute privilege to lead the Pupil Parliament group over a number of years – gathering feedback from our learners on their experiences within and beyond our trust is crucial.

“I am really pleased with the strides we have made in securing pupil participation right across the trust.”

 

 

 

02
Jul

Youth Sport Trust recognises the CLF’s outstanding sporting provision

The CLF’s outstanding sporting provision is being cited as an exemplar for the nation’s schools to learn from in a new campaign by the Youth Sport Trust (YST).

Earlier this year, the trust’s PE programme earned the Outstanding Multi Academy Trust Practice Award at the 2024 Youth Sport Trust Awards.

At the time, the judging panel praised an ‘inclusive’ trust-wide physical education provision which is designed to ‘improve the life experiences of all students’.

Now, the organisation has featured the CLF as a case study in its new campaign Well School Trusts: Principles in Practice – Building a Strong Trust Through PE, Sport and Play.

A YST spokesperson said: “This guide, on how to implement the principles of a strong trust, brings welcome focus to how we use the power of PE, sport and play as an enabler, a unifier and source of hope.

“Its practical examples and self-reflection tools will support school trusts in exploring how you might embrace the philosophy of a Well School Trust as we all strive to ‘lead well’ and address the increasing physical, emotional and social challenges faced by our students and staff.

“This toolkit uses practice examples from across the country of school trusts who are putting PE, sport and play at the heart of their Well School Trust approach and delivering on the strong trust principles.”

The YST citation praised the high quality of the CLF’s PE practitioners and curriculum, as well as the impact of its community partnerships and annual series of Big events.

It said: “The CLF believes that by working together they can accelerate school improvement and embed excellence in their academies. In doing so, they can create more opportunities for the lifelong success for their students.

“The Federation exists to promote their life chances and to deliver excellent educational experiences for those pupils in their academies now and in the future.

“Through PE, school sport and physical activity, the CLF ensures that all pupils receive high quality and inclusive education, promoting a positive relationship with physical activity to develop the holistic characteristics to live successfully in society.

“Pupils leave the CLF with skills and characteristics developed through participation, which enables them to be active for life.

“They are provided with a sense of belonging, a positive sense of identity and understanding of how the physical, psychological and social benefits of physical activity can support their wellbeing through life.”

James Mooney, CLF Senior Curriculum Leader for Physical Education, School Sport and Physical Activity, said: “We are proud to have our work showcased in the new Youth Sport Trust’s Well School Trusts: Principles in Practice toolkit as we all strive to address the physical, emotional and social challenges faced by our students and staff.

“We are building a strong trust and driving school and trust improvement by unlocking the potential of every child through PE, sport and play.”

 

02
Jul

‘Greatly improved’ Waycroft Academy Now ‘Good’ In All Areas, Says Ofsted

Recent improvements to teaching and curriculum at Bristol’s Waycroft Academy have had a ‘huge impact’, according to Ofsted inspectors, who say the school is now ‘Good’ in all areas.

The primary school – located in Stockwood – offers a ‘calm and purposeful’ learning environment where children are ‘supported with kindness and understanding’, inspectors said.

Ofsted’s glowing endorsement follows a two-day visit from an inspection team, who met leaders from Waycroft and theschool’s multi-academy trust the Cabot Learning Federation, spoke to staff, parents and pupils, and carried out a ‘deep dive’ into teaching and curriculum.

In his report, lead inspector Gavin Summerfield praised Waycroft’s ‘ambitious’ and ‘well-planned’ curriculum, ‘effective’ safeguarding, and the ‘warm and nurturing relationships’ established with early years pupils and those with special educational needs.

On behaviour, his report said: “Pupils work hard in the classroom and participate in lessons with enthusiasm. Pupils learn in a calm and purposeful way.

“The school values of ‘Ready, Respectful and Resilient’ are understood by all. Pupils behave well around the school and live up to the high expectations set by staff.”

On teaching, it said: “The quality of education has improved greatly since the previous inspection and is now in line with the strong pastoral support that pupils receive.

“The school has reflected on the 2023 published pupil outcomes and has prioritised the curriculum. There has been huge impact.”

On wellbeing, it said: “Pupil leadership opportunities such as the school tech team or school council let pupils play an active part in improving the school. Members of the pupil-led wellbeing team welcome other pupils into school and support the mental health of their peers.

“The selection process for these roles is designed to help pupils to understand the importance of democracy and prepare them for life in modern Britain.”

On personal development, it said: “The rich and varied curriculum for personal development is a strength.

“Older pupils show a mature understanding of healthy relationships, power imbalance and discuss important and relevant issues such as the impact of social media on body image. High-quality pastoral support helps pupils manage and understand their feelings.

“Trips and visits are deliberately planned, enhancing many areas of the curriculum.

And on leadership, it added: “The school has recently joined a new multi-academy trust. The expertise and experience available in the trust has supported the school to strengthen its curriculum and provide the right level of challenge and support to school leaders.

“Staff are well supported by leaders who are considerate of their workload and wellbeing. As a result, staff support each other well, there is a strong team ethos and they are proud to work at the school.”

Adam Smith, Headteacher at Waycroft Academy, said:

“Throughout the inspection we were incredibly proud of our children, and of their behaviour, attitudes and understanding of our school values.

“Staff are obviously delighted our school was judged as ‘Good’ in all areas, as it reflects the dedication and hard work that has gone into making improvements since the previous inspection in 2021.

“We are especially pleased with the inspectors’ commendation of our strong team ethos and the way our staff are proud to work at the school, support each other and support the children. It is fitting recognition of our efforts to provide the very best education that we can.”

Picture caption: Headteacher Adam Smith and Assistant Head Emma Sweet, pictured with pupils at Waycroft Academy.

01
Jul

CLF hosts successful second Environment Conference

More than 150 students came together for a day of environmental learning and action alongside some of the South West’s leading experts and biggest employers.

The Cabot Learning Federation (CLF) hosted its second annual Environment Conference at Winterstoke Hundred Academy in Weston-super-Mare.

Students from 22 CLF primary and secondary schools, located from Gloucester to Somerset, took part in the event.

This celebration of environmental work across the trust’s academies was organised by the CLF’s Environmental Action Group (EAG) and involved 150 students who are active members of their academy Environment Committees.

Participants learned about their school’s environment impact, and showcased the work being done to reduce that impact.

The event was part of the CLF’s strategic commitment to environmentally-friendly practice, which aims for all its schools to hold Eco Schools Green Flag Status.

Across the day, students enjoyed a mix of expert panel discussions and workshop sessions which involved healthy debate and forward planning for future environmental initiatives.

Keynote speakers included Tom Walmsley of the Ministry of Eco, Paula Malone from Lets Go Zero, Josh Warren of UWE, Libby Watts, representing the North Somerset Climate Team, and Daryl Parker of Kier.

Additionally, there were exhibitors from organisations including Sustrans, Hinkley Point, Cleaner Coastlines, Bristol Airport Action Group, Aspens, Woodlands Trust, and UWE.

Sam Hodder, Principal of Uphill Village Academy and Chair of the CLF EAG, said: “This was a brilliant opportunity to get academies from across our trust together to build on the work of the many brilliant eco groups. The day provided the children with a space to share, celebrate and challenge their work against climate change.”

The event was a significant milestone in raising environmental awareness and action among young learners, encouraging them to take active roles in shaping a more sustainable future and protecting our planet.

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CEO: Mr Steve Taylor
Federation House
King's Oak Academy
Brook Road, Bristol
BS15 4JT
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Registered Company: Cabot Learning Federation
Company No: 06207590