Crabtree Infants School

Welcome to Crabtree Academy Trust


Crabtree Academy Trust aims for all learners to achieve outstanding outcomes from their own unique starting points. We provide an inspirational and challenging curriculum that gives all learners opportunities to find and develop key knowledge and skills that enables them to compete locally, regionally and nationally. We open doors to a lifelong love of learning with highly skilled staff helping to promote resilience, creativity, pride and respect. We are curious about the future and keen to rise to its challenge. Our self-belief and aspirational outlook give us the confidence to face tasks head on. All learners at Crabtree Academy Trust are independent and motivated to succeed. We understand the power of collaboration and team work.  Crabtree Academy Trust believes these elements together help to create well rounded young citizens who are ready for the next stage of their journey. 



Outstanding outcomes for all

We believe that all pupils are entitled to the same opportunities and we support this through a broad and rich curriculum that is delivered by highly skilled practitioners. We are proud of our results and continue to track data to ensure good levels of progress is secured by all. Our pupils are exposed to exceptional quality first teaching and learning that is supported by a range of supplementary interventions. We track data carefully in all subjects and provide specialist teachers to enhance the quality of learning ensuring our pupils have the best chance to find a talent and develop skills with passion and enthusiasm. Our pupils leave us ready for the next stage in their journey. We have common approaches to data collection and a vision for shared CPD. Each academy within the Trust works with a collective and consistent practice, in line with Trust quality assurance systems.

Access to High Quality Professional Development and a Trust wide commitment to Staff Welfare

We work in partnership with the West Hertfordshire Teaching School Alliance, The Harpenden Heads Consortium and the Local Authority to ensure our staff have exposure to high quality CPD. All staff have professional development written in to their performance management and are encouraged to think about progression. We know that to continue to provide the best education for our pupils, our staff need continuous education too. We also take part in work with other schools and establishments, including moderation, to ensure that staff are constantly engaged in professional dialogue. Staff appraisal creates clear career paths for all and enables the Board and Executive Head to succession plan. Strategies include opportunities for staff to collaborate with colleagues, experience work in more than one Trust Academy and middle leaders are effectively deployed to sustain and enhance their impact.
We believe that staff welfare promotes quality in performance and productivity and focussing on this is key to our mission. A commitment to Staff wellbeing maintains motivation and reduces absence. It will be fundamental to our recruitment and retention strategy (a national issue) and will encourage the best staff to work with us while guaranteeing the best performance at the same time. We are also aware that happy staff equal happy pupils. We aspire to have realistic expectations of staff that are relevant to their role and provide support and guidance across the Trust. All staff are clear what their role is and have a development and training plan to help achieve optimum performance. The Trust is constantly seeking ways to reward staff and provide benefits to all employees. We are aware that financial rewards may not always be possible, and we are committed to providing real term savings in other ways.

Quality of Teaching and Learning

School leaders at all levels routinely monitor standards in their schools. Senior leaders actively monitor behaviour and environments as well as the quality of lessons and work in books. The Governing bodies of our schools are regularly involved with monitoring activities and will join Senior Leaders for some sessions as well as conducting their own visits and meetings with leaders. The school engages with Hertfordshire Local Authority for monitoring visits and analysis against standards and School Improvement Plans. We are also working with other schools to help with progress against development targets and provide critical and constructive evaluations of school performance. Staff appraisals hold employees to account on their performance and the outcomes of learners. We are able to use our staff to support each other and design school based CPD around areas identified through data such as monitoring and coaching activities.

Collaboration within the Trust and beyond

All key stakeholders at Crabtree Academy Trust believe that collaboration is the key to future developments. We aim to work alongside fellow professionals in a range of contexts to support and grow each other. Partnerships have been established and will continue to develop through staff outreach work and strong professional relationships. Our primary view is not to assert the Crabtree way but to develop practice further by working with colleagues which will improve outcomes as a result. We are outward facing and collaboration underpins everything we do. We are very aware that all schools nationwide are working towards the same goals and face similar challenges. This provides great scope for collaboration and, as educators, we are all collectively responsible for the outcomes of our learners. If something is effective, we want to learn about it and share it. We believe we are stronger together.

Financial Stability

Crabtree Academy Trust has a stable financial foundation. Leaders work hard to ensuring the children receive an education that is backed by a range of resources that meet the needs of our challenging curriculum. We can identify areas to develop and plan carefully to achieve targets. All finances are reviewed monthly and our budgets are set in advance to ensure we have the financial capacity to grow and sustain our standards with no compromise accepted. We use our high-quality staff team as a method of generating income by outsourcing them to other educational establishments and through moderation activities, work with the local authority and our teaching school partnerships. We work hard with our Parent Association to focus on fundraising projects and welcome the support of our community. We also have a very effective Holiday and Before and After School Club that generates useful income for the school and provides support for working families. Our finance team budget a three year forecast and our committed Governors and Leaders work collaboratively to seek funding and establish other income avenues. This helps us achieve a staff team of highly skilled practitioners.

Securing capacity and expanding the Trust

We are an ambitious Trust and would like to grow in order to raise standards and support other schools. We will not compromise our own standards by growing so we have a commitment to due diligence checks taking place before any growth, ensuring we understand the task ahead. We have a robust central system that can support other schools that may wish to join us, and we will move quickly to identify areas of strength from new schools that can be added to our practice. Through careful analysis and rigorous development plans and self-evaluations, we will seek to add skills to our existing skillset which in turn increase our capacity to grow and support further. There is a clear accountability framework from the Chair of the Trust to Executive Head and Chairs of LGBs and from Executive Head to school leaders and other Trust leaders which improves standards and connects to performance management. This is turn maintains capacity to improve by building on strengths and developing new expertise. Our Trust board understands and plans for delegated authority across the Trust and challenges the Local Governing Boards to effectively quality assure each academy. This is driven by the Executive Head and the central team ensuring that performance in each academy remains strong and accountability flows from top down and bottom up. Crabtree Academy Trust’s Board understands risk and ensures that risks in all areas are well managed. They understand that this is a constantly reviewed process and builds in time to regularly review and assess risk.

Stuart Pope

Executive Head, Crabtree Academy Trust