"CGS Trust has a strong identity that is encapsulated by our core values - curiosity, respect, responsibility and resilience. To date we are made up of one outstanding secondary school and four primary schools focused on providing the best educational outcomes for young people in East and Central Bristol. CGS Trust has developed a sustainable growth strategy that will see even more schools welcomed into the Trust over the coming months and years. The Venturers' Trust family of schools provides a valuable support structure that, without diluting our individuality, strengthens each of its members."
Alistair Perry, Executive Principal for Secondary Sector, CGS Trust
Isolation is barely an option for today’s academies. High performers achieving OFSTED ‘outstanding’ and ‘good’ assessments are expected to work with weaker neighbours. Those facing difficulties must collaborate with stronger partners.
The Venturers’ Trust provides an engaging platform that enables collaboration between academies in the greater Bristol area. Member schools are able to commission others in the Trust family to undertake valuable reviews. Outstanding team leaders are able to support colleagues in other schools by running training courses. Aspiring leaders are given new opportunities to develop their leadership skills.
The Venturers’ Trust is a diverse family of schools and academies that attracts primary, secondary, all-age and special schools. It includes multi-ethnic city centre schools and those in the suburbs.
Based in greater Bristol, the Venturers’ Trust is a local organisation, serving local schools, children and their families. It has the critical mass to ensure its members have the expertise and resources they need, whilst being of a scale where their individuality and diversity can be sustained.
The Venturers’ Trust has great respect for the autonomy of its member schools and their headteachers. Heads of successful schools are left to get on with it, while those schools that are struggling are freed to focus on improving classroom teaching and learning.
The Venturers’ Trust does not enforce a ‘one size fits all’ model onto its schools. It is a collaborative approach that each new school helps to fashion and improve. Good schools retain considerable autonomy and independence. They are given the option of joining the Trust’s existing MAT, setting up their own MAT or creating a cluster within the Trust structure.
Having primary and secondary schools working together promises greater continuity of education from the age of two (or earlier through Children’s Centres) to 16 or 18 and beyond into employment.
The Venturers’ Trust academies are set apart by their ability to offer young people innovative and effective programmes in developing their career ambitions and improving their skills in gaining employment.
Bristol University is co-sponsor for Merchants’ Academy, where Sixth Form students have unrivalled access to the University of Bristol through a tailored programme of activities and support. Students receive a guaranteed offer from the University if they apply and meet the terms.
The Venturers’ Trust does not impose standard back-office services on member schools (such as payroll or IT). We are, however, able to offer preferred suppliers with whom we have negotiated preferential rates. This allows our members to benefit from economies of scale.
Governors and their clerks will be able to share experience with peers from other member schools, hearing effective solutions to problems they face. The Venturers’ Trust provides effective development programmes for Governors, improving their skills and giving them valuable insights.
Member schools have access to external quality assurance programmes and high quality improvement services.