Educational Excellence

Educational Excellence

Cheshire Academies Trust Transformation Model

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Stabilise Repair Improve Sustain

a. Broken and requires significant improvement
b. No clear underpinning for the future
c. Capacity receiver

a. Leadership more proactive
b. Control from disorder
c. Systems and routines in place

a. Empowerment at all levels
b. Systems and routines start to become embedded
c. Tipping point reached

a. Leading school across the family
b. Confident, innovative and collaborative
c. Capacity giver

Our School Transformation Model is adapted from Sir David Carter’s four stage improvement model. It ensures that there is an accurate diagnosis of where each school is in its improvement journey and that there is laser focused, high impact approaches that will accelerate each school forward. It can be applied at a range of levels in the school context: teams, year groups/phases, subjects and whole school. We understand that implementation is very complex so we aim to bridge the ‘knowing and doing’ gap by providing strategic focus.

Our approach to developing high performing schools is grounded in several pieces of research and thought leadership. Three of these include;

Sustainable improvement in multi-school groups, DfE research report by Professor Toby Greany (2018)

Building strong multi academy trusts, DfE, (2021)

Knowledge building - School improvement at scale, Confederation of School Trusts (2021)


CAT School Improvement Model

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Stabilise Repair Improve Sustain
Intensive Central Operational Support
Residencies Required
60 days
Central Strategic Support
Strategic Residencies
100 days
Strategic Vision Support
Termly Conferencing
100 days
Support to Other CAT Schools
Strategic Consultations

Leadership is unstable
Governance is busy but ineffective
High staff turnover creates massive inconsistency of quality
Pupil attendance is significantly below average
Pupil outcomes are below national comparators
Behaviour is unsafe and chaotic

Leadership has been refreshed and is stable
Governors know what has to be done
Residencies in school to drive change
New staff well supported by leadership teams are delivering better learning opportunities but not everywhere
Pupil attendance is improving but still below average
Internal assessments are improving
Behaviour is better but still high degree of low level disruption

Stable leadership is impacting on standards
Governors now hold leaders to account effectively
Staff morale and performance is consistent
Pupil attendance is at national levels
Pupil outcomes are above national average in key indicator measures
Behaviour is positive with few incidents of low level or serious disruption which is well managed when needed.

Preparation for Adulthood is considered within the curriculum offer.

Leadership is strong and improvements are embedded
Governors feel accountable and know the school well
Staff now see their career progression at the school
Pupil attendance is above national for all groups
Pupil outcomes are significantly above the national average and few groups underperform
Behaviour is excellent and high quality support is available for the most vulnerable to keep them on track

Preparation for Adulthood provides everyone equal life chances.




A transformation model based on empowerment enables experts across the Trust to inspire hearts and minds through care, collaboration and creativity. Set against excellence for all, and a deep investment in leadership and collaboration, our staff are empowered to teach and support children to feel and be successful. The depth of ownership across the Trust inspires colleagues to deliver for our children and communities. The inter-play of pedagogy with assessment and curriculum is a relentless focus for collaboration and development.


CAT Improvement Pyramid

Our School Improvement Pyramid is aligned with the four propositions outlined in the Confederation of School Trusts Knowledge building - School Improvement at Scale. This provides a framework for school improvement and all aspects of the School Improvement Pyramid are grounded in research.


01 Attendance

Attendance is our first intervention. We want all pupils to be inspired and excited to attend school and to actively and positively engage in school life. Attending school regularly is fundamental to improving life chances. School attendance is a powerful predictor of pupil outcomes.

02 Engagement

Behaviour is built on good relationships and the understanding that behaviour is about communication. Good order is essential in a school if children are to be able to fulfil their learning potential. Disruptive behaviour in the classroom reduces children’s ability to concentrate and absorb information.

03 Curriculum

Our CAT Curriculum Design Principles provide a framework for the creation of a bespoke school curriculum that would empower and equip pupils with the knowledge, character virtues and learning skills required to thrive.

04 Teacher Expertise

CAT uses a synthesis of Harvard’s 7C’s and John Hattie’s ‘Visible Learning’ as a code for teacher expertise. We use the best research to develop strong pedagogical models of teaching and learning to coach our teachers.

05 Outcomes

We care deeply about children’s outcomes both academic and in an expanded notion of outcomes including character, mastery of knowledge and skills and high quality of work. To improve outcomes, we understand that implementation is complex and use simple structures and processes to secure change.

Contact Us

01829 752811
Kelsall Primary School, Flat Lane, Kelsall Cheshire