Vision and Values

For children aged 2-19, EQUA schools recognise that all children are gifted and positively contribute to society. We deliver excellence in education, a strong Christian ethos in Church schools and tackle rural deprivation by ensuring every child has every chance to succeed.​

EQUA is a Multi Academy Trust made up of Church of England (CofE) and community schools across the nursery, primary, secondary and post 16 phases. We work together in a formal partnership, to provide excellence in education for all children aged 2-19, in rural villages and small market towns. Currently all our schools are in Wiltshire, however, we are keen to meet like minded schools and clusters in other rural areas in the UK.

The partnership schools that make up our learning community understand both the advantages and challenges for children and their families living in rural areas. Generations of close families and opportunities for strong friendships through small peer groups and a culture of community support, can be overshadowed by the gap between those that have and those that do not – with low aspirations, limited local employment opportunities, low wages and inaccessibility to transport. EQUA will tackle the isolation that rurality can bring, and raise the aspirations within our community, by providing new, varied and exciting opportunities, which are accessible to all and by enhancing strong academic outcomes through a holistic approach. We will prioritise tackling the historic underperformance of our disadvantaged students in order to break the cycle of generational deprivation.

EQUA believes in social mobility for all and we aim to provide the structures, support and focus for our most vulnerable to ensure positive pathways through school and beyond. This will equip all students with the skills, experiences, high self-esteem and qualifications to broaden their horizons. For many years there has been an emphasis for ‘narrowing the performance gap’ in the South West Region, but, despite significant investment, the area remains underperforming. Our partnership schools recognise that by staying as individual schools we cannot affect the change needed. We need to do something different, and by working together as a group, that has the contextual experience of the location and its demographic, we can embed the good practice that already exists in some schools, and is now being demonstrated by strong pupil outcomes for disadvantaged learners, across all schools in EQUA, and tackle the challenges earlier. We aim to build upon the successes already evident and develop as a centre of excellence for tackling disadvantage, and offer support and best practice to other MATs and schools in the area.

EQUA is committed to maintaining, celebrating and valuing the unique nature of all of the schools within the Trust. Christian distinctiveness is the foundation of the church school’s life and the church schools’ ethos is cherished by the trust. All children flourish through a culture of nurture, both within foundation and community schools. We value each child, and recognise that they are all gifted and unique and have a positive contribution to make to our learning community in which they grow and thrive, with individuality shining through.

Equa core principles

EQUA fosters an outstanding, inspirational and inclusive learning community that meets the needs of all young people for their present and future development. We will not tolerate disadvantage and will work tirelessly to achieve the highest outcomes for all young people. This will be achieved through:

Aims and Ethos

▪ Working within EQUA and its market towns and village communities to design, and deliver an inclusive, innovative and stimulating education.

▪ Committing to the protection and progression of the distinctive Christian ethos of Church Schools within the trust.

▪ All children, young people and the wider school community are nurtured within an agreed moral framework of the overarching values of EQUA. This encompasses the distinct Christian ethos for church schools, and British values for all schools.

▪ Tackling disadvantage and raising the aspirations of all within EQUA, in the belief that with encouragement and the right investment and support, people can often achieve more than they ever believed possible.

▪ Developing and nurturing a collective approach to raising achievement through appropriate accountability, challenge and support and a commitment to early intervention.

▪ Providing a safe learning and teaching environment and culture where all feel safe to take risks in order to learn and grow.

▪ Equipping and developing all professionals engaged in delivering the curriculum with excellent knowledge and skills through high quality leadership and management.

▪ Providing a learning and teaching environment in which each academy can further develop its own culture, beliefs and ethos as appropriate within EQUA’s framework, including those academies of a Christian foundation.

▪ Maximising opportunities to provide outstanding resources that underpin the teaching and learning environments across EQUA.

▪ Creating EQUA development plans that will be composed in the light of the overall strategic vision and aims: that will be agreed, shared and consistently applied across EQUA.

Principles

The following principles will guide and secure the ethos and culture of EQUA. They strengthen the partnership, collaboration and effective working across EQUA.

▪ All members, trustees, governors and professionals working for EQUA will accept and embrace their professional responsibility to care for every child and young person within EQUA. They will be open to change, treating all within the trust and the wider community with dignity and respect at all times, valuing those of all faiths and none.

▪ Every child has the right to the highest quality academic, social, emotional, spirtual and physical education. All children are safe within the academies’ care.

▪ High quality intervention is provided when appropriate to ensure the learning needs of ALL pupils/students are met at the earliest opportunity (including in early years).

▪ Those involved in the leadership and governance of EQUA accept responsibility to deliver high quality in-service training and appraisal processes that are challenging and supportive to enable outstanding teaching and leadership.

▪ There are clear structures in place to ensure that the voices of all children, young people and adults within EQUA are heard and valued.

▪ EQUA actively values and respects each academy’s distinctive ethos, identity and culture. The EQUA Trust is committed to preserving and progressing the distinctive Christian foundation, ethos, values and effectiveness of each of the church academies within the Trust

▪ EQUA identifies and nurtures the passions that develop self-esteem, motivates each child and provides an atmosphere where children enjoy learning and want to go to school. Through fostering personal and spiritual growth, children develop a secure sense of self, and their own place in the world.

▪ Establish a structural model based upon the assumption of local delegation and decision making within a framework of strong oversight, scrutiny, challenge and collective accountability. The strategic direction of the Trust is created and owned by the Trustees of EQUA. Under an earned autonomy approach, aspects of responsibility and decision making for the day-to-day operation of each academy will be delegated to its LGBC and headteacher.

▪ Through an effective model of assessment and review, EQUA will, where ever possible, pre-empt issues of under-performance (educational, financial, compliance etc). Where an academy is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing issues, EQUA leaders, through the agreed accountability framework, will take the appropriate action to support the academy to resolve / tackle any issues in a timely manner. This will take the form of support and or intervention and changes in delegation as necessary.

▪ EQUA academies are committed to the principles of ‘share before buy’ across all areas of the operations. Academies will take advantage of the opportunities that EQUA provides to gain savings and efficiencies and establish consistent best practice across the Trust in education and support functions. This includes – sharing staff, sharing expertise and best practice, sharing policies, systems and processes, sharing procurement and centralising functions, that deliver time and funds back into front line education.