In November 2022, Omega Multi-Academy Trust welcomed Ofsted, having been selected for a MAT Summary Evaluation (previously known as Focussed Inspections), one of only five trusts to have been evaluated under this process in the last year.
Following on from the individual school inspections at our four primary schools (in which all schools retained their good or outstanding rating) Ofsted conducted an in-depth and focussed three-day evaluation of all our trust-wide processes, the support we offer to all our schools and the impact of our work for all our students.
The Inspectors spoke to a wide range of staff from across all schools including Early Career Teachers, Curriculum Leads, Designated Safeguarding Leads, Senior Leaders, Headteachers, Executive Leaders and Trustees and addressed the impact and support from all central functions.
The Inspection team also spent time at our secondary schools as well as scrutinizing a wide range of documentation including our strategic plans, our documentation outlining our approach to aligned autonomy across our schools, school performance data, minutes of meetings and reports that provided assurance regarding the strength of safeguarding across the trust.
Leaders and trustees were delighted with the report, which identified many critical strengths, as well as providing some very clear recommendations for the Trust to further strengthen our work. The report, shared in the format of a formal letter from the inspector leading the process, details the strength of our vision and culture across the Trust, as well as the strength of our strategic plan, which was described as ‘well-thought-out and aligned appropriately’ to the needs of all our schools.
The lead inspector, Rachel Goodwin HMI, recorded that “Systems for disseminating best educational practice have been established by executive leaders, which has helped to galvanise staff, improve the delivery of the curriculum, and secure a shift to the trust mindset. There is a rigorous approach to staff development at all levels. The trust has an aim to ‘grow its own leaders’. This new strategic approach is ensuring that leadership development within the trust, modelled by the CEO, is taking place. Additionally, the development of subject networks within the trust is also contributing to the growth and development of leaders at all levels”.
Inspectors noted that safeguarding was a genuine strength of the trust, stating that “the trust-wide approach to safeguarding is effective. Support from the safeguarding trust leader is highly valued by the designated safeguarding leads (DSLs) in schools. This includes the supervision in place to look after DSLs’ well-being. DSLs are empowered to make effective decisions and welcome the consistency and reassurance from the Trust. This helps to ensure that vulnerable pupils and their families get the timely support that they need”.
The report noted that the Trust is committed to investing in staff well-being, and school leaders appreciate the recent initiatives to support with their workload. Inspectors felt that the support that executive leaders offer makes the trust an attractive employer.
Christian Wilcocks, CEO commented “It was a great privilege to be selected for a MAT Summary Evaluation. Having joined the Trust as CEO only six months earlier, the process provided a great opportunity to test our own evaluation of where we are as a Trust, so that we can be confident we are doing the right things to support our schools, our colleagues and our communities.”
We have embraced the recommendations made by inspectors and have factored these into its strategic plans for the remainder of this year. We are confident that these recommendations will make our trust even stronger, for the benefit of every child and every colleague who works with us.