New Finance Manager of the DoWMAT
Claire Rushton has been appointed as Finance Manager of the Diocese of Worcester Multi Academy Trust (DoWMAT)
Claire Rushton took up her post as the new Finance Manager of the Diocese of Worcester Multi Academy Trust (DoWMAT) on Monday 5th November, this year. Claire joins the DoWMAT from Pershore High School, where she spent 13 years, progressing from School Finance Officer to the role of School Business Manager, when the school formed Avonreach Academy Trust. In her role as School Business Manager, she offered financial support and guidance to all of the schools in the Trust. Before joining Pershore High School in 2005, Claire spent 8 years working in various roles at HSBC.
Claire said: “I am thrilled to be working for the DoWMAT and working with all the academies in the Trust. There are many challenges that lie ahead for academies, in particular with funding. We all face these struggles together and I am looking forward to assisting all academies within the DoWMAT over the coming years, to achieve the highest of standards in the most challenging of times.”
The DoWMAT currently includes twelve first, middle and primary schools, and looks to welcome further schools into their family of academies over the next few years. As the DoWMAT’s Finance Manager, Claire’s key role is to provide day-to-day financial management for the Trust. In addition, she will assist and advise headteachers, School Business Managers and finance staff, within the academies, on all financial management matters. Her role will involve working both in the DoWMAT offices and offsite, in the academies.
“I am always up for a challenge and always willing to ‘roll my sleeves up’,” continued Claire. “I am very much looking forward to meeting the staff and pupils in the DoWMAT schools over the coming months and supporting wherever I can.”
Claire is married to Tom and they have a young daughter, Kate, who keeps them very busy outside of work! In her spare time, Claire loves cooking, listening to a wide variety of music and supports the Worcester Warriors rugby team.
Building Improvement Projects Completed in DoWMAT Academies
Vital building improvement projects took place in several academies in the Diocese of Worcester Multi Academy Trust (DoWMAT) during the summer break, after DoWMAT successfully secured governmental Condition Improvement Funding (CIF) earlier in 2018.
A total of £703,209 was received by DoWMAT and was used to complete projects including fire safety work, the replacement of structural features and cloakroom refurbishments. The majority of projects were completed over the summer break, with the remaining few currently in the final stages of completion. Thanks to the improvement works, the academies started the new term better equipped and refreshed.
Claire Davies, CEO of DoWMAT, said “The CIF is an annual bidding round, through which academies can apply for essential funding to keep school buildings secure and in good working order. We are determined to do all we can to ensure the buildings, in which our pupils spend such a large part of their school life, are safe, welcoming and conducive to learning. To find out that our bids, on behalf of 7 of our academies, were successful, has been a great delight to us all!”
Sue Parker, headteacher of Malvern Parish CE Primary School, said the works had “completely transformed” their toilets and cloakrooms. “They are now bright, spacious, modern and pleasant for children to use,” Sue continued.
Martina Abbott, headteacher of Crowle CE First School, said, “We are delighted with our new windows. They are aesthetically very pleasing and will hopefully help save on heating bills in the coming winter months. The classrooms feel lighter and brighter, and they have made a real impact to our learning environments. We are grateful for the CIF money received, and for all the hard work that has gone in to making this project complete."
DoWMAT hope to be similarly successful in this year’s round of applications for funding.
by Laura Farmer
New Phase for DoWMAT!
This September sees the start of a new phase for DoWMAT.
Our expert Central Team is now fully in place to offer a truly excellent level of support for all our academies – both in terms of Finance and School Improvement.
In addition, we have a growing team of teachers able to work across all our academies to develop good practice in key areas of provision.
Together with the increasingly collaborative nature of the relationship between each of the DoWMAT academies, this will ensure we are all in a strong place to take on the challenges and discoveries of a new academic year.
Welcome to Two New Academies
This summer, we have welcomed two new primary schools into our DoWMAT family. Castlemorton and Powick CE Primary Schools (Malvern) joined the Trust on 1st July 2018.
Since the Trust was established in September 2016, we have now grown to 12 academies. All are fully determined to work together to develop and secure high quality educational provision in our schools, so that each and every one of our 2,500 children benefits from an excellent school place.
DoWMAT Headteachers Conference
Our first DoWMAT Headteachers Conference ran without a hiccup and was a very successful event where we were able to focus on our priorities for next year - and, of course, the subject on everyone's lips - GDPR compliance.
The high point was the thought-provoking key note session led by Floyd Woodrow on the importance of having set goals, clear plans and a determined, principled stance. Two DoWMAT schools are already using Floyd's Compass for Life strategies to great effect with their students and were very positive about the significant impact this is having in developing the key attitudes needed for successful learning. We all appreciated Floyd's message and came away from the conference buzzing with ideas on how this would help not only our school journeys but our own personal way forward in our individual leadership roles.
Headteacher comments following the event:
"Thanks again for organising last week, I've been thinking lots about Floyd's presentation and how his principles may help to move our thinking and practice on; especially thinking about our boys in my school and for some of the boys I met on my NPQH partnership visit and even for my own son. It's so good to be introduced to new ideas and then to have the opportunity to think about how they can be adapted for our own situations."
"I have also been meaning to email and say that I felt the head's conference last week was really beneficial in lots of ways. It was good to hear the bigger picture and the expectations from the RSC , and the speaker was very engaging. Every time we meet it feels as though the trust and team spirit is growing and developing and the opportunity to meet in such a location, with the added bonus of a lovely day made it. Thank you."
Russell Dalton becomes DoWMAT COO
From 1 April this year, Russell Dalton became the new Chief Operating Officer of the Diocese of Worcester Multi-Academy Trust (DoWMAT). Russell joins the DoWMAT from Pershore High School where as Finance and Business Director he helped the school become an academy and form a small multi-academy trust. Before that he spent 23 years in the Army.
Russell said: “I’m looking forward to using my leadership experience to provide strategic input to a much larger multi-academy trust. I moved into education to try to improve learning outcomes for young people and I believe strongly in the ethos of the DoWMAT to ensure schools are focussed on the child and their achievements.”
The DoWMAT currently includes ten primary schools, with more lined up to join shortly. “It has grown rapidly in a short space of time,” continued Russell. “That’s great, but it means there is a lot to do. My role will be to help achieve a level of standardisation across the MAT, helping our schools to focus on teaching and learning and improving standards. I’ll also be ensuring that every school is financially viable.
“However, the aim is to give our schools as much autonomy as possible. I definitely don’t have a monopoly on good ideas! I am confident that I can ensure there is transparent and open dialogue about what is required, listen to the views of everyone involved and then give clear direction.”
Russell joined the army when he was 16 and rose to the rank of Regimental Sargeant Major before moving into education. While at Pershore High School he was nominated as School Business Manager of the Year and was an advocate for the National College of School Leaders. He is married to Angelique and they have two grown up children. In his spare time Russell enjoys outdoor activities, running, dancing, going to the gym and baking exceedingly good cakes!
By Sam Setchell
Mr. Russell Dalton starts as Chief Operations Officer for DoWMAT
Russell, formally the Business Manager of Pershore High School is now a full-time member of our DoWMAT Central Team. He joins CEO Claire Davies and Academy Support officer Claire Roberts at the DoWMAT office in the Old Palace, Worcester.
Russell will looking after the Trust finances and operations and can be contacted by the following email address;
Successful CIF Bids for DoWMAT academies
Today we are celebrating after hearing the good news that several of the bids we put in for the Conditions Improvement Fund have been successful. The work we will now be able to complete in these academies will definitely benefit our pupils. Altogether, the grants amount to £703,209 across the following schools.
Pinvin Flat roofs
St. Nicholas Fencing
The Littletons Window and door replacements
St. Barnabas Window replacement works and roof replacement works
Malvern Parish Toilet refurbishment
Madresfield Fire safety work and boiler replacement
St. Oswalds Primary School joins DoWMAT
We are very pleased to welcome St. Oswald's in Kidderminster into our DoWMAT family. St. Oswald's is the 10th school to join our team.
St Oswald’s CE Primary School and Nursery opened in September 2007 (having previously been St Oswald’s First School), and caters for children, aged 3-ll years of age.
School Business Managers' Day
A great day for everyone to share ideas and ensure our finance systems are robust across all our academies. Thank you to St. Barnabas CE First and Middle for hosting - and for Chris Dryer from Services 4Schools for leading the session.
DoWMAT...pleased to announce...
Mr. Russell Dalton will soon be joining the DoWMAT Central Team as our Director of Finance and Operations. This is a key appointment for us and we are exceptionally pleased to be welcoming Russell onto our team.
Welcome to Mrs Chatterton and Miss Rushton - Acting Headteachers for the Pinvin Federation of Schools
The Federation of Pinvin C of E First School and St Nicholas C of E Middle School was formed in 2014 and since then the Federation has grown with both schools attaining a “Good” Ofsted rating in the last academic year. In September 2016, the Federation started a new collaboration with Himbleton CE First School providing leadership support to the school with the aim of establishing best practice across all schools.
However, having worked hard to set this all up, Mr Best, the Executive Headteacher over all three schools, has now moved on to become a Teaching and Learning Advisor in a different local authority. Fortunately, Mrs Chatterton and Mrs Rushton, previously Heads of Schools within the Federation, have agreed to take on the leadership role with enthusiasm in the interim period whilst the schools seek out a suitably experienced Executive Headteacher to carry on all the good work.
Mrs Chatterton will be the Acting Headteacher for Pinvin CE First and Himbleton First Schools. Miss Rushton will be the Acting Headteacher for St. Nicholas CE Middle School.
Welcome to Mrs Abbott - new Headteacher at Crowle CE First School
As many of you may be aware, Crowle CE First School and the DoWMAT family of schools said a very sad goodbye to Miss Biggs at the end of the Autumn term 2017.
However, the school has since appointed a new Headteacher and Mrs Abbott starts her new post this month. We wish her every success in this new role.
Netherton CE Primary School in Dudley joins DoWMAT
We are thrilled that Netherton C of E Primary School is now part of our DoWMAT family. The school is a voluntary controlled (V.C.) primary school and has its origins in the early part of the 19th Century. In 1989 the school was relocated to its present site, after refurbishment of the former Yew Tree Hill First School.
The school is a one and a half form entry primary school, with a Nursery Unit, and is soon to be going to a two form entry with the addition of two new classes.
The school continues to retain a close affinity to St. Andrew’s Church, Netherton and with the Dudley Church of England Schools Foundation, which continues to support the school with grants and donations from time to time.
We are pleased to welcome two new members onto our Trust team this September.
Mrs Claire Davies is joining us as our new Chief Executive Officer for the DoWMAT. Mrs Davies will be working with us for two days a week until the end of December, alongside our Interim CEO, Mrs Karen Surrall. From January, Mrs Davies will be joining us full time.
Also joining the team is Mrs Claire Roberts who will be providing business support for all our academies.
Claire Davies has been appointed as the new CEO of the Diocese of Worcester Multi-Academy Trust.
Claire Davies, currently Headteacher at St Matthias CE Primary Academy in Malvern and Executive Headteacher of Elmley Castle CE First School, has been appointed as the new CEO of the Diocese of Worcester Multi-Academy Trust (DoWMAT). The DoWMAT provides a route to becoming an Academy for any school across Worcestershire and Dudley wanting to join a trust with clear Christian values and vision. There are currently eight primary schools in the DoWMAT with a number of others in the pipeline to join.
Claire will take over from Interim CEO, Karen Surrall, who has been responsible for the initial set up of the DoWMAT; turning the diocesan vision into a robust reality. Claire will now look to grow and develop the offer for schools, ensuring that those who are part of the Trust continue to be supported effectively and standards across the schools continue to improve.
“Karen has done an amazing job in establishing the DoWMAT and I’m looking forward to working alongside her for my first few months as I start to build strong professional relationships with each of the schools. From January, I will take on the role full time, co-ordinating the Trust and building capacity within the DoWMAT to enable each of the schools to flourish. I am very excited about working with a group of extremely committed and dedicated headteachers, their staff teams and the local governing bodies of each academy.”
Claire brings her experience of working as Headteacher of three very different church schools. She has a background in school development and effectiveness; always looking for ways to improve the schools in which she has worked so that children have the best possible chance to achieve of their best. She has also looked after school budgets; working with Academy Boards to keep schools financially viable and sustainable.
“This post will be a new challenge for me and I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with schools from a different perspective. The Diocese is committed to creating and sustaining a family of academies working collaboratively to achieve excellent outcomes for children. This is very reassuring for our headteachers who face many challenges in today’s educational landscape and I am pleased and excited to be part of such a worthwhile venture.”
Claire joins the DoWMAT part time in September, gradually increasing her hours over the first three months. The DoWMAT is still relatively new with the first schools joining last February. Claire will help to develop the structures of the Trust, providing strategic leadership and direction as well as support for the schools involved. She will also work closely with the Diocesan Education Team to ensure that church schools within the Diocese of Worcester continue to be both challenged and supported at a time of significant change within the education landscape.
By Sam Setchell