Thank you for your dedicated leadership and support to St Nicholas School over the last 18 months. We remain on a journey of improvement and the excellent SATs results, 2023, are a good measure that we are on the right track. Your support and that from members of The Keys Academy Trust (TKAT) Central Team have been a significant part of delivering the progress we have seen.

I would also like to thank the members of the TKAT Central Team that supported us through our OFSTED Inspection. It felt like there was a well-oiled machine put into place to make sure the right result was delivered. We are so pleased with the outcome, which gives us all another platform to build from. 

John Rankin, Chair of Governors St. Nicholas CE Primary School, Hurst – October 2023

Initially, stepping into the role of Head of School felt daunting, but with the support of the Trust, I have felt empowered and developed confidence in my ability to lead our school to achieve successful outcomes for our children. 

From the moment I was appointed, I have been privileged to work alongside a team of dedicated professionals who are truly passionate about education. The Trust has provided me with the resources, guidance, and opportunities for professional development, allowing me to grow both personally and academically within my new role. 

One of the key aspects of being part of the Trust is the commitment to collaboration through fostering a network of like-minded leaders and creating a supportive community.  Leaders share best practice, exchange ideas, and learn from one another, while also providing a safe environment where questions can be asked and support provided.  

The Trust understands that a successful school is built upon a strong foundation of effective governance and strategic planning. This has been made more achievable by the provision of guidance on financial management, HR, and compliance. This has not only lightened workload, but has also allowed me to focus on what truly matters – the education and well-being of our children. 

The most important aspect to me is the genuine care the Trust show through a culture of empathy, understanding, and support, recognising that a happy and supported staff is vital for the strength of our leadership teams and therefore the success of our schools.

Sarah Hilling, Head of School St. Nicholas CE Primary School, Hurst – January 2024

Throughout the whole academisation process, we found The Keys Academy Trust to be extremely supportive. From the initial presentation to the final academy order, they were always available to answer any questions or queries we had. We truly felt like part of the Trust, and were included in CPD events and conferences, which gave us a taste of what being part of a family of schools would be like even before the conversion on 1st November 2023.

Since converting, The Keys Academy Trust has continued to guide us through the implementation of new systems. The central team and other schools in the Trust have always been there to lend a helping hand whenever needed. What sets The Keys Academy Trust apart is their recognition of our uniqueness and our ability to serve our own school community. While we are part of a family of schools, we still have ownership of how best to serve our children and families which is what makes St Michael’s special. Additionally, we have already had access to exciting collaborative opportunities which has had a positive effect already on teaching and learning.

We are grateful to have found a partner in The Keys Academy Trust who values our individuality while providing a supportive network of schools. We believe that our students and staff will greatly benefit from this partnership.

Stuart Bevan, Headteacher St. Michael's CE Primary School, Sandhurst – January 2024