Ensure your Trust shines through to your Academy websites!

When you are part of a Multi Academy Trust (MAT) there is a new dynamic for a school. One of community and working together with others. Each school still operates as a standalone community but there is now a wider umbrella encompassing the whole MAT. How do you allow the autonomy of each school to shine whilst also making space for your Trust values and ethos to be prominent too? This blog will look at some of the ways you can show your collective and individual values throughout your trust and school websites. 

Valuing the whole community

Whilst each school website will showcase children and families from their own school community, the trust level website can share the numbers and impact of the wider network. Animated statistics, such as those from the Focus Trust website in the image below, can help to show how large your community is, and highlight those people who are important to you all. 

You may prefer to add pages and information which talk about your network and schools across the community and share photos and special achievements. This is especially useful where you have a wide range of schools across a larger geographical area. 

From your MAT website you will, of course, want to show off your schools too and have information about them on your trust website. We can see in this image, above, from the Pope Francis MAT that it is great to incorporate information about your schools on your trust website and also to have a section for your trust-wide vacancies. This can be a great source of information for any staff within the MAT as well as those looking from outside. 

Promoting the brand of the Multi Academy Trust 

As well as your logo being a feature of the trust-level website, you will want to think about how to incorporate the logo into each of your school member websites, too. Below we can see an example from the Aquinas trust who have added their logo prominently on their own website and then you will see it as a smaller image in the footer of each of the school websites. 

The North Cornwall Learning Trust have chosen to have their logo within the top banner of their school sites and, as you can see from the image below, they have chosen to have their logo with a transparent background which means it sits nicely over the high-quality background photos which keep the school focus too. 

This use of photography across the trust and school websites helps to constantly reinforce the values of the trust – we see children at the centre all the time across all the websites. And we see the link between the schools and the MAT all the time – with the trust logo on each school website, as above, and with the school logos sitting on their photos and sections of the trust website, as seen below. This makes it really clear that the relationship is two-way between each school and the trust, and we also see those connections between the schools themselves. 

Blending the school with the trust

When people visit each of your school websites, you will want to ensure that they know that the school is part of the wider trust. This helps parents and prospective parents to understand the relationship and also helps with giving transparency for all the statutory trust and school information too. The schools of the South Orpington Learning Alliance have links sections, as seen below, which share a combination of school and trust information in a fuss-free way with easy, clear navigation.  There are many ways to achieve a similar result but this is a great example of how the school and trust sit side-by-side and gives a very visual indicator of this. 

On your school websites and the trust website you may also wish to include quotes from parents, students and maybe inspection reports. Some school quotes also reinforce the trust-wide elements such as curricula or the ethos and values of the school and trust which can be especially useful. 

Statutory information and transparency

As aforementioned there are certain key pieces of information which you need to ensure are available on all of your school websites. You can do this in many ways. You will, of course, want to add a clear link from each school website which links to your overall trust website. But you also want to make sure that parents can get relevant information from within the school websites too. You can add various policies and information onto pages on each website for the schools, and we are always creating easy ways for trusts to push out information easily from a central office to all schools in the trust. One easy way to ensure a member of the central team can update one document for multiple schools is to embed a PDF of information, as we can see on the Chiltern Learning Trust in the image below. 

For smaller trusts and federations you could aim to make the website look and feel help to also advertise the structure of your federation and the schools within it and with the Tolworth Federation, as seen below, we worked with them to create this banner at the top of the websites which shows a clear connection between the trust and the schools, and clicking on 

As you click to each section of the banner you open each of the sites but keep this banner which helps you to easily switch back to the federation site or on to another school within the trust. 

Hopefully you have some new ideas and inspiration from this blog on how to create the synergy between your central trust and your schools through all of your websites, and we are always happy to discuss making something bespoke for you to ensure that your trust values and ethos are clear across your entire digital network. Get in touch to find out more. 

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