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What Community First Academy Trust believe – the importance of trust

The legal basis of all academies and multi-academy trusts in the country are education charities. We are accustomed to using the word ‘trust’ to describe this legal vehicle. But trust means so much more. As the new shape of our education system emerges, we believe that it is important to give priority to three other meanings of trust.

- Trust as a relational principle

Our education system must retain trust as a relational principle. All school trusts should have as a core focus the behaviours and actions everyone will take to build trust – with children and young people, parents and the community and wider society. Trust as a relational principle should also be at the contractual heart of employer-employee relationship. The principle of trust should represent an objective reality in our education system that transcends cultures and organisations. It is at the heart of education as a public good.

- Trust as a core value

Trust is an essential human value that quantifies and defines our interdependence in relationships with others. As a value, trust should help us determine the rightfulness or wrongfulness of our actions.

- Trust as a promise

Holding trust on behalf of children: when we establish an academy or multi-academy trust, we are effectively making a promise to hold trust with and on behalf of children. Kofi Annan said in The State of the World’s Children (2000): “There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they grow up in peace.”

Our school trust has a single legal and moral purpose: to advance education in the public benefit. 

A Very Warm Welcome

Community First Academy Trust (CFAT) consists of like-minded individuals who focus relentlessly on their core purpose to advance education for public benefit. 

Our charitable school trust has one single legal and moral purpose: to advance education in the public interest.

We believe that school trusts create the conditions for deep collaboration among teachers and leaders to improve the quality of education.

CFAT is a diverse school trust encompassing a Nursery, a Primary School, a Primary / Secondary phase SCITT, a reputable Teaching School TSA with Research School links, an Apprenticeship Provider and is a DfE sponsor. CFAT also operates a successful facilities management company for its organisations CFAT Facilities Ltd.  

There is now stronger evidence that groups of schools and organisations working together under a single governance structure are educationally and financially stronger.  

Our mission is to ensure that every child in our school trust develops as a confident and competent person with the highest aspirations to be the best they possibly can be. We are passionate that each school within our charitable trust continues to be unique whilst benefiting from being part of a group of schools.

We hope that you will be inspired to join us on the next stage of our journey to create a group of schools that work together in providing our pupils and communities the very best in educational services.

CFAT are committed to the professional and personal development of its workforce and to making a significant contribution to a self-improving school system within the communities we serve. 

Together we will provide a better future with limitless horizons.

We welcome discussions with schools and leaders who are interested in working collaboratively in this early but exciting stage.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any further questions you may have.

Best wishes, 

Sue Darbyshire
Chief Executive Officer | National Leader of Education

 | Executive Headteacher | MA, NPQH, NLE | FCMI

 Tel: 01942 487999    Email:

Trust Prospectus

 Our Prospectus and offer to improve education for young people across the North West of England is also available to download by clicking here

CFAT Social Media

Build a relationships with us and view the latest CFAT news online



Latest Calendar Events

Simon Cox | EEF Guidance Report Early Maths: Improving mathematics in the Early Years and KS1 | FREE EVENT27Jan2021

4:00 pm - 5:30 pm @ Westbridge TSA, Rivington Ave, Wigan, WN2 5NG or virtually if covid-19 restrictions prevent attendance at our training centre

Booking link: This twilight, led by EEF’s Mathematics content specialist Simon Cox and ELE, Charlotte Hindley, will focus on exploring the evidence of effective Mathematics teaching and learning. It will explore the recommendations from the recently released EEF guidance report: ‘Improving Mathematics in the Early Years and Key Stage 1’.

Get into Teaching - Information Events (2020-21)02Feb2021

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm @ Kingbridge Teacher Training, Rivington Ave, Wigan, WN2 5NG

Our Get into Teaching Events offer a brilliant opportunity to find out more about teacher training and what a career in teaching has to offer. They’re also a great way for you to meet our schools and partners that lead teacher training , and get one-to-one advice on every aspect of getting into teaching. Places fill up quickly, so make sure you reserve yours today. What you can expect: - chat online with newly qualified teachers and find out what a day in the life of a teacher is really like - get one-to-one advice from our teaching experts on your application, including specific advice on your personal statement - watch a presentation on how to get into teaching - You can spend as much or as little time as you like at the event. - We can point you in the right direction and give you the answers you need to help get you one step closer to your rewarding new future. To attend this event, you must register for a place. Once registered, you will receive log-in information and joining instructions via email. Please register online at

Mary Myatt |Leadership and Learning: the thread from research to school practice10Feb2021

9:30 am - 12:00 pm @ Westbridge TSA, Rivington Ave, Wigan, WN2 5NG or virtually if covid-19 restrictions prevent attendance at our training centre

Booking link: Session Overview How does research help us to: Create the conditions for all of us to do our best work? - Outlining the features of ‘high challenge, low threat’ environments - Holding ourselves and others to account in a way that is both robust and kind - How can we use Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s six keys to positive success in our settings? - Streamline our systems? Gathering evidence of standards - Performance management - Feedback - Improve outcomes for pupils? Spaced repetition Story High quality talk Biography: Mary Myatt is an education adviser, writer and speaker. She trained as an RE teacher and has also taught English, history, maths and Latin. A former local authority adviser and inspector, she works in schools talking to pupils, teachers and leaders about learning, leadership and the curriculum. She maintains that there are no quick fixes and that great outcomes for pupils are not achieved through tick boxes. Latest books by Mary Myatt: Curriculum: Gallimaufry to Coherence Hopeful Schools: building humane communities High Challenge, Low Threat Her education blog Twitter: @MaryMyatt

Karen Ardley | Leading Learning from the Middle02Mar2021

@ Westbridge TSA, Rivington Ave, Wigan, WN2 5NG or virtually if covid-19 restrictions prevent attendance at our training centre

Booking Link: Specific requirements This course is suitable for aspiring or middle managers currently responsible for co-ordinating or managing a subject or aspect of school provision (e.g. Subject, SENCO, Faculty, Assessment, Key Stage, Year Group, etc) What will I study? Programme Outline This four-day programme provides the opportunity for middle managers to improve their leadership behaviours and develop the skills required to make real changes to standards in their area of responsibility. Previous participants have found the programme inspirational and life changing. Delegates must attended all four days. Objectives To deepen middle managers' understanding of themselves and their leadership behaviours. To extend middle managers' knowledge and understanding about leadership. To develop leadership skills. Key areas covered personal leadership skills and qualities; the role of the middle leader/manager; our current educational agenda; an emotionally intelligent leader; effective professional development; working with teams; giving feedback; coaching for improvement; making meetings more exciting; improving teaching and learning in your area; holding people to account; and presentation skills. Your Facilitator Karen Ardley is a highly successful leadership consultant, and facilitator, specialising in all aspects of leadership. Drawing on her wide experience as a teacher and leader in all phases of education, Karen designs and delivers outstanding and inspirational leadership programmes focused on change and improvement. Her previous projects have included working with the education ministries of England, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kenya through NCTL. She is currently designing a leadership and quality assurance programme for United Nations school. Recent international work has involved teachers and leaders from over sixty countries and KAA work successfully in partnership with several Teaching Schools and Multi Academy Trusts in England, as well as individual schools. About Karen Ardley Associates KAA is a dynamic, creative leadership, training and development consultancy. We design and deliver professional training and development programmes for leaders and people involved with providing or supporting learning, worldwide. Our inspirational leadership programmes and consultancy have proven success and organisational impact. Our outstanding classroom practice programmes impact positively and directly on student engagement and progress. Testimonials ‘This is without doubt, the most practical, interesting and thorough course I have been on in my time in education. It will change my classroom practice as well as making me plan, think and reflect on my leadership much more’ Dannielle White, Brussels, Belgium ‘This course will change your life…not only as a leader but as a human. Best training I have been on in my life’ Lisa Muugi, Braeburn International School, Kenya ‘I would recommend this programme without reservation. An invaluable insight into leading not managing, in complete contrast to previous middle managers courses I attended.’ Lisa Finighan, Doha College, UAE

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