Trustees and Members’ Area

Why Join KAT?


How we work with our academies

Keystone Academy Trust has combined several approaches to support and challenge our schools in order that we maximise our time and limit travel. However we also recognise the importance of sharing best practice first hand so visits to and between schools are encouraged and facilitated.


Financial management and Procurement

Keystone Academy Trust offers a high quality comprehensive provision of financial and purchasing services to all schools within the MAT. Of fundamental importance is ensuring a solid and secure financial future within the Trust to allow schools to teach without compromise. 

This service includes:

Financial Management: Centralised financial policies and procedures, production of statutory accounts and returns, budget preparation with vigorous monitoring, tight financial controls and compliance.

Centralised Finance: Finance staff based at schools across the MAT to allow for local knowledge but with centralised processes and a web-based accounting system.

Procurement:  Collective purchasing to obtain economies of scale to help with school budgets and ensure value for money on all funds spent.

Income: Proactive income generation across the MAT through grant applications and other revenue streams

Leadership Support: Assisting school leadership teams with all aspects of finance, supporting the internal and external audit processes, and adherence to the DfE’s Academies Financial Handbook.


School Improvement

It is vital that all of the schools in the MAT are focussed on excellent outcomes and are supported through robust accountability measures to enable them to continuously improve and respond to the needs of current and future stakeholders.

A tiered approach for school improvement is implemented through firstly assessing and moderating risk, secondly to support school improvement through the sharing of practice both within the trust and wider. All schools within the trust will be part of a peer to peer review model in conjunction with a member of the Performance Accountability Team (PAT). The staff involved in the review vary and can include new and developing leaders. This facilitates the sharing of practice, acts as a leadership development opportunity and serves as a tool to check on individual academy practice. Joint discussions between academy leaders and the CEO/member of the PAT around the data, school self-evaluation and school improvement planning will ensure a clear understanding of each school’s performance and enable the correct support to be brokered from the teaching school. In turn, this process will facilitate continuous improvement and maximise outcomes for all. Teaching and Learning Teams, SENDCo teams, DSLs as well as curriculum subject teams meet virtually, on a regular basis to ensure that curriculum and leadership practice is shared and developed.  Specialist central provision (such as EP, SALT, children’s councillor and EWO) is also procured centrally and shared across the MAT to develop high quality practice throughout all academies.

We have developed subject specialist teams that work across the MAT to provide high quality provision based on strong subject knowledge.

The Performance adviser and CEO visit each school on a termly basis the structure and nature of visits is agreed with each academy on a termly basis depending on need. A typical annual pattern of visits is shown below:


PAT visit, data conversation


Learning walk to review learning behaviours


Cycle of audit/ reviews across all academies



1. SEN (SENCo)

2.Safeguarding/ equality(Designated leads)

3.Pupil Premium/ sports premium

(PP and Sports champion)

4. Premises/ Health and Safety

(Site managers)

5. Peer review (SLT)

6. Termly report on behaviour/ racist/safeguarding incidents(HT /Safeguarding lead)

7. Attendance monitoring

Term 2

Performance management reviews summary

(HT and SLT)


Term 3

Annual report on effectiveness of academy governing boards

(C of G)

PAT visit- pupil progress focus on Pupil Premium and interventions


Term 4

Cross moderation between academies

(Assessment leads)

Curriculum/ teaching and learning teams  review of provision

(T&L teams)

Term 5

Statutory duty compliance


PAT visit quality of teaching and learning

(SLT and CTs)

Termly Reports

1. Expenditure (CFO)

2.Information Governance breeches (CEO)

3. RIDDOR and H&S (CEO)

4. Complaints (CEO)

5. Grievances(CEO)

6. Progress towards SIP milestones(HT)

7. Quality of teaching (HT)

8. Pupil Attainment/ Progress and welfare (HT)

9. Curriculum / Pupil experience



All of the schools within the Trust are members of PiXL. Through this approach to assessment we are able to quickly identify the gaps in pupils’ knowledge and fill them. All pupils are tracked from early entry baselines and termly pupil progress meetings are conducted to identify pupils who are requiring additional support to secure progress in learning. Keystone Academy Trust holds the contract for moderation across the whole of Lincolnshire, we use this expertise across the trust to ensure that all of our academies are accurate and confident in making accurate assessment judgements and are able to clearly identify the next steps needed for improvement.

Teaching, Learning and Intervention:

Precise gaps analysis of pupils’ performance ensure children’s needs are met through targeted support using the expertise of our Raising Standards Leads.


Keystone Academy Trust centrally procures CPoMs for all of our academies to record and track  their safeguarding concerns, SEND, behaviour, attendance and communication with parents and outside agencies in a chronological order.

Our Tiered Approach

School performance will be evaluated through the following channels:

  • School’s own internal monitoring
  • Peer review
  • Performance  accountability adviser data and school priority discussions
  • Annual audits
  • Headteacher Performance Management

The Performance Accountability Team (PAT) will validate outcomes to ensure that specific requirements for improvements are evidence based and report findings to the board of trustees. Appropriate tier of support to swiftly address school improvement requirements will be initiated.

Tier 1 –  low risk: on-going improvement initiatives (subject specific areas to address, individual teaching and learning issues to address through coaching support, developing future leaders) to maximise pupil progress.


  1. Sign posting of outstanding practice in area(s) of development and expertise of teaching and learning teams help to hone and improve practice
  2. Use of video coaching to reflect on and develop practice
  3. Impact review – school’s internal monitoring and evaluation systems
  4. Use of cross school PLCs to develop practice based on current research

Tier 2 – medium risk: areas of provision/leadership hampering pupil outcomes in one or more areas of the curriculum or year group to secure pupil progress.


  1. Additional adviser support to aid school to construct robust improvement plan with clear measurable milestones for improvement which can be monitored on a termly basis
  2. Specialist teachers deployed to provide short term intensive coaching and mentoring support for individuals
  3. Brokering of additional support through Keystone SLEs to address any further issues arising.

Tier 3 – high risk: immediate action taken by trustees. This tier is high level intervention


  1. CEO/Trustee panel review of evidence and draw up rapid action plan for improvement (supported by PAT)
  2. LGB strengthened by additional trustee members
  3. School leadership strengthened by deployment of highly experienced and capable senior leaders from within the MAT
  4. Teaching and learning strengthened through deployment of high quality practitioners from across the Trust

Intensive adviser support monitoring impact and ensuring timescale for rapid improvement is adhered to and is effective.