Professional Development

The Pinnacle Learning Trust

Togetherwe succeed

Why Join Us?

We are incredibly proud of our influential group of schools and colleges. We have gone from strength to strength since we were established in 2017, and know that our approach has seen improvements across the board.

Rather than rush expansion, we have taken the time to create and establish the right systems and processes to ensure progress. As a result, we are a group of schools and colleges that can only be described as thriving.

There are countless benefits for a school within the PLT family, including increased availability of resources and better purchasing power, however, the reasons for joining us extend far beyond this...

1. Raising aspiration is at the heart of what we do

Our Vision is of a locally-focused, cross-phase Trust, with an understanding of the communities we serve and a rigorous culture of high aspirations and strong academic performance that will improve the life chances of our young people.

2. Retain your identity

We want our schools and colleges to be true to themselves. Although clearly associated with the Trust, each retains their own identity. This is because we firmly believe that every school and college is different and so, although supported by the Trust, they retain the unique feel that students, parents and staff know and love.

3. A voice in the PLT community

We do not have grand expansion plans. We are keen to grow, but only at the right time and with schools and colleges that share our outlook on and approach to education. As such, your voice will always be heard as part of PLT. With collaboration at the heart of everything we do, this is the case now and it always will be.

4. Covering all the bases

Between our schools and colleges the Trust encompasses all age ranges, from early years to 18. We believe that having the opportunity to work with young people at all ages and stages of their education provides some opportunities not available elsewhere to shape and develop education to the benefit of pupils’ futures.  Working across the phases also brings a range of benefits for staff, from unique CPD opportunities through to career progression.

5. Fantastic facilities

From the famous clocktower and amazing outdoor areas at Werneth Primary and the enviable sports facilities at Hathershaw College, to the superb Regional Science Centre and Duncan Lawton Building at OSFC, PLT’s presence can be found across Oldham’s landscape. As a Trust, we prioritise access for members to our sector-leading facilities.

6. Leaders in technology

Thanks to our commitment to utilising technology to enhance teaching and learning, in June 2020 we were selected as one of just 43 providers nationally to lead the EdTech Demonstrator Programme. This was developed by?the DfE to ensure schools and colleges across England could access free, expert advice on educational technology. We have a team of EdTech Demonstrators across the Trust who can support your school in using technology to support learning and reduce workload.

7. Evidence-led school improvement

As an Associate Research School, we are an accredited member of the Research Schools Network, which leads the way in the use of evidence-based practice. Through the network we have access to innovative thinking in a way that bridges the gap between theory and the classroom.

We have a range of Specialist Leaders in Education and Evidence Leads in Education via the Research School who can provide support, and we also buy into an external improvement partner service via B11, who provide termly visits and ad hoc reviews as appropriate.  They also support Headteacher/Principal professional reviews.

8. Experts in teaching and learning development

Based on our extensive expertise we formed the Advantage Teaching School, which provided highly regarded professional development and school to school support to hundreds of staff both locally and nationally. Our success in this area also led to our Trust becoming a key partner in the East Manchester Teaching School Hub, with the creation of the new model of Hubs coming into effect from 2021.

Louise Astbury, our Trust Professional Development Director, leads across the Trust on the full range of professional development support, aligned to individual school/college improvement plans.  She provides or sources bespoke support and training aligned to your plans, ensuring staff have access to evidence-informed best practice and all the benefits associated with our work through the Research School and EdTech Demonstrator.

9. Gold standard central services package

The following central support services are in place across the Trust:

  • Estates and Health & Safety: including software to log issues and report on H&S, a Trust approach to ensuring compliance and a cross-site team approach to providing site cover if needed.
  • IT Services: technician support from the Trust central team and scope for joint procurement.
  • Human Resources and Payroll: our qualified specialist HR team provides responsive support, covering recruitment and contracts, absence management, support with staffing issues, etc.
  • Finance: centralised system with orders, invoices and month end procedures handled by the central team.  Budgets continue to operate at school/college level, but with the advantages of scope for central procurement and centralisation of some costs.
  • Cleaning: we have centralised our cleaning contract, to provide savings on cost and some flexibility in delivery.
  • Catering: from September 2021 you can access a central catering contract.
  • Marketing & Design: we have a Trust Marketing Manager to provide support with internal and external communications and promotion, including press coverage, materials for prospective pupils’ parents, social media support and so on.  As part of the Marketing team, we have website support and a design/reprographics officer who can produce a range of resources in-house. We also have support via an external contract, providing expertise in this area as needed.