...achieving the highest standards of which children are capable in all areas of academic and personal development...

School aims


...a secure Christian environment in which consideration and respect for self and others, can be fostered..

School aims


The roots to grow, the wings to fly...

School motto


Your school is a gem.

Quote from Salisbury Diocese Advisor


...fostering a positive and responsible attitude in children towards their environment...

School aims




The Governing Bodies of schools in the Sherborne Schools’ Partnership have been reviewing the best strategy for the future of their schools. Therefore, with the prospect of an exciting collaboration to form a new Multi-Academy Trust in Sherborne and surrounding area, we are inviting expressions of interest from a variety of individuals in the local community with a wide-range of skills and expertise. These may include strategic leadership, business management, finance, law or educational improvement.

The potential establishment of a new charitable trust, the Sherborne Area Schools’ Trust, will comprise 6 members and 12 trustees who will provide committed governance to support and develop the excellent education already enjoyed by all our students, whilst preserving each school’s unique qualities and strengths.

The schools participating are Buckland Newton CEVC Primary, St Andrews CEVC Primary (Yetminster), Sherborne Primary, Sherborne Abbey CEVC Primary, Sherborne Learning Centre (Pupil Referral Unit), St Mary's CEVC Primary (Bradford Abbas), Thornford CEVA Primary and The Gryphon School.

Why not join us and make a real difference to securing even better opportunities and outcomes for children from all backgrounds living in North and West Dorset and South Somerset.

Further details are available from Nigel Rees, Chair of Project Steering and Interim Board, at, or by telephoning 01935 810101 for an information pack containing our mission statement and role profile.

Expressions of interest comprising of 2 x A4 sides and your CV to be submitted to Nigel Rees by Monday 17th October 2016.

Sherborne Area School’s Trust

The Governing Bodies of the Sherborne Schools’ Partnership have been reviewing the best strategy for the future of our Schools. The priority is to enable every School to continue to provide an excellent education for all our students while protecting the School’s role at the heart of our community, along with our unique qualities and strengths.

Following careful consideration, the Governing Body believes that there are a number of key benefits of becoming part of a new local primary/secondary multi academy trust. The schools that have chosen to be involved are Buckland Newton CEVC Primary, St Andrews CEVC Primary (Yetminster), Sherborne Primary, Sherborne Abbey CEVC Primary, Sherborne Learning Centre (Pupil Referral Unit), St Mary's CEVC Primary (Bradford Abbas), Thornford CEVA Primary and The Gryphon School.

Being part of a new multi academy trust will allow us to further strengthen the links between our schools in order to support continuity of education from 0-19 within our community. The Sherborne Schools’ Partnership has worked closely together for many years to provide an excellent education for our young people, and so to collaborate more closely is an exciting prospect, particularly as academies also have greater flexibility in delivering the curriculum.

The opportunities include developing our provision, sharing best practice, being more creative in our curriculum, enabling further development of our teachers/staff and taking collective responsibility for all of the children’s development and progress. There is also more freedom on how we spend our funding and we would be able to explore opportunities for financial efficiency, determining for ourselves which services and providers we will buy into to provide outstanding provision for our children.

The SAST mission is:

  • To be a special collaboration of high performing primary, secondary and alternative provision schools seeking to ensure an excellent and sustainable 0-19 education for children within our community across West and North Dorset.
  • To build upon the existing good relationships across the Sherborne Schools’ Partnership and the Sherborne small schools’ cluster and develop as a family of schools working together to strengthen each school and inspire our young people and their families.
  • To have  a shared commitment to creative and innovative learning opportunities, high aspirations and leadership, and academic success within inspiring schools, alongside developing the personal attributes for everyone (children and staff) to thrive at every stage of their learning journey.

What we value – Our ethos

  • Our partnership is an inclusive learning community in which children and adults together are committed to learning; inspired by a love of lifelong learning. The partnership focus is to enhance the whole of a child’s learning journey from 0-19 and it also promotes learning amongst adult members of school communities and the families of pupils.
  • All schools are equal partners and are committed to the principles of collaboration, sharing expertise and resources to enable all partner schools to deliver excellent education for all young people in their care.
  • Opportunities for greater consistency and coherence will be actively sought for the benefit of all children and staff.
  • We will celebrate each school’s unique and individual characteristics in the community it serves. Each school will retain its individual identity, uniform, ethos and where relevant Christian distinctiveness but will be working together for the benefit of the children, families and communities that they serve.
  • There will be a rigorous focus on the key areas for improvement in order to achieve the highest standards of academic and personal achievement - nurturing our students’ spiritual, moral, social, physical and cultural development.
  • All the Trust leaders will act impartially in the best interest of the trust and will work in the best interest of all the academies.
  • The Trust will recognise, prepare for and act upon the national and local changes taking place across education and that face the partnership trust.
  • The Trust will seek to pre-empt issues of performance (educational, financial, compliance etc). Where a school is experiencing or at risk of experiencing issues, the Trust will take the appropriate action to support the school to resolve those issues in a timely manner and for the benefit of those within the Trust.
  • All schools value all of our staff and the contribution they bring to our schools and for our young people. All partner schools are committed to supporting the development of all staff, to foster leadership and succession planning and to offer staff greater opportunities within the trust and its academies; and we will engage with our staff in shaping the provision across the Trust.


The Sherborne Schools Partnership (SSP)

In September 2009 the schools in the Sherborne Pyramid agreed to call this group the Sherborne Schools Partnership (SSP). It has operated as a soft federation. The Sherborne Pyramid comprises All Saints Primary School (Bishops Caundle), Buckland Newton CE Primary School, St Andrew’s CE Primary School (Yetminster), St Mary’s CE VC Primary School (Bradford Abbas), Sherborne Primary School, The Abbey CE VA Primary School, Thornford CE VA Primary School, Trent Young’s Endowed CE VA Primary School and The Gryphon School, Sherborne. The Sherborne Learning Centre is also a member of this group. Milborne Port Primary School has participated in the group since 2011 as the numbers joining The Gryphon from there are high. The Gryphon School took academy status on 1 August 2012.

Collectively we provide education for around 3,000 students across North and West Dorset as well as South Somerset. The pyramid has had high parent preference admission applications particular to the west of the catchment area and from surrounding Somerset areas.

All the individual schools within the Pyramid have been very successful. Existing links within and between Key Stages are good. Transition arrangements are well embedded and outstanding. There are and have been many examples of close working between specific schools and clusters of schools. All the schools have a strong commitment to high standards and provide a caring and safe environment for learning and personal development. All the schools have a friendly atmosphere with positive relationships between students and staff. There are high expectations of behaviour, thinking about others and good manners.

MAT Development

Since 2014 there have been on-going informal discussions about options for more formal partnerships including academies and trust establishment. In 2015 external advisors were engaged to provide guidance and support. Individually schools also explored options, including attending events organised by the Diocese of Salisbury and others. Since May 2015 Lock House Consulting has provided external independent guidance and support. There have been intensive workshops, SWOT analysis and the sharing of values leading to a Memorandum of Understanding being established and agreed by all schools. A Project Steering and Interim Board was set up in January 2016 to lead the development work and detailed planning and preparation phase. Three schools have chosen not to be involved at this stage – one has chosen to join the Diocesan MAT and one has continued to attend meeting but formal resolutions/decisions are awaited.

Proposed Governance Structure

Sherborne Area Schools’ Trust - Member and Trustee Job Descriptions DRAFT

Member Overall purpose

Members have an overarching responsibility for the viability and performance of the Academy Trust through the appointment of trustees and approval of the annual report. They have the power to amend the Articles of Association that govern the way the Trust is constituted and managed.

Main duties and responsibilities

  1. To appoint trustees to the Trust Board bearing in mind the Articles of Association and the need for a balanced skill set to manage the Trust effectively
  2. To remove any trustee who is not considered to be acting in the best interests of the Trust, after discussion with the Diocese as appropriate,
  3. From time to time to review the Articles of Association and to make changes where deemed necessary after taking advice from the Trust Board
  4. To appoint other Members as necessary in line with the provisions of the Articles of Association
  5. If deemed appropriate Members have the authority to change the name of the company
  6. To approve the annual report and accounts prior to submission to Companies House
  7. Members have the power to wind up the company and pledge the sum of £10 towards any debts in the event that the Trust is wound up

Expected time commitment – 2 meetings per year

Trustee Overall purpose

Trustees are responsible for the strategic direction, broad policy framework and oversight of the Trust and all its schools. They take decisions that are in the best interests the MAT as a whole and are not representative of any one of the constituent academies. The Trustees are also Directors of the Academy which is a company limited by guarantee and registered as such at Companies House.

Main duties and responsibilities

  1. To ensure that the activities of the Trust fulfil the objectives as described in the Articles of Association and the Memorandum of Understanding
  2. To ensure compliance with the Trust’s duties under company and charity law
  3. To ensure the schools are compliant with all statutory obligations (eg curriculum, SEND, safeguarding)
  4. To safeguard the assets of the Trust
  5. To ensure the solvency of the trust and to abide by the agreements made with the Department for Education and Educational Funding Agency including the Master Funding agreement and the Supplemental Funding Agreement and as defined in the current issue of the Academies Financial Handbook
  6. To determine the overall strategic direction and development of the Trust through good governance and clear strategic planning
  7. To approve the Trust’s strategic plan
  8. To challenge and support the Trust’s Executive Principal, senior staff and academy leaders to achieve the outcomes of the strategic plan
  9. To oversee the performance of the Trust and its schools and direct change where performance falls short of expectation
  10. To agree policies across the schools within the Trust
  11. To ensure that risks are mitigated where possible and otherwise effectively managed
  12. To review the Trust Board’s terms of reference on a regular basis and to recommend any changes to the Board of Members
  13. To approve the terms of reference of the Board’s committees
  14. To approve the terms of reference of the Local Governing Bodies for the schools
  15. To, approve the Trust’s annual budget and monitor progress through the receipt of regular reports and to commission auditors
  16. To approve the annual budget for each school and monitor expenditure against the budgets
  17. To approve the annual and other statutory reports to Members and the EFA*
  18. To agree and review from time to time the scheme of delegation to the schools
  19. To review the effectiveness and skill set of the Board and recommend appropriate changes to the Board of Members
  20. To appoint and if deemed necessary to remove the Executive Principal

Expected time commitment – 6 Board meetings per year plus committees

*Trustees appointed by the Diocese are required to provide prescribed reports to the Salisbury Diocesan Board of Education.