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Tenax Schools Trust aims to offer schools wide opportunities for mutual support and partnership, in particular through the practical sharing of leadership, educational and pedagogical expertise, resources and joint professional development.
The Trust supports its local governing bodies in their important role of working with the Headteacher of each school to ensure high standards are maintained. Local governing bodies have a central role to play in preserving the identity of each school and building and maintaining strong links to the community it serves.
The Trust provides high quality professional development for governors and open and frequent communication with the Trust board, which carries ultimate responsibility for the performance of the Trust as a whole. We aim to relieve governors of routine or administrative responsibilities so that they can focus on the important part of their work: improving the experience for children and young people in their school.
Tenax Schools Trust operates across Kent and East Sussex. It has a close working relationship with both the Diocese of Rochester and the Diocese of Chichester, both of whom support the work of the Trust. Likewise, it collaborates with the local authorities of Kent and East Sussex in providing excellent educational opportunities for local children and young people.
The way in which the Trust is funded is transparent and all schools understand the way in which they benefit directly from the contribution they make to central Trust services. Education Funding Agency (EFA) allocation is based on pupil numbers and paid to each individual school. The school make a contribution towards the Trust from that allocation. The enhanced buying power of a large trust is able to secure significantly better rates for many contracts and services than individual schools can procure.
Bennett Memorial Diocesan School, is a designated Teaching School and co-leads the Altius Teaching School Alliance. All schools joining the Trust share that designation, which is applied to the Trust as a whole. In this capacity, the Trust aims to offer opportunities for all schools to participate in training and shaping the current and next generations of teachers, both for schools within the Trust and more widely. The Trust has made an application to become a School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) that will enable it to expand opportunities to develop and grow our own teachers. The outcome of the application will be known in due course.
Bennett has been successful in the application to open a primary free school in Tonbridge. The new school, Bishop Chavasse School, situated in a new build on a site in South Tonbridge and opening in 2017, will develop an approach based on the Trust’s foundational principles and ethos, and will join Bennett and other schools in the Tenax Schools Trust.