Being part of The Dunham Trust ensures that your school will be part of a supportive network of schools in a similar locality. Our schools share core educational and aspirational values, however retain their own identity and their uniqueness is celebrated. We benefit from a wide range of expertise across our schools, which supports professional development and collaboration opportunities and school improvement support.

Our Trust team is made of educationalists and business specialists who help provide your schools with robust frameworks. You will immediately benefit from a range of School Improvement and Finance services which have been developed by our Trust.

School Improvement

The Dunham Trust’s School Improvement Structure and Processes seek to identify and build upon great educational practice.

Enacted through the involvement of professionals from all layers of Academy and Trust personnel, the process is sustainably grown by a culture of positive, robust and challenging interactions.

The structure has been designed to celebrate success, minimise risk and discover talent.

The Dunham Trust has designed its School Improvement Process to:

  • find and develop teaching and leading talent from across The Dunham Trust
  • offer targeted, timely and consistent support for Academies in a category and to those who request it
  • enact checks and measures that test individual Academy and wider Trust processes, structures and outcomes
  • create an Academy driven, rather than a top down, ‘done to’, model of improvement
  • embed a questioning, research and development led culture of Academy improvement and self-evaluation
  • contain layers of peer-to-peer evaluation that challenges improvement thinking, initiatives and subsequent levels of impact
  • invite external validation and robust critique that continually feeds back into the improvement cycle
  • encourage and embrace an analytical response to both success and failure

Academy conversion

We will support you through every stage of the conversion process – from start to completion.

Financial Management

Being part of our Trust means that you will benefit from combined purchasing power for the procurement of services. You will be supported by a team who are highly experienced in academy conversion and setting up robust financial processes across schools.  Our financial offer includes:

  • Preparing financial statements in line with the Department for Education (DfE), Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and Companies Act requirements
  • Preparing required returns to the ESFA – Budget Forecasts, Medium Term Plans, Land & Buildings Valuations & other information requests concerning financial monitoring
  • Ensuring the accuracy of VAT returns & prompt recovery of VAT
  • Internal Assurance and Responsible officer reporting, along with oversight from Trust Audit Committee
  • Support with budget preparation and monitoring
  • Support with monthly management accounts, forecasts and cash flow management
  • Support with one-off projects – capital bids and significant changes
  • Software and processes training for school finance staff
  • Detailed finance policy in line with requirements of the Academies Financial Handbook
  • Detailed policies and procedures for finance staff and senior management to ensure compliance with the Academies Financial Handbook


We provide support in managing meetings and agenda packs for local governing bodies, ensuring that the school is supporting by an engaged governing body. We also provide a bank of Trust-wide policies that are adopted by our schools and also provide a framework and support to schools to ensure that their school policies are reviewed in line with DfE requirements.

What makes us unique?

Our Trust supports the development of arts and sporting activities across The Trust and we encourage cross-collaboration across our schools.

We employ and Artist in Residence who delivers visual arts projects across all of our schools and also supports schools in their applications for Arts Awards.  This work, and other work across our schools, forms part of The Dunham Trust Arts Festival, an annual celebration of the creative work across our schools which covers all creative disciplines, from drama and music to painting and photography.

We deliver and annual Dunham Trust Games event which is an athletics event that brings together children from across all of our schools for a day of athletics.  Our latest event was extremely successful, with children showing great sportsmanship throughout all the races which concluded

We would love to hear from you to discuss your school, needs and priorities. Please telephone The Trust team on 0161 748 6170 to make your appointment. Alternatively email