Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates - Deuteronomy 6 (ESV)
Teaching children is an essential human task that has always been at the heart of faith communities and especially of the Church of England.
Our family of schools in the Diocese of Liverpool has a long history of excellence combined with nurture, developing in young people the resilience and character needed for life.
Christian values are the foundation of British Values. Within the explicit Christian culture of our schools pupils flourish. Across the centuries, church schools have adapted themselves to the legislative framework given by Government. The current change to academy status for schools is as significant as the 1870 and 1944 Education Acts.
Across England the number of schools forming and joining multi-academy trusts (MATs) has grown significantly since the 2010 Education Act. The DfE expects that most schools which convert to academy status will join a MAT. The vast majority of dioceses around the country have established multi-academy trusts.
Embracing the opportunities that this new framework provides the Diocese of Liverpool seeks not only to maintain our schools, 90% of whom are Good or Outstanding, but to extend, enrich and improve our family of schools. The LDST, as a diocesan led Multi Academy Trust (MAT), creates stronger bonds of collaboration and cooperation, better shares good practice, quickly addresses areas of weakness and offers increased opportunities for professional development.
After a period of consultation in 2016 and early 2017, it was clear that our schools wanted the Board of Education to take a strategic leadership role in the academies programme. Further consultation looked both at the account in Genesis 18 of the visit to Abraham of three angels and also particularly at the icon of this event painted by Andrei Rublev to identify the core values of the Trust:
- Valuing the local
- Valuing Difference
LDST is a Trust in which our schools thrive under the leadership of headteachers, supported and challenged by local governing bodies and accountable to the board of trustees. We are confident that this is achieved whilst at the same time ensuring that all of our family of schools benefit from high levels of collaboration.
Strong structures across geographical hubs ensures a high level of accountability matched with only the challenge required to enable local leadership to flourish. Central services ensure value for money and the ability to monitor from a distance. A strong school improvement function gives the capacity to evaluate schools and intervene where needed.
Jesus said ‘Let the children come to me.’ (Mt 19)
We believe that we are fulfilling this command when we enable children of all faiths and none to flourish in our schools. The Liverpool Diocesan Schools Trust has an important role to play in improving the attainment of pupils across the Diocesan region.
Father Richard Peers
Liverpool Diocesan Director of Education