School Improvement

Our school improvement strategy is at the core of all that we do in LDST and through it we promote a vision of excellence and academic rigour that we believe will overcome disadvantage, raise attainment and ensure our schools improve together. Our model promotes strong bonds of collaboration and the researching and sharing of best practice in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for our pupils.


Through our collaborative model and a systematic approach to school improvement, we aim to ensure that our pupils attain the highest standards possible, by:

  • Ensuring that the distinctly Christian ethos underpins all the work of the Trust and every aspect of school life
  • Overcoming disadvantage, raising attainment and improving progression for all pupils
  • Encouraging excellent teaching and learning, enhanced by the school’s distinctively Christian ethos
  • Celebrating, nurturing and developing inspirational leadership and management
  • Ensuring safeguarding is effective and integral to all aspects of school life
  • Providing a graduated level of support, challenge and intervention to schools based on accurate categorisation of strengths, needs and priorities
  • Ensuring  that every school in the Diocese is supported to reach outstanding


In order to achieve our aims all schools within LDST benefit from a service which supports and challenges their journey to excellence by:

  • Providing a graduated level of support, challenge and intervention to schools based on accurate categorisation of strengths, needs and priorities
  • Providing quality assured professionals to act as School Effectiveness Officers
  • Validating school’s own analysis of school performance to inform self-evaluation and school improvement planning
  • Promoting self-sustaining school improvement through developing Headteachers as Challenge Partners and through a model of peer reviews and collaborative self-evaluation
  • Building capacity within and across schools through networks and collaborations to share best practice, research and evidence to secure excellent teaching and learning across all schools
  • Ensuring LGBs are able to provide support and challenge for school leaders, including with Headteacher appraisal.
  • Including an annual monitoring visit from the Trust Education Officer (TEO)
  • Supporting Headteacher and senior leader recruitment
  • Further developing current and future leaders
  • Working in collaboration with existing centres of educational excellence 
  • Providing advice and support before, during and after an Ofsted Inspection


Our model is making a difference because we are:

  • Respectful of the individual identity of our schools – knowing their strengths and understanding where improvements are needed
  • Resourceful in recognising effective and successful practice in all schools and using this where possible as a resource to support others to bring about improvement
  • Responsive to the context of each school, adapting strategies where necessary to promote and sustain improvements
  • Relentless in our pursuit of excellence and led by a belief that every child can achieve


You can find the full versions of our School Improvement Strategy, Key Priorities and the School Improvement Annual Calender below.


Our dedicated and expert Education Team  works as a ‘team around the school’ to provide appropriate and timely encouragement, support and challenge that validates school self-evaluation, promotes even better outcomes and enables us to disseminate the very best practice widely.


Laurie Kwissa: Chief Executive Officer

Laurie has extensive local and national experience  as a Headteacher,  National Strategies Adviser,  School Improvement Partner and  Senior Local Authority Officer.


Sally Aspinwall: Trust Education Director 

Sally Aspinwall is the Trust Education Director within the Liverpool Diocesan Schools Trust and is responsible for school improvement. She is a serving Headteacher and Executive Headteacher of two primary schools. One of these schools, The Beacon CE, is currently judged to be Outstanding by OFSTED; the other, Bishop Martin CE, having been successfully supported by The Executive Headteacher and the staff at The Beacon, has made significant and rapid improvements. She is also an OFSTED inspector currently in the primary sector. Her areas of expertise include leadership and management and primary SEND provision. 


Mark Ward Trust Education Officer 

Mark Ward is a part time Trust Education Officer within the Liverpool Diocesan Schools Trust. As well as supporting individual schools in the Trust, Mark is responsible for developing the curriculum and coordinates our subject specific network. Mark is a lead facilitator for our NPQLT programme. He is also serving headteacher at St Thomas' CE Primary School which is an outstanding school within the Trust. He is passionate about developing leadership skills in others as well as engaging in educational research.  


Rachael Heathcote: Trust Inclusion Lead 

Rachael Heathcote is the Inclusion Lead within the Liverpool Diocesan Schools Trust and is responsible for embedding guiding principles to ensure a consistent approach to meeting the needs of pupils with SEND, pupils in receipt of Pupil Premium funding, and More Able pupils across the Trust schools. She previously served as a class based Primary Inclusion Manager & SENDco and for a number of years, supported pupils to close the 'learning gap' between them and their peers as a mainstream Intervention Teacher. Rachael is also an advanced English as an Additional Language Practitioner. 



In addition, our education team is enhanced by  the  expertise of leaders across our Trust, including our Headteachers, and Executive Headteachers who all act as Trust-wide Challenge Partners.


For further information regarding our Trust's school leadership capacity please see the document below.

Trust Prayer

Trust Prayer

We thank you, God of Love, for the gift of children,
bless the work of our Trust, that in all we do
young people may grow in wisdom and stature,
and so come
to know you,
to love you
and to serve you,
as Jesus did.
We make our prayer in his name who is God
with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever.