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Forward Education Trust

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It’s my pleasure to welcome you to Forward Education Trust (FET) and thank you for your interest in working with us.

FET is an established and developing MAT of 6 special schools. We are working through an exciting period of change which started with my appointment as Acting Chief Executive in January 2022. I lead a talented and committed staff group as we strive to provide a safe and supportive environment for us to care for and educate our children. Sarah Kelly, our Acting Deputy Chief Executive and Education Director is using her experience and knowledge to harness the talents of our staff as well as engage with external partners, to support the stability and future growth of our Trust and schools. As well, we are looking forward to opening our new school to be called The Heights Academy, in Solihull in September 2023.

Our aim is to create a cohesive team of Trust Central staff and school staff, working together, fiercely loyal to each other. We are committed to developing local school identity and ethos, adopting strategies for school improvement that build on and enhance local reputation, raise standards and respond to the needs and aspirations of those we serve. We care about our staff, their learning, development and well-being and we are responding to feedback from our first Trust-wide employee survey on a wide range of matters relating to communication, workload, personal & professional development and wider support to our staff.

Our values remain unchanged, but we want to articulate them better and give unequivocal evidence that people can see them in the decisions we make and the things that we do. Mutual respect must pervade all our relationships and together our staff will learn, practice and collaborate – a sense of team will identify how we nurture our talent, for the benefit of our young people. At all times, FET will be a safe place for our children, because our staff will know that this is their top priority.

Anyone joining the Trust must share these values and live them in their daily lives. We want to empower people to make decisions and to be creative. We are recruiting talented, experienced, ambitious and forward-thinking people who want to work as part of a team that is committed to our ethos of moving forward together, striving for and achieving opportunities to improve outcomes and provide stability and success for all. These are not just words, this is what we do. You will be supported to ensure that the well-being and education of our students is at the centre of everything we do. We will also value you and your development and well-being and we want our people to grow with us.

I am very excited about the challenges ahead. I would welcome the chance to tell you about how you can become engaged in a similar way in the future of Forward Education Trust.

Best Regards,

Simon Dilkes

Acting CEO, Forward Education Trust


About Forward Education Trust

Forward Education Trust was established in March 2017 when the federation of Brays School (then on two sites at Sheldon and Tile Cross) and The Bridge School (Sutton Coldfield) academised under the leadership of our Founder, Jane Edgerton. When the Trust was formed Hallmoor School (an all through provision) joined as a sponsored school.

The Trust has expanded and changed recently. On 1st September 2021, Brays School was de-amalgamated when the Sheldon site retained the Brays name and a new school called Leycroft Academy was established on the Tile Cross site. In addition, the former Skilts school was relocated by Birmingham City Council to a new site called Lea Hall Academy as a sponsor led academy joining FET on 1st September 2021.

Finally, to bring us to where we are now, High Point Academy (Secondary) was developed as a free school by the DfE and opened as an academy on 1st September 2021.

So, FET is now a Trust of 6 special schools across all age ranges, covering the widest spectrum of Special Educational Needs students. With close to 750 students and nearly 400 staff, FET is a strong force in special education in Birmingham and now Sandwell.

Future plans for FET include a new school in Solihull to be called The Heights, which is being developed in conjunction with Solihull Council and is planned to open September 2023. We have plans for future growth within our catchment areas and will remain a specialist SEND Trust.

Under the stewardship of Simon Dilkes and Sarah Kelly, FET will concentrate on its established core values, with the major focus on the well-being and education of our students and, second only to that, to the recruitment, retention, development and well-being of staff. FET will be different in the future through small changes that will have a significant impact for students and staff. The schools will develop individual personalities, recognising their own particular characteristics and celebrating the many good things that happen day-to-day. School leaders will increasingly be able to make the right choices for their students, with support from the FET Central Team, the Board of Trustees and Local Academy Councils. Through this, FET aims to be a place that staff want to come to and stay at. The Trust’s ambitions remain undiminished – to ensure the children in its schools receive the best possible education, care and life chances.


Vacancy details

How to enquire

For further information, an informal and confidential discussion about the role or to discuss the application process please contact Paul Hunt at Hays Education.

Paul Hunt

Hays Education

M: 07921583731

E: FET@hays.com