Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust (BDAT) is a Bradford-based multi-academy trust committed to providing high quality education for the children across all their schools through collaboration, challenge and targeted support. Their purpose is to maintain and drive rapid school improvements through shared best practice across their growing family of schools and partners.

Some of the schools now within the trust previously benefitted from B11 school reviews through a local partnership. However, this began to represent less value for money as some services were replicated through the local area partnerships or by the multi-academy trust that some schools chose or were sponsored to join.

With BDAT having grown from three to thirteen primary schools, they were in need of an external consultant to assess the quality of their self-evaluation across the entire multi-academy trust.


B11’s team of highly skilled and experienced consultants were brought on board in 2018 to provide support across BDAT’s primary provision. This support comprises a developmental review of each school, taking place approximately every four terms. Providing an accurate and detailed view of each school’s strengths and areas for development, we assess the accuracy of their self-evaluation and deliver this in a rigorous yet developmental way.

A service level agreement (SLA) sets out the planned dates for reviews at the start of the academic year and which consultant is available to meet the timescale required by BDAT and the individual school. In 2019, a two-year SLA was put in place setting out the intention to continue with the reviews into 2020, with scope to include new schools joining the trust in the intervening period.

Craig Lee, Director of Primary at BDAT, explains the benefits of working with B11: “The consistent quality and approach to quality assurance of our schools’ self-evaluations is very important to us. We knew of B11 from training courses and developmental reviews provided to schools through a local partnership, so knew some of their consultants, but not others. We have found that they are totally accurate in their judgements and what they say, we don’t really mind what they say as long as they are right.

“Generally, we have found that our self-evaluations have matched the views of the B11 consultants, but where schools have been found to be weak this has been stated and issues have been addressed. A number of B11 consultants have supported our schools but, whoever we use, we know we’ll get robust conversations with a similar vision to what we are trying to achieve across our schools. This flexibility to change the individual consultant is important as it comes down to developing relationships between the consultant and the school.”

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