Ridgewood High School Students

Stour Vale Academy Trust

Values, Ethos, Vision and Approach

Stour Vale Academy Trust holds children and young people at the heart of all that we do. We recognise that as a multi-academy trust we exist in order to advance education for the public benefit. Our mission, therefore, is to improve life opportunities for children and young people by both providing the best possible education and care to pupils in Stour Vale member schools and by having a positive impact across the wider education system. Our values are encapsulated in four words:


By always acting with integrity we will ensure that we continue to deploy our resources appropriately in order to provide the very best education and care for pupils. This approach will also enable us to recruit and retain the best staff who share our values. Combined with a real recognition of our responsibility to both support and challenge member schools and to have a positive impact on the wider educational system, acting with integrity will enable us to build trust amongst member schools and more widely with schools and trusts who work in partnership with us. This trust underpins the truly effective collaboration which has a positive impact on the lives of children and young people.


We are committed to treating everyone with respect and to promoting equality. Stour Vale member schools are safe and inclusive schools, committed to meeting the needs of individual pupils. We value and celebrate the diversity of member schools, pupils, colleagues and the communities we serve. Much like integrity, we recognise that respect is vital to building trust. We believe that developing pupils’ character and their own commitment to treating others with respect must sit alongside the pursuit of academic excellence.


Stour Vale Academy Trust exists because we believe that effective collaboration has a positive impact on the life opportunities of children and young people. We believe that working collaboratively together we have much greater capacity to realise continuous improvement in all member schools. Therefore, we seek to actively promote positive, impactful collaboration, most often with school-based staff taking the lead.


We are committed to constantly pursuing excellence by continuously improving all aspects of our work as a trust. Excellence in teaching and learning, curriculum and character development is our primary focus. We believe that by enabling our pupils to make strong academic progress alongside widening their opportunities for personal development, they will grow their potential enjoying their education to the full and be equipped to go on to be happy and successful adults contributing positively to society. This commitment to excellence in classrooms will be achieved by realising our ambition to provide excellent professional learning for all colleagues, by developing leadership in every role and by providing excellence in back-office services such as HR and finance.

Looking to the future, continuing to hold children and young people at the heart of all that we do, our vision is to be a larger successful family of schools. Stour Vale member schools will serve their communities by providing the excellent education and care which ensures both strong academic progress and a broad range of opportunities for personal development. Both individually and collectively, member schools will also have a significant positive impact on the wider education system. Further growth is key to realising our vision as it will increase our capacity to provide:

  • expert support and challenge for school leaders which ensures continuous improvement in pupil outcomes
  • excellent back-office functions which have a clear focus on sustainable school improvement
  • innovative and comprehensive approaches to professional learning, career development and staff well-being that will attract, retain and grow the best staff
  • powerful learning from research and increased collaboration
  • greater collective capacity to support schools facing challenges or who need to rapidly improve

We describe our shared approach to school improvement as ‘secure autonomy’. Headteachers, with school leadership teams and staff, have autonomy to lead school improvement in their own schools, responsively and in collaboration with others within and beyond our trust. We believe that this approach enables us to grow, attract and retain excellent school leaders and to develop the most innovative and impactful school improvement strategies. We recognise that this autonomy must be secured within the structure of the multi-academy trust, and our model of challenge and support for impact, underpinned by our shared values, ensures sustained school improvement and a sharp focus on outcomes for pupils. This in turn realises our ambition that Stour Vale member schools are schools where learners flourish.

For all enquiries, call us on 0121 585 5385 or email