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Our story

Formed in 2016, Thedwastre Education Trust (TET) is a small mixed MAT (C of E and community schools) of four small primary schools in Mid Suffolk. The Trust’s core mission is to achieve excellence for our pupils, staff and the communities they serve. We aim to provide all pupils with a broad and balanced education which enables them to reach their full potential. In addition to striving for excellence, our core values are always being inclusive, community focused and collaborative.

Trust Values

Our values are important to us and shape all of our work.


We are constantly striving for continuous school improvement in all our schools and the evidence of recent years has shown significant improvement in outcomes across the Trust. Whilst our schools are at different stages of development, all aspire to be the best they can be. This is supported by our senior team and through our partnership with the LARK Teaching Schools Alliance.


All our schools are inclusive of children from a wide range of backgrounds and we have a good track record of supporting children with special educational needs or other needs such as social and emotional. We want all children to achieve their full potential and our schools invest heavily in making this happen. For instance, we now have two specialist behaviour support staff and a Family Worker at Woolpit Primary Academy to ensure that the right level of support is given to pupils, staff and families to ensure the children can achieve their potential.


All Thedwastre schools are firmly routed in their local communities, including where applicable with their local churches. We actively encourage positive relationships with local community groups and enjoy inviting members of the local community to visit our schools and share learning experiences with pupils. Each of our schools has a Headteacher to lead the school, working closely with local governors and the Trust to ensure their school retains its individuality and uniqueness.


As a Trust, collaboration is key to our success. Our schools work very closely together to support one another with curriculum development, subject leadership development and sharing best practice through CPD sessions and joint moderation. As a member of Thedwastre Education Trust, school leaders are fully supported in leading their school, with support, advice and encouragement from our CEO amongst others. Our Headteachers meet regularly as a group and with the CEO to discuss school improvement, how resources are used to best meet the needs of pupils and the communities we serve, and solve issues as a supportive group of professionals. As a small MAT, headteachers are fully involved in the development of Trust strategy and are welcome to attend Board meetings/ sub-committees, which means there is a direct relationship with Directors.

The Trust has introduced standardised assessment and data capture in all schools and many key policies are Trust wide. Governance is well organised with improving communication between local governing bodies and the Board and its sub-committees. More recently the Trust has introduced collective purchasing and common central support systems including finance, HR and premises management.

Our successes

Thedwastre Education Trust has had many successes over recent years. Some highlights include:

  • Establishment of the Rattlesden Science Hub which seeks to enhance the teaching of science in our primary schools and two other local primary schools through joint CPD, access to additional science resources and professional support

  • Development of Trust subject leader networks, including joint moderation of writing

  • Rapid turnaround of Woolpit Primary Academy

  • Five successful Condition Improvement Fund applications in three years totaling almost £850,000 additional investment into our school estate

  • Planned and prepared for the relocation and expansion of Thurston CE Primary Academy to a new purpose-built school in September 2021

  • Extensive sharing of best practice in relation to home learning, sharing of risk assessments and documents during the Covid-19 pandemic

  • Investment in whole class sets of IT devices in all Trust schools

  • Trust wide CPD for staff including safeguarding, internet safety, maths, talk for writing, amongst many others

  • Procurement of Trust wide contracts including absence insurance, catering, cleaning, HR/ payroll, grounds maintenance, IT support, etc.

Contribution to central services

Like many other Trusts, each school within Thedwastre contributes 5% of GAG funding annually. This contribution pays for the following:

  • Senior Management team including the CEO, Trust Business Manager and Senior Finance Officer

  • Monthly financial reporting

  • Support for all major premises related projects including oversight of Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) applications and delivery of major capital projects including IT infrastructure

  • Central completion of the annual returns to the DfE (including Land and Buildings returns etc).

  • Full HR advisory and administration including payroll, pensions, contracts, including professional support for disciplinary or grievance matters, etc.

  • School Improvement Adviser – minimum half termly visit from NLE/SLE

  • Risk Management and support for local risk assessments and health and safety checks

  • Procurement of major contracts (e.g. cleaning, catering, property, Absence insurance, etc.)

  • Headteacher Performance Management – organisation, external adviser and administration

  • Central Trust policies and templates meaning local governors and Headteachers don’t need to prepare these alone

  • Support for termly centrally sourced/ organised CPD

  • Support for governance issues

  • Access to legal advice, Data Protection Officer including investigation, advice and reporting

  • Day to day support, guidance and advice to Headteachers

  • Access to subject leader networks

  • External and internal audit, annual accounts production and submission to EFSA etc.

  • Support for admissions and exclusions, etc.

Talk to us

If after reading our pages, you feel that the Thedwastre vision and values align with your aspirations and those of your school please get in touch with our CEO, Phil Mackay, by e-mail at or Chair, Gary McDonald at

If you are:

  • A good or outstanding school or Academy wishing to explore the benefits of joining our Trust

  • A school or academy currently experiencing difficulties and wish to discuss how a partnership with us may help

  • A small Multi Academy Trust or federation already benefiting from some economies of scale but would like to consider how this might be further enhanced by working with another group of like-minded schools

Please get in touch as we would be delighted to have informal exploratory conversations with you to consider how working together could bring mutual benefits and further opportunities to maximise our impact on the pupils in our schools.

Thedwastre Education Trust wishes to become known for excellence in education and through careful, considered and timely growth we believe we can achieve this. We have no aspiration to be the biggest, but we do aspire to be amongst the best.

Becoming a Teacher

TET supports the training of new teachers to become qualified members of the teaching profession. We are keen to support trainee and newly qualified teachers start their career with one of our schools. Please note that some of the arrangements for Initial Teacher Training are changing from September 2021. Information about becoming a teacher is available from

Work for us

We are committed to employing the best people to impact on our schools. All our vacancies are available here. Please send all enquiries about job vacancies to

Become a Trustee

We would be delighted to hear from candidates interested in becoming either a Trustee or a member of a Local Governing Body. If you are interested in either opportunity please contact and we will arrange to put you in touch with one of our current volunteers.