Westgate Primary 3


What is it like to work in an academy?

Academies are communities and every role involves being part of a community which includes pupils, parents, governors and the wider community, as well as the teaching and support staff. Every role in our academies is an important component in enabling that community to fulfil our purpose, which is to transform the lives of children and communities in the North of England through inspirational education.

What is special about the Laidlaw Schools Trust?

We are a dynamic group of academies sharing a vision to transform the lives of children and communities in the North of England through inspirational education. We are large enough to provide great opportunities and support, and small enough for everyone to be known as part of one team. The Laidlaw Schools Trust has the dedicated support of a generous sponsor as well as a fantastic team of committed and talented leaders, teachers and support staff. Read more about what makes the LST so special on Our Story page and if you really want to see what makes the LST distinctive, get in touch and arrange to come and see us in action.

What is it like to work for the Laidlaw Schools Trust?

No two jobs are the same just as no two days are the same but we hope you will get a really good flavour of what it is like to work with LST through our career ladders. 

What opportunities are there to join the LST?

As you find out about us, we hope that you will want to work with us in delivering the vision we have for children and communities in the North of England. If you would like to be part of our staff team, please look at our current vacancies. If nothing we are currently advertising matches your aspirations, we would still like to hear from you so please get in touch. If you would be interested in offering to serve on the local governing body of one of our academies, please contact the Clerk to the Governors, rebecca.tills@laidlawschoolstrust.com)

Will I really make a difference to the children if I do not work in the classroom?

Certainly you can make a difference to the lives of the children in our academies, exactly what difference you make will depend on you. Every job that you undertake matters to the good running of the school; the children’s welfare depends upon nourishing food, a clean site, a safe environment and well organised place to learn. Making a difference is bigger than just doing your job to contribute to the running of the academy: how you do it can transform lives too. Every member of the academy community becomes a role model for pupils. Children are always watching the behaviour of others, whether that is a parent at the school gate, the site manager moving tables in the hall or a receptionist greeting a visitor, children will watch your behaviour just as much as they watch the head teacher speaking to a child in a corridor. We all have the ability to turn that into a positive experience by acting with integrity, patience, care and compassion. Staff in an academy have a particular responsibility to model the standards we want to see in the next generation.

Why should I teach?

Being a teacher is a tremendous vocation and working with children is inspirational. It is a privilege and a joy to help children to learn about new topics and master new skills and teachers often talk about the delight and satisfaction brought by those moments of awe when a child grasps something for the first time. You get to share your own enthusiasm for a subject or an activity, using all that you have learnt yourself. There is limitless variety with no two days the same. If you are not afraid of meaningful challenges, teaching enables you to develop your own skills and deepen your understanding. At the end of the day, teaching is so much more than a route to a pay cheque. It is a satisfying career that leaves a valuable legacy in the lives of others and enables you to grow and develop your own creativity and character. 

Can I undertake my NQT induction in your academy?

You can do, yes. We recognise the importance of your induction year to build on the skills and experiences you gained through your teacher training and you will be well supported in developing the understanding, skills and qualities you need to thrive in this rewarding profession.  

Isn’t working in an academy stressful?

Because we have a far-reaching vision, academies are busy places, but working with a sense of purpose does not mean that we lose our sense of fun. In the 21st century, many of us lead fast-paced lives and pressures can push you towards becoming self-absorbed. When working in an academy, you focus beyond yourself to energise and inspire others. Psychological research has shown the benefits of being “other-focused”. There are challenges in every workplace: when you are navigating the challenges and opportunities you encounter working in one of our academies, you are doing it as part of a team which shares your passion and pulls together to make a difference to young people through education.

What does it mean to be an academy?

Some state schools in England are academies. This means that they are independent of local authority control and have some freedom to vary what they do in pursuit of best practice. They control their own admissions process and have more freedom than other schools to innovate. In terms of finance, academies receive their funding directly from central government rather than through the local authority. Academies are run by an Academy Trust.

What is a Multi-Academy Trust? What is an academy chain?

A multi academy trust, often abbreviated to MAT, is an academy trust which runs more than one academy. Larger MATs are sometimes referred to as academy chains. Multi academy trusts will provide some central services to their academies, though LST central team members do spend a lot of time out in the academies. Our central office houses the finance, IT and HR teams for example, where sharing resources and expertise helps us to provide the best level of support for our academies.

Is an academy trust a government body, a company or a charity?

Academy trusts are in some regards, all three!  They are exempt charities regulated by the Department for Education under a memorandum of understanding with the Charity Commission. In addition, they are not-for-profit companies and are registered with Companies House and subject to company law. Whilst academy trusts are not controlled by central or local government, the Office of National Statistics does classify them as central government public sector bodies and they are subject to public standards of accountability for the spending of public money.