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Illuminate Minds Academy Trust home page
Illuminate Minds Academy Trust home page

Welcome to Illuminate Minds

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Join Our Trust

Why Join Us?


There is no place for bystanders and critiques in our trust – we welcome partnerships with schools and trusts where everyone participates.  The schools are “US” and the trust is “US” – our staff are the “bricks” of our schools and our leadership the foundations on which our ambitions are built.


We are proud of our schools and recognise that all of our successes are constructed around eight key elements or what we refer to as our 8 “C”s:


  • Collaboration
  • Community
  • Curriculum
  • Cultural capital
  • Communication
  • Challenge
  • Commitment
  • Capacity


Schools are communities and, in bringing schools together, the purpose is not growth for the sake of being bigger or to build an empire, but to create better opportunities for everyone.  A school does not fulfil its purpose and provide an outstanding offer because of the building alone – in fact there are many examples of outstanding schools where the premises is not modern and purpose-built – but achieves the highest quality of education where the staff resource is strong and leaders are driving continuous improvement, not accepting mediocrity and everyone at all levels is always striving for better. 


As a Trust, we know that our journey to on-going excellence is founded on a culture which embodies the 8 “C”s and our desire to engage in partnerships.  We are ambitious for our children, our staff and our communities and know that working collaboratively with others is a fundamental element of our continued growth journey.  However, for any partnership to be successful, it is vital that we have shared values and are committed to a culture where inclusion, relationships and excellence are at the heart. 


Every school or trust has something special to contribute to a wider entity.  Therefore, we are not interested in pure replication – we have no desire to attract schools or trusts to join us for them to then become duplicates of the schools we already have.  We value what other schools offer and look to share our different strengths for the greater good.


As a trust, we are committed to widening horizons for all of our pupils and ambitious for everyone in our communities!  We believe in the power of education as a transformational tool in providing children and young people with passports to choice in their future lives.  For us, there is no ceiling on aspiration and that is for our schools as well as our pupils and staff. 


Schools who join us benefit from:


  • Being valued for their own individual characteristics and strengths - the opportunity to share their expertise and become equal partners in a collaborative, forward-thinking organisation.


  • Quality First teaching as a non-negotiable – we have the highest expectations for our staff and pupils which is captured in our commitment to “Excellence Every Day”.


  • Being part of a trust which refuses to lose sight of our key purpose: preparing children and young people for their future lives – we make it our business to run schools.  We don’t make it our business to create empires, invest children’s money in glossy brochures or present ourselves as an overtly corporate.


  • We have a proven track record in school improvement – our schools have been transformed since becoming close-knit communities under the banner of Illuminate Minds Trust.  There is no lead school and we learn from each other.  We see ourselves as learning communities, ensure we are always building networks and have an outward-facing approach, bringing in external experts as partners in our improvement journey.


  • Our schools are mutually supportive – healthy competition has its place but ultimately we recognise that we are only as strong as our weakest link.  We are all in it together!


  • We thrive in a system leadership framework – we focus on system leadership which provides clarity and consistency and gives us the freedom to share best practice and innovate.
  • Our high quality central team – we don’t believe in a central team who are removed from the day to day of school communities which means we encourage our leaders to have dual roles and work both in schools and across our trust.  This also means that we can offer opportunities to our staff to grow in their careers.


  • Financial health and sustainability – our finance staff are experts in their fields and seek savings through economies of scale at every opportunity hence our trust’s sustainability: we may be small but we are mighty!


  • Investment for continuous improvement – our annual schedule of CPD and investment in the professional development of our staff demonstrates the weight we put on continuous improvement.  Investing time and money in upskilling our staff team means we are constantly pushing them to achieve and be ambitious for themselves and this, in turn, provides our pupils with staff who have aspiration and are highly qualified to deliver the Excellence Every Day of which we are so proud.


  • Unique expertise of our staff team – we bring together people who have a wealth of experience in all sectors of education as well as careers outside of schools.  Several of our leaders have made significant impact through leadership of special educational needs and inclusion and bring this knowledge to upskill our staff team which has made us a fully inclusive family of schools who put each individual pupil at the heart.


  • We offer exceptional CPD and leadership development opportunities – We are committed to growing our staff team.  We are unusual in that we do not experience difficulties in recruitment and attract high quality candidates through our multi-layered approach to recruitment.  We are committed to investing in our staff and encouraging successful career progression, which is well-facilitated by our organisation's diversity and networks.


We are keen to talk to schools or trusts who are looking for partners and for whom our vision and values resonate.  If you are interested in an initial conversation or have ideas about how we might build a relationship, contact our Executive Business Support Officer in the first instance to arrange a visit to our schools and conversation with the CEO (


Contact Us

Illuminate Minds Trust, Pelham Road, Bexleyheath, Kent, DA7 4HL

Telephone: 0208 303 6556 Email: