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Orchard Community Trust

We're a Multi-Academy-Trust, based in Stoke-on-Trent.

Together we learn,
grow and achieve
Together we learn,
grow and achieve



“As a small one form entry Primary School, Orchard Community Trust has been nothing but supportive since the school joined.

The scheme of delegation allows Local Governing Boards a large degree of autonomy so that Governors can concentrate on the key aim of the school – the education of the children so they achieve their potential.


The Trust’s School Improvement Team has provided tremendous support to our new leadership team which has been very beneficial.

Abbey Hulton’s premises and buildings are relatively old, putting a strain on our already over-stretched budget.  With support from the Trust, plans have been put in place to update our facilities and, with funding from the Trust’s central capital budget, works have taken place which hugely benefit both pupils and staff.

As Link Governor for Curriculum, I’m seeing the benefits of Trust networking groups in sharing best practice across the Trust.

Having been a Governor at Abbey Hulton since before conversion to an Academy, I can honestly say that joining the Trust has been the right move for the future of the school.”

Nick Carter, Vice Chair of Governors at Abbey Hulton Primary School


“Working within Orchard Community Trust provides a network of effective classroom practitioners and leaders.  A group of passionate, knowledgeable and forward-thinking individuals who have the interests of the pupils of all schools at the heart of everything that they do. 


Whilst maintaining our own identity and developing practices and a curriculum to suit the needs of our pupils, collaboration across the MAT has further developed the practices and provision in our school, directly impacting upon teaching and learning.


An advantage of working within the OCT is that advice, support or a friendly chat with professionals in other schools is only a phone call or email away!”

Katie Hawthorne, Assistant Headteacher at Oakhill Primary School


“Being a founding member of Orchard Community Trust gave me the opportunity be a part of the formation and creation of a very unique MAT.  My school and I have benefitted greatly, particularly through the School Improvement support offer and, at all levels, the network groups.

A strong ethos and values, which are shared by every stakeholder, ensure that the children are at the centre of everything we do and together we all work towards a common goal.


As a Headteacher I feel very well supported and I have had opportunities to develop my own leadership.  The Trustees and Central Team have ensured that Headteachers have autonomy and are involved in decision making and shaping the Trust.”

Joanna Leach, Headteacher at Oakhill Primary School


“The support and expertise we get from every member of our Trust of like-minded people all with the same ethos is invaluable.”

Hilary Gregory, Chair of Governors at Kemball School


Being an established member of the Senior Leadership Team, I was excited by the decision to join Orchard Community Trust and the opportunities it would offer to the school.  The unanimous decision to retain autonomy and individual identity reassured me that our school would not lose its uniqueness.  As a Deputy Headteacher, I felt supported and encouraged by the Trust, with the development of the Deputy and Assistant Heads group offering support to each other.  In my additional role as SENCO we developed a proactive SENCO working group where guidance and advice is always readily available.


More recently my role has changed, and I have had the wonderful opportunity to become the Orchard Community Trust Strategic Lead for SEND.  It is a true professional privilege to be able to visit and work in our schools, alongside SENCOs, SLTs, staff, pupils, Governors and parents to develop a fully inclusive ethos for the whole Trust and any new schools who may join us.  I have the chance to view SEND from a strategic position, drawing on the expertise of our skilled colleagues.  I have had professional development opportunities, career progression and unlimited support, advice and encouragement. 

I am delighted to be working with such likeminded professionals towards a shared aim to improve outcomes for all children and am excited to be a part of the future of Orchard Community Trust.

Hayley Sutton, OCT Strategic Lead for SEND/Inclusion Lead at Forest Park School


St Mark’s CE Primary School officially joined the Orchard Community Trust in June 2020.  As a newly appointed Headteacher within the Trust, it has been fantastic to have the support and guidance of the Orchard Community Trust family, especially during exceptional times.  The Trustees, SEL, Central Team and other Headteachers are always available to work collaboratively with, and, when needed, to offer advice, wisdom or sometimes just a listening ear.  Its supportive network, nurturing culture and strong commitment to pupils’ learning and wellbeing, makes the challenges we face in school so much more manageable.

As a Church of England Aided Primary School, the Trust is relentless in ensuring that St Mark’s places the highest priority on developing its Christian Distinctiveness vision and shares this readily with the other schools within the Trust.  The SMSC and Christian Distinctiveness group meets regularly to focus on this and offers both support and challenge to school on how it seeks to develop the highest levels of academic achievement and personal well-being within a loving Christian context.  It recognises and cherishes its role within the wider community and seeks to build strong links between home, school and the local Church.


There is a range of specialist support available across both the Primary and Special school settings, which is invaluable to each school in supporting the teaching and learning of all pupils, especially those with vulnerabilities such as SEN, English as an additional language or disadvantaged.  It is a pleasure and privilege to work in a Trust of like-minded individuals, whose core principle is to put children at the heart of all it does and to ensure that all stakeholders thrive and flourish.

Lee Nicholls, Headteacher at St Mark’s CoE(A) Primary School

I thoroughly enjoy working for Orchard Community Trust and being a part of such a fantastic and inspiring cluster of schools. Working within the Trust enables me to flourish in a setting that puts the children at the heart of everything we do. It empowers teachers and enables us to succeed within the profession.

It also encourages the children to believe they can achieve anything they set their minds to, just as the leaders within our Trust do for us. 

Beth Else, Teacher at Oakhill Primary School

The Orchard Community Trust home page


Community Trust

Contact Us

Trust Office Manager, Orchard Community Trust, Genesis Centre,

North Staffs Business Park, Innovation Way,

Stoke on Trent, ST6 4BF

Company Number : 11620282

Registered in England