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Valour MAT

Ensuring all children feel happy, safe and loved.

Become an Associate

The DFE white paper echoed the voice of most educational experts with a steer towards trust membership and schools working together. with this in mind Valour trust is offering schools the option to join our academy trust as an associate member. This means schools do not relinquish their legal independence. Associate membership allows a school to join Valour in a more flexible arrangement, accessing shared resources and leadership, but it does not legally transfer into the trust. Schools are free to join and leave at any time.

Associate membership is also a way for governors to allow headteachers to work with a local academy trust without having to give up their powers- try before they buy.

Valour associate membership is offered to independent academies and maintained schools where there is an interest in exploring what life is like as part of a schools trust like ours.  It is designed to enable schools - maintained or academies - to benefit from some intentional peer-to-peer, school-to-school engagement and to experience how life in a multi-academy trust works. 

Once a school has decided to become an Associate Member, their leaders, governors and staff can access a number of Valour support activities depending on scheduling. These might include: 

Visits to any of our schools to talk to members of staff about life in a multi academy trust.


Participation in our weekly Valour Executive leadership meetings

This group meets weekly with the aim of sharing good practice, offering mutual support and encouragement and providing alignment for the Trust. 

Items Valour executive leadership team discuss

  • A Trust wide support staff appraisal system 
  • A graded work scrutiny monitoring grid
  • Shared resources for lesson observations
  • Shared training on understanding the Inspection Framework
  • Leadership development across the Trust.
  • Safeguarding and child protection best practice
  • Dealing with difficult parents
  • Planning moderation across the schools


Your staff members attending any of the range of Curriculum and Interest Groups the Trust runs

These include:

  • EYFS Team – currently focused on Covid catch up.
  • SEND managers – working together to share expertise in this challenging area
  • Deputy Heads Group – who meet to plan and deliver a number of positive development initiatives.
  • Catch up curriculum and remote learning.


Taking part in Trust wide CPD

You can send staff to join Valour joint staff meetings, held in different of our academy schools, again with a focus on sharing good ideas in across year groups from N to 6.

As we share staff meeting themes across the Trust, you can send staff to join any of the staff training opportunities in any of the schools that might support your own CPD or attend any relevant INSET day CPD.

Gaining an understanding about leadership within the Trust

You and your Chair of Governors are warmly welcome to be observers at one of the termly meetings of Valour Board of Trustees or the individual school Local Advisory Boards, who are also the Governing Body of our schools.

You and your SBM or bursar can attend one of the half termly finance or audit & risk meetings. Good financial management including but not limited to;

Receipt and correct allocation of income, including grant and non-grant income ensuring appropriate action has been taken on any overdue amounts.

Ensuring receipts are treated correctly for VAT purposes.

Review most recent month's control account reconciliations to ensure that they have been correctly prepared and authorised.

Follow procedures to prepare financial reports issued to trustees and officers of the academy and DfE financial returns to be satisfied that they are completed accurately and promptly and that monthly management accounts are produced for the Chair of Trustees.

Reviewing your Information Technology Strategy

Review IT replacement strategy, to ensure IT obsolescence is considered and appropriately budgeted for

Ensure an awareness of the risk of cybercrime and have in place proportionate controls.

Maintain fixed assets register to ensure additions correctly capitalised. Ensure licences are treated as intangible.

Ensure depreciation rates remain reasonable

Review income streams and ensure the correct methodology for VAT claims (registered or S126) are being used

· Budget forecast

Preparing for internal and year end audit


What will it cost?


The cost of the Associate Membership is free for the first year.

How does my school become an Associate Member of Valour?


Please contact the CEO to discuss free associate membership


Dame Nicola Stephenson DBE

0191 2678113 | 0191 2675320 |

Associate membership is open to only five schools at a time.

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C/O Beech Hill Primary School, Linhope Road,

West Denton, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne,

Tyne and Wear, NE5 2LW

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