Girl Swimming

About us

Supporting Achievement and Nurturing Development

The Trust was formed in June 2019 to enable and develop partnerships working across a group of academies. Academy Trusts are created by a number of academies working together. Academies are independent, self-governing schools that are funded directly by the Government and not via the Local Authority.

The Trust now consists of six schools, Willow Primary Academy, Belmont School, Battledown Centre, Paternoster School, The Milestone School and Sladewood Academy. Each school will maintain its own unique ethos, culture and identity that has been established over many years to ensure the needs of pupils are met.

As a partnership we will achieve more together and therefore:

  • Improve outcomes, opportunities and life chances for children and young people
  • Offer more / wider support for their families
  • Share and develop staff expertise

We will continue working to grow our Academy Trust to include converting schools who share our vision and aims and who wish to be part of a new and exciting Trust that will respect the individual identity of each academy whilst providing opportunities for sharing good practice and expertise to benefit our children, young people and families.

Martin Hughes, CEO SAND AT



If you have any questions or if you would like more information

get in touch using the link below.


Contact us

Read our Annual report for 2023 - 2024

The benefits of joining our Trust

Ethos & Vision for SAND Academies Trust

Ethos & Vision

The Trust is child-centred, giving children and young people, families and carers a voice.
Through collaboration we challenge and maximise potential for our schools and individuals.
We ensure the individual identity of each school.
We develop a climate which is open to change and development.
We shape the future by influencing services and provisions.
Individuals are empowered to make decisions using research-based evidence to ensure the quality of education has sound intent, clear implementation and accountable impact.
Community engagement is embedded in learning experiences, both the local community of the provision and the children and young people.
Opportunities and activities are provided to support transitions for future learning and employment.
Skills and knowledge of all employees are utilised to improve educational outcomes for children and young people regardless of the accommodation where they are placed.

Our Aims

  • To provide the best possible education for children and young people, including those with additional and complex needs, in both mainstream and special schools.
  • To achieve excellence through innovation, creativity and continuous improvement.
  • To direct the maximum resources available to The Trusts’ academies, facilitating and servicing high standards.
  • To build formal and informal partnerships across Gloucestershire and beyond.
  • To develop a Trust which is ‘outward’ looking and enterprising.
  • To support, challenge and improve underperforming schools.
  • To utilise internal and external providers in the pursuit of excellence based upon pupil need.
  • To utilise the skills and experience of staff and leaders across The Trust to the best advantage of the children and young people.
  • To provide an environment where staff can continually develop and progress their careers.
  • To develop multi agency working practices.
  • To develop children and young people’s independence skills and support families to take part in a parallel journey with their child as they prepare for adulthood.
  • To maximise value-for-money by continued attention to costs and streamlining & centralising working practices where appropriate.
  • To play a strategic role across the region by linking with other organisations such as
    GAPH, GASH, GASSH, G15, GSP, National Star college , The University of Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire college, SGS Stroud college, training providers (Prospects and Bridge), Parent Carers ( Face 2 Face), Forwards Employment, GFirst LEP, local businesses and voluntary sector organisations.

SAND Training & Outreach

Staff within our Trust schools have well developed expertise in a range of areas which, together with excellent facilities and resources, enables us to play a significant role in the network of services the Local Authority provides to meet the special educational needs of pupils in Gloucestershire.

We are also proud to work with an established network of both SEND and Mainstream Early Years, Primary and Secondary practitioners from across Gloucestershire and the South West, providing opportunities for both support and collaboration.

SAND Training & Outreach is a partner of both Odyssey Teaching School Hub and Balcarras Teaching School Hub. As well as being a member of the Strategic Boards for each, our role is to support development and implementation of Initial Teacher Training (ITT), Early Career Framework (ECF) and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) across Gloucestershire.

SAND Training & Outreach aims to not only provide training and support for our own Trust schools, but also to identify and co-ordinate expertise using best practitioners to:

  • Play a greater role in recruiting and training new entrants to the profession (Initial Teacher Training)
  • Lead peer-to-peer professional and leadership development (Continuing Professional Development)
  • Identify and develop leadership potential through succession planning and talent management
  • Provide support for other settings and parents / carers

Get in touch

If you have any questions or if you need assistance then send us a message.

Contact us