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Wisdom for life

Join Us

Why work with us?

  • Job Vacancies – Currently there are no vacancies. 
  • Students / Teaching Training – Please contact individual schools about teaching training opportunities.
  • Volunteers play a huge part in the life of many schools. Not only can it be of enormous benefit to schools but immensely enjoyable too! Please contact individual schools where you would like to volunteer.
  • Governor Vacancies – There are currently no governor vacancies within the trust. However, if you are interested in becoming a governor at one of our schools or another church school in the area, please email
  • Trustee Vacancies – There are currently no trustee vacancies within the trust. However, if you are interested in becoming a trustee, please email

Why join the trust?

In response to the White Paper, the Confederation of School Trusts (CST) have created a new webpage: Joining a Trust. The page includes a series of short, two minute reads called ‘Trust The Facts’, accompanied by a longer piece of more detailed guidance.

We hope that this website, and our ‘BOAT Introduction 2023-24 ’, will provide you with further information about BOAT and how you can join us on this new journey.

Community Schools

Some community school are interested in joining the trust which offers a strong sense of moral purpose. Community schools cannot become a ‘church’ school when joining the trust and would not be expected to operate as one. Although community schools would have to keep to the law with regards to Religious Education and Collective Worship, they would not be required to follow diocesan guidelines. For more information, please contact David Etherton

Church Schools

The Bishop Otter Academy Trust is the natural home for all Church of England Schools on the A23 and A27 corridors, from Crawley to Brighton and Worthing to Lewes, who are considering becoming an academy. For more information, please contact David Etherton or the Diocesan Director of Education, Trevor Cristin for more information via: Diocesan Education Team.  Key Diocesan documents about academies, including Conversion Toolkit and FAQs, can be found here: 

Associate Membership – Get on board!

Joining or working with an academy trust such as the Bishop Otter Academy Trust, is a significant decision to make.  Schools need to carefully consider what is in the best interests of their children and communities and whether their vision and values align with those of the trust. The Associate Membership scheme provides an exciting opportunity to trial working in partnership, on a temporary basis, with a growing family of schools.

Associate Membership, also known as trust partnerships, are a time-limited arrangement, allowing schools and trusts to come together in mutually beneficial partnerships. It is offered to maintained schools that wish to explore what life is like as part of a multi-academy trust.

The concept of ‘koinonia’ (Greek for community or partnership) is a central value for the Trust.  As an African proverb says, 'If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.'

The Trust believes that school to school support and effective partnerships with other schools can have a positive impact on our children, families, staff and wider communities. We recognise the stimulus and learning that comes from engaging with a range of schools and we are open to learning from other schools.

The Trust will encourage its academies to look outwards as well as inwards for improvement support. It will also encourage schools which are not part of our family to consider becoming an associate member and/or joining the trust. Associate Membership does not deliver the full benefits of formally joining an academy trust but is a time-limited way for all parties to explore how a permanent arrangement might work.  The policy of the trust is that associate membership is for a maximum of 12 months and is limited to two schools at a time.

Service Level Agreement (SLA) in relation to a Trust Partnership

A trust partnership is a sector-led arrangement where a school and trust work together, testing whether a formal partnership will benefit both parties. There are a variety of reasons why a trust and school might choose to enter a trust partnership. Partnerships can allow strong schools and trusts to explore the benefits of collaborating (for instance, sharing expertise through headteacher and subject expert networks). They also allow a school to access a trust’s networks and services. Trust partnerships can also be used as a powerful school improvement tool, allowing vulnerable schools to access support from a strong trust.

Trust partnership arrangements are often governed through formal documents. The ability of both parties to set terms and conditions that work for them is key to a successful partnership. The model SLA, published by the DfE and adapted by the trust is intended to be adapted to individual circumstances and used flexibly.

Trust partnerships are not to be considered a replacement for converting to academy status or a routine preliminary step before academy conversion takes place. However, they may help support schools awaiting conversion by allowing them to work collaboratively with the academy trust before the conversion process is completed.

The above is an extract from our Associate Membership Policy and Procedures, which is available below.

Professional Development

Whether your school is part of BOAT or not, you are welcome to participate in our programme of training.  Details of our full programme comming soon.


Admissions - How to I apply for a place at a BOAT academy?

All of our schools have their own individual admissions policy – please contact them directly for more information. Families need to apply for a reception place via the local authority where they live – please visit their website for further information.

Complaints - How do I make a complaint?

For complaints relating to academies, please visit the local academy website for their complaints policy. If you wish to make a complaint about the trust, please contact 

Freedom of Information Request - How do I make a Freedom of Information Request?

Please see our FOI policy under ‘Policies’.

Term Dates - What are the term dates?

Term dates and INSET (Training) days may differ for each academy in the trust. Please contact an individual academy to find out their term dates and INSET days.