About Us

Who are we?

This is a hugely exciting time for our family of academies. We are presented with a rare opportunity to make a real difference to the lives and life chances of so many children – many of whom haven’t previously received the educational opportunities they deserve.


The Trust currently has academies, based in Witney, at various stages of their school improvement journey. As a Trust, we are clear about the importance of achieving long-term sustainability for our academies. Our vision is to transform lives and to enable individual academies to grow, develop and serve their communities, whilst also ensuring a strong ethos of support, challenge and collaboration across our Trust.  We believe that everyone involved with the Trust should have the opportunity to shine.


The law places accountability for the educational outcomes and financial diligence of the Trust firmly with the Trustees and the CEO as Accounting Officer. However, a fundamental principle for us is that effective governance is best delivered as close as possible to the point of impact of decisions. For this reason, we have developed a governance structure that values the educational overview and scrutiny of local committees.


Our Educational Vision

We believe that every child has the right to go to a good school and that every child should have the opportunity to transform their life, whatever their starting point. 


The MILL Academy Trust logo communicates the values of Motivate, Inspire, Learn, Lead.  The graphic, in the shape of a mill, represents the starting point of this home grown trust, the town of Witney, Oxfordshire, famous for its mills.


In the Doomesday survey, Witney is recorded as having two mills, both for grinding corn, but by 1277 at least one cloth or fulling mill was established in the area. By the end of the Middle Ages Witney was a lively market town with a developing industry making blankets and gloves and by 1800 there were five working mills in and around Witney.


Academies, staff and children within the Trust benefit from a strong ethos of support and collaboration. We also challenge ourselves to be even better, every day.  We are not content with always doing what we’ve always done.  The new educational landscape requires new ways of thinking, leading and operating:


Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

George Bernard Shaw


Five ‘big’ questions underpin the way we do things around here:

Sch improvement graphic

Since October 2015, our approach has been to ensure sustainable school improvement.  We have worked hard to achieve our successful improvements so far and our journey continues. 


Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’

Martin Luther King



Governance at The MILL Academy Trust

As a multi-academy trust (MAT), The MILL Academy Trust has a number of layers of governance as shown in the diagram below. Each plays an important part in the oversight of the Trust’s work and, whilst communication between the layers is essential, this work must be complementary and non-duplicative. This means that local committees can focus on clearly-defined areas.

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The Members are the guardians of The Trust’s constitution, as set out in the Articles of Association. It is their responsibility to ensure that the Trustees are pursuing the Trust’s charitable objectives and to hold the Board to account for its conduct and performance.



The Board of Trustees has overall accountability and legal responsibility for the Trust. As non-executive directors, they are responsible for ensuring that The Trust meets its obligations as a company. As governors, they are responsible for the vision, ethos and strategic direction of the Trust as a whole; for holding the CEO and wider executive team to account for the Trust’s performance and for overseeing the financial performance and probity of the Trust. In addition, Trustees take on a ‘link’ responsibility for a Trust-wide priority such as safeguarding. The Board has four main committees (Executive; Educational Standards and Performance, Finance & Resources, Risk & Audit) in addition to a Remuneration Committee. You can find out more about the Trustees here.


Executive Team

The Executive Team is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Trust. Each executive member leads a team of professionals who support the schools in important areas such as inclusion and safeguarding. The wider central team’s support includes significant oversight of schools’ finances and HR as well as the line-management of Headteachers and estates staff.


Local Committees

Local Committee Members are volunteers, chosen for their skills, experience and insights, to whom certain responsibilities are delegated for oversight of individual schools. Local committees are not legally responsible for the schools, so committee members are able to focus on school improvement by supporting and challenging the Headteacher and the wider school leadership team.


Since local committees are drawn from the school community and will usually include parents and staff members, their input serves an essential part in informing the academy’s local strategic direction. The committee is also a supportive forum in which the Headteacher can have access to the insights of people with professional, voluntary and life experience outside the education sector.