The BCAT Way

Why was BCAT created?

BCAT was created to support the aim of Bedford College to be seen as an educational leader (not just a leader in further education) and also to help improve the attainment of young people in the area at age 16 and 18 by improving performance locally below those ages.

Governance and accountability

BCAT Limited is a company limited by guarantee with exempt charity status. The Trust organises its governance to avoid conflicts of interest, ensure it brings into the organisation a wide range of voices and expertise, and provide clear accountability. Directors are carefully appointed in line with our values. We believe outstanding governance is fundamental to creating great academies.

The BCAT Community

In support of the above BCAT serves the same communities as Bedford College Group, currently Bedfordshire and Luton; Northamptonshire; Milton Keynes and parts of Cambridgeshire.

BCAT believes parents should be able to choose their school and be able to exercise choice between a variety of schools. To that end BCAT will not seek to dominate provision in any geographic area, and expects its schools to see themselves as part of a local family of schools.

As part of a local family BCAT will ensure its pupils are given access to impartial advice and guidance; it will allow other providers (including competitors) access to pupils and parents to provide information to aid future choices.

BCAT itself will see itself as part of a local family of educational providers and develop strong relationships with central and local government.

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The BCAT Vision and Mission

Our Vision: Delivering world class education to the communities we serve

Our Mission: Our primary mission is to support and enrich our community through the promotion, development and delivery of excellent education. In addition we seek to promote social inclusion and personal advancement within that community.

How does BCAT define success?

BCAT wants its pupils to be described when they leave our schools as expert and skilled (for their age); resilient; reliable; caring; well mannered; articulate, and rounded individuals. We want our pupils when they leave formal education to be good citizens able to take control of their destiny and able to navigate the world confidently.

We therefore have very high expectations and believe all young people can mature in this way.

BCAT ensures all its academies are set stretching targets that underpin this philosophy. Success is measured in personal terms – is the academy improving its absolute performance? – but also in comparative terms – is the academy doing well in comparison with other institutions.

How is this reflected in the BCAT curriculum?

BCAT believes in providing a broad educational experience and a balanced curriculum. Particular attention is given to those subjects that are proven to aid future success, often the traditional academic disciplines, but the experience of our pupils will embrace technical subjects, arts, languages, health, sport and humanities in line with our aim of producing rounded individuals.

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Commitment to our staff

BCAT aims to be an exemplary employer. We also believe the quality of the education we provide is directly related to the quality of our staff. While responsibility for the appraisal and development of staff rests with the Heads of each academy BCAT will seek to provide additional cross-trust staff development where appropriate to help maintain an expert, highly professional workforce. We regard the development of all staff, not just teaching staff, as a priority.

We serve the whole community

BCAT is an inclusive organisation. Our academies will try to accept everyone who wishes to enrol with us and will not adopt any entry criteria below the age of 16 that seeks to ration entry based on ability. BCAT has prioritised recruitment within catchment area however.

BCAT will provide high quality specialist support including language support and support for those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.

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BCAT Values

BCAT shares the same values as its founding body Bedford College namely:

Pupil Focus
We will seek to achieve a high quality learning experience for every pupil

High Performance
We will strive for consistently high levels of performance and continuous improvement in all aspects of our work

Respect, Openness and Honesty
We will treat everyone with respect, encourage openness and honesty, and recognise each other’s contribution and achievements

Every member of staff we appoint, and every BCAT Board member must demonstrate they adhere to these values before they are appointed.