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Our Academy Trust


Harpfield Primary Academy is a part of the Creative Education Trust.  

CET’s mission is to promote the improvement of educational opportunity for the children within its schools.  It also aims to enhance the role of design in schools.

Harpfield was the first primary school to become part of the Trust in May 2013 but has been joined by three others since then.  Additionally there are eight secondary or High Schools.  Our nearest neighbouring High School, Thistley Hough, is also part of the network.   CET are in the forefront nationally of improvements in academic standards, curricular innovation and staff development.  The Trust aim to expand the number of academies in the network to around twenty over the next two years.

At Harpfield we are proud of our association with CET.   We work closely with both the central office team and the other schools, particularly the Primary Academies.  Our children have hosted events here for pupils from the other schools and have visited other Primary Academies to take part in social and sporting events.   We feel our work with schools in other parts of the country gives our children a unique insight into life outside of Stoke-on-Trent.   Staff too have closer associations with staff from other schools.

For further information and a link to the Creative Education Trust website, where you will find financial details about the trust, please click here.

What it means to be an Academy

The information below is a selection of information taken from the Department for Education. 

What is an Academy?

Academies are publicly-funded independent schools that provide a first-class education.

What’s different about academies?


Academies benefit from greater freedoms to innovate and raise standards. These include:

  • freedom from local authority control;
  • the ability to set their own pay and conditions for staff;
  • freedoms around the delivery of the curriculum;
  • the ability to change the lengths of terms and school days.

Some academies, will have a sponsor. Sponsors come from a wide range of backgrounds including successful schools, businesses, universities, charities and faith bodies. Sponsors are held accountable for the improving the performance of their schools. They do this by challenging traditional thinking on how schools are run and what they should be like for students. They seek to make a complete break with cultures of low aspiration and achievement. The sponsor’s vision and leadership are vital to each project.


Academies receive the same level of per-pupil funding as they would receive from the local authority as a maintained school, plus additions to cover the services that are no longer provided for them by the local authority. However, academies have greater freedom over how they use their budgets to best benefit their students.

Academies receive their funding directly from the Education Funding Agency (EFA) rather than from local authorities.


… and what’s the same?

Admissions, special educational needs and exclusions

Academies are required to follow the law and guidance on admissions, special educational needs and exclusions as if they were maintained schools.


Academies have to ensure that the school will be at the heart of its community, collaborating and sharing facilities and expertise with other schools and the wider community.

All schools that are performing well are expected to work with other schools to raise standards. Collaboration and partnership are now embedded in the school system, and this is also the case for academies.

Freedom of information

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (2000) applies to academies as it does to maintained schools.