We are committed to our pupils and academy staff, so that they have:

  • Quality, warm and safe estates in which to learn and teach
  • ICT resources that are flexible, appropriate and accessible, with safeguarding and security at the heart
  • Guidance on purchasing to drive best value, savings and increase efficiency


We manage and provide structure and support to academies ensuring that buildings and sites are managed responsibly to be:

  • Fit for purpose and comfortable for teaching and learning
  • Safe, compliant and have a planned maintenance regime in place
  • Improved to reduce carbon emissions and drive down high energy costs

We manage a portfolio value of c. £1billion worth of buildings and sites across the trust and organise an annual programme of projects to improve compliance and address maintenance and curriculum need.

We work alongside other organisations such as local authorities, the DfE and grant-awarding bodies such as the Football Foundation and Sports England, to take advantage of funding opportunities to develop academy sites. Notably, over the last few years we have managed to secure funding in excess £100m at the following academies:

Environmental sustainability

We are committed to environmental sustainability and are working towards our Green Strategy. So far, we have:

  • Ensured that OAT building refurbishment work reduces energy consumption. Examples include: improving thermal efficiency (roofs, windows, doors); low energy consumption heating and hot water systems; LED lighting where possible
  • 24 academies have high amounts of LED lighting and 17 academies have solar panels
  • In the first six months of 2022, we have generated over 400,000 kWh of electricity which is roughly £150K at today’s tariff
  • Several academies make use of biomass, ground source heat pumps and solar thermal tech
  • As a first, we are using innovative methods of construction; low carbon consuming offsite constructed buildings delivered at Ormiston Venture Academy, Cliff Park Ormiston Academy, Edward Worlledge Ormiston Academy and City of Norwich School

We have committed to continue investment in green technologies to reduce carbon and energy consumption within academies. LED, PV and other low carbon heating and hot water system projects are planned for 2022 onwards.

What we’ve done so far

  • Eco-schools Green Flag Award across many of our academies
  • 630 trees have been planted across many OAT academies
  • All electricity purchased through the OAT central contract is low carbon – OAT has one of the lowest carbon footprints per pupil at 0.12 tonne CO2e, most academy trusts’ carbon footprint per pupil is higher when comparing streamlined energy and carbon reporting data
  • Online monitoring system for energy and solar systems for nearly all academies in place. Allowing academies to monitor daily consumption of gas and electricity
  • All OAT building refurbishment and new building works are designed to reduce energy consumption by:
    • Improving thermal efficiency – roofs, windows, doors
    • Low energy consumption heating and hot water systems
    • LED lighting
    • Solar heating and PV generation
  • All substantial procurements for goods and services include testing suppliers on their sustainability credentials
  • Moving all academies to use the same cloud-based ICT system that will help to reduce energy consumption within schools and improve communication between schools

Leading the way and sharing best practice

James Miller, national director of estates and technology is the co-chair and founder of the The Trust Network (TTN), a national peer support network committed to good school estates management, which is open to all independently run state-funded schools. Founded in 2014, the network has grown to support over 500 member trusts to date.

The Trust Network logo

The network is run by OAT along with four other MATs, and exists to provide opportunities to share best practice, exchange knowledge, and where needed, form a single voice to discuss issues or concerns with the Department for Education and other national agencies. The benefits of membership include free access to national and regional conferences, informative webinars and online discussions, as well as resources available via monthly newsletters and the TTN website. TTN is the only group of its kind to be endorsed and supported by the Department for Education. For further information visit The Trust Network website.


We recognise that digital technology is a fundamental enabler for our pupils and staff to perform to their very best. This means we are harnessing technology infrastructure, applications and skills to create teaching, learning and working environments where everyone can excel, with safeguarding and security at the heart.

Through our digital strategy, we support our academies to continually develop and improve the use of technology to deliver curriculum and operational needs. The strategy provides for the development of a suite of services to meet its four objectives:

  1. A shared high-quality experience – everyone should be able to collaborate and work effectively, regardless of time, location, or role
  2. A clear focus on quality of education – all our decisions and resources are allocated to meet education objectives
  3. A safe and skilled digital community
  4. A cost-effective, adaptable model for the future

In practice, these objectives will provide significant benefits, such as:

  • Ensure our staff, pupils and wider community have the skills they need to use technology effectively
  • Provide a safe, secure and sustainable (digital) working environment
  • Enable staff and pupils to collaborate and communicate across any of our sites, to improve their learning and development
  • Ensure teachers and pupils have access to technology when they need it, and wherever they need it