Cmat is a geographically based Multi-Academy Trust (MAT).  All academies in a MAT are governed by one trust (the Members) and a single board of directors. The board of directors is responsible for decisions relating to how each academy is run, from the curriculum to staffing. However, the MAT can establish a local governing body for each of its academies, to which it can delegate some of its functions. The MAT remains accountable for these functions. Cmat was formed in February 2014 when Congleton High School made the transition from single academy to multi-academy.  In June 2014 Black Firs Primary School became the first school to join Cmat and Castle Primary School joined in March 2015.  


Why Choose Our Trust Cmat has already developed wide expertise in supporting other schools.  It is now able to extend this expertise to other schools who wish to become academies. Cmat has identified 5 main advantages to schools who may wish to join: Clear vision Cmat provides clear and consistent strategy and vision across the group of schools. This will lead to the sharing of good practice and the streamlining of efforts to secure on-going school improvement. This also enables us to better plan the educational journey of children from nursery, primary, secondary and sixth form or college towards employment. Sharing of resources Cmat has the ability to pool resources such as staff, curriculum expertise and other services. Since there is a single employer, the staff are able to work across the whole group rather than in just one setting. This can improve the quality of staffing and retain expertise as well as improving the delivery of intervention activities. Schools within Cmat can also benefit from the use of shared assets such as the fleet of minibuses.  Economies of scale Economies of scale for the schools in the Cmat will reduce their overall costs, thus providing greater value for money. We expect that we will be able to raise the standards of administrative support, ICT procurement and other back office activities for all academies in Cmat as well as provide savings on financial reporting.  Cmat aims to provide economies of scale so that each Academy can reduce its operating costs. Governance The Board of Directors will establish at each Academy, a Local Governing Body (LGB) and a Principal who will retain the responsibility for day-to-day leadership and operational management. The LGB and Principal would play a key role in the leadership and management of Cmat. For example, each Principal could have Trust-wide responsibilities. In our small market town we have a large number of parents who are willing to be active in the running of their local school. Cmat would tap in to a wide range of stakeholders using the LGB. Financial strengths Cmat has a healthy financial position. The prudent use of these funds has resulted in capital developments such as refurbishments as well as providing enhanced pay and benefits for staff (e.g. salary sacrifice scheme and medical benefits). This has allowed it to retain and attract the very best staff using the Academy pay freedoms. These financial strengths will be shared with all the Academies in the group. Cmat has also already established an Audit Committee. This will be extended to cover all the Academies to ensure the security of public funds is safeguarded centrally. This Audit Committee provides a means of accountability back to the Cmat Board. The CEO would act as chief accounting officer providing one point of contact over the group of Academies.

Working for us

Our Vision & Values Consultation on Cmat Vision In April 2015, the Board of Congleton Multi-Academy Trust (Cmat) invited all parents, students, staff, governors and other stakeholders to provide their views on a new 'Vision' for Cmat.  This vision and their ideas were set out in a consultation document that provided an overview of the achievements of Cmat in the first year of operation as well as information about current developments and some ideas for how Cmat is intending to develop over the next few years.  

Welcome from the CEO

I am delighted to welcome you to the Congleton Multi-Academy Trust (Cmat).  Our aim in these pages is to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the schools and colleges associated with the Trust. 

The Trust was formed in February 2014 when Congleton High School made the transition from single academy to multi-academy.  In June 2014 Black Firs Primary School became the first school to join Cmat, with Castle Primary School joining in March 2015.

Cmat is committed to providing the best possible opportunities for the local people of Congleton and surrounding areas and is working hard to deliver outstanding education for students from pre-school right up to age 19.  With this in mind, Cmat has founded The Congleton College, which opened in September 2015, offering a range of vocational courses and apprenticeships for students alongside the provision already offered at Congleton High School. 

These are exciting times in education in Congleton and I am proud that we are meeting the challenges head on and spearheading new developments for the benefit of all of the children of our town.

Mr David Hermitt
Chief Executive Officer, Cmat

Congleton High School

Congleton High School
Box Lane
CW12 4NS

CHS is an Academy school situated on the edge of Congleton in South East Cheshire, close to the border with Staffordshire. Established in September 2000 as an 11-18 comprehensive school for 1100 students, it stands in a pleasant self-contained site bordered by green fields and private housing. The school is well subscribed and takes virtually all of the secondary aged students from seven local primary schools as well as other local primary students from North Staffordshire. A new purpose-built Sixth Form Centre opened in November 2007 and accommodates over 200 students. The school converted to an Academy on 1st April 2011.

We aim to provide the best possible education in a supportive and disciplined environment so that students may discover their full potential and prepare for adult life. We have high expectations of what can be achieved and the key to our success is a purposeful community where learning is stimulating and enjoyable and is the focus of everything we do. Our motto is ‘Achieving Success Together’ and our aims are very straightforward; to be a well-led, inclusive school where quality teaching enables everyone to learn and to fulfil their potential. Our team of outstanding teachers and support staff all work together to deliver the best possible education for our students.

In 2004 we were designated a Specialist School of Engineering and as such we work closely with a partnership of local primary and secondary schools, international schools, sponsors, major employers (including Siemens, and Bentley), colleges, universities and other organisations in promoting excellence in subjects including Technology, Science, Mathematics and Computing as well as across the whole curriculum. Our specialist status has enabled us to expand provision in these subjects and also to integrate technology throughout the school.

In 2010 Congleton High School celebrated their best ever exam results with 88% 5+ A*-C at GCSE, which is significantly above the national average. We are an inclusive school with 99 % 5+A*-G, one of the top performing schools in the country. At A level, the pass rate remains very high at 99% with 54% A/B grades. These outcomes are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff and students.

In 2014, our last Ofsted Inspection, we were rated a good school with the school's work to keep pupils safe and secure found to be outstanding.

Castle Primary School

Castle Primary School
Mow Cop Road,
Mow Cop,
Tel: 01782 297890

Castle Primary School converted to an Academy on 1st March 2015 joining with Congleton High School and Black Firs Primary as part of Congleton Multi-Academy Trust. By working together and sharing all of our expertise it is envisaged that our family of schools will continue to grow and develop providing exceptional learning opportunities for all of our pupils.

As Headteacher I am extremely proud to be leading Castle Primary School through these exciting changes supported by hardworking and committed staff. Our school offers children high quality learning experiences in a semi-rural setting, encouraging them to develop new skills and knowledge both in the classroom and the outdoors. We are also adept at offering all our children opportunities within performing arts, producing concerts throughout the year.

Children from Years 2 to 6 attend residential visits to various local centres and all ages are also able to participate in numerous after school activities. We operate a Before and After School Club run by school staff.

Our nursery has a curriculum that covers all aspects of learning through play to encourage physical, intellectual, emotional, social and language development. Our qualified staff are well trained and have many years of experience in childcare. We employ specialist Sports coaches who have trained in developing physical skills to our youngest pupils.

Jill Mason

Black Firs Primary School

Black Firs Primary School
Longdown Road
CW12 4QJ

Black Firs School opened on 15th January 1971. This larger than average-sized school, serves the West Heath area of Congleton, to the west of the town and is a Cheshire East community primary school. The large majority of children are of White British heritage; a few are from minority-ethnic backgrounds. A small minority of children have English as an additional language. The number of children known to be eligible for free school meals is 6% much lower than the national average. The proportion of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities is 10%, which is below average as is the proportion with a statement of special educational needs. Currently, there are slightly more girls than boys in the School. The School has achieved Eco School ‘Green Flag’ status three times, Inclusion Quality Mark three times, Sport England Active Mark three times, Arts Council Gold Quality mark three times and Healthy Schools Award twice.

We currently have 287 children in School with a further 40 children who use the on-site Pre-school. Since April 2012, the sessional Preschool has been run by Black Firs School Governing Body.

The School day starts with Breakfast club, open from 7.45am to 9.00am. The club is run by School Staff & children can get breakfast and join in activities or just chill-out before school starts. The School is open each weekday from 8.50am to 3.20pm (infants) or 3.30pm (juniors) during term time. The Pre-school keeps similar hours opening at 9.00am and closing at 3.30pm. A large majority of the junior children stay to after-school clubs and sports coaching from 3.30pm until 4.30pm. Children who need care beyond 4.30pm or who don't want to attend coaching can go to our Afterschool Club which runs from 3.20pm until 6.00pm during term time. The children get something to eat and can join in a variety of organised activities or just chill-out at the end of a busy day.

We also run a Holiday Club through the three 1/2 term holidays.

Our school awards and prices