Raleigh Learning Trust is a multi-academy trust that includes four academies in the city of Nottingham. The academies are Woodlands School, Westbury School, Denewood Learning Centre and Unity Learning Centre.
It operates to benefit children with specialist needs and learning difficulties by sharing expertise, resources and facilities.
The Trust was set-up in April 2017, and they needed a reliable supplier of operational and strategic financial management for its conversion and ongoing support.
Claire McAlonan, the Trust’s Federation Business Manager, began using SAAF’s services in 2013 for Woodlands School and Westbury School, after losing faith in the services and staff changes in their previously procured finance support.
Due to the excellent working relationship SAAF had developed providing support at the individual schools, when the Trust was established, it was a no brainer to purchase further financial management and academy conversion support from SAAF.
We worked in partnership with Raleigh Learning Trust and connected them to the services that would streamline their financial management.
This resulted in the Trust using SAAF’s BPA (Budget Planning Application), Consultancy, Payroll Bureau and Telephone support services.
Claire said: “The benefits of the BPA have ensured that I have been able to set accurate budgets and it has simplified the consolidation of the individual academy budgets at Trust level. The reporting functionality is outstanding, I would highly recommend this software.”
In comparison to the Raleigh Learning Trust’s previous provider, the following benefits have been noted. First was our on-going customer care…
Claire explains: “The best thing about SAAF is that somebody will always get back to you. I’ve never waited longer than an hour, which is far superior to our previous supplier.”
“Their flexibility is excellent, when I require additional visits there is always capacity to arrange them at short notice, which was extremely helpful with the added pressures of setting up the Trust.”
“The company ethos is one of integrity and sincerity, in that they never oversell unnecessary services. They understand the realities of school budget pressures and that school funding primarily should be used to benefit the pupils and improve standards. I couldn't have established our MAT without them.”
“Su Johal – SAAF’s co-founder and Director – is very knowledgeable and has an abundance of experience in the financial management of schools and academies, providing strategic support including funding and deficit management.
When I approached Su with a query regarding funding for Woodlands and Westbury Schools after conversion, she was able to ascertain the underlying issues and provide a synopsis. This allowed her to respond to my queries with a conclusion and offer advice on the best steps to move forward. She was also happy to attend relevant meetings to ensure the best financial outcome for the Trust.”
“I also appreciate that SAAF keep adding new services, we are already successfully using their payroll bureau for the four schools in Raleigh Trust, and have also signed up to use their asset management service. It’s nice to be able to purchase lots of different services from a company that is trustworthy, reliable and flexible.
“Andi Brown – SAAF’s co-founder and Director – makes me feel like the most important client he has. The customer service is excellent.”
To find out more about our finance support for multi-academy trusts, contact us today.