Peterborough Diocese Education Trust
Mike Cowland - Business Director, Peterborough Diocese Education Trust
In March 2013, the Peterborough Diocese Education Trust (PDET) was formed with the
explicit aim of being able to provide a home for all church schools that wished to join the
trust. The first primary school joined in May 2014 with another three in July.
A challenge for PDET is to facilitate the growth of the trust and centrally administer shared
services, such as human resources, payroll and pensions administration. It was important,
however, that each academy retained its autonomy and therefore we needed a partner, not
just a provider, who had experience of working with growing MATs and who could support
the trust as more academies were added.
We conducted a tender exercise to select a single HR and payroll online solution to manage
the complete spectrum of staff administration - from contract creation and DBS checking to
payroll and pension management.
After a full written submission and presentation, we chose Strictly Education because they
demonstrated clearly what we were looking for, namely an on-demand HR advisory service
staffed by professionals with specialist multi-academy trust expertise, coupled with an online
HR portal that could administer staff contracts and letters, apply variations to pay rates and
pension contributions and conduct DBS checks.
As more academies have joined the trust, Strictly Education has been able to scale its
support to meet the HR needs of the trust without us having to recruit an internal team. As a
consequence, our staff administrative burden has been kept to a minimum and we have
been able to focus on integrating schools and performance in the classroom.
Now standing at 23 academies we have recruited an HR manager but will be maintaining our
relationship with Strictly Education, particularly in respect of the online contract and DBS
tools, which have been so helpful in streamlining our HR administration processes.
“We wanted a single online solution to manage the complete spectrum of staff administration,
from contract creation to DBS checking. Our headteachers can access professional HR advice when dealing with staff issues. When going out to tender, we were looking for a proactive
partner, not a reactive provider.”
Mike Cowland – Business Director, Peterborough Diocese Education Trust