Peterborough Diocese Education Trust

Mike Cowland – Business Director, Peterborough Diocese Education Trust

The Challenge

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 who could deliver both individual academy account management coupled with centralised data visibility and reporting.

The Solution

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 not only had a wealth of MAT experience but offered specific MAT services, such as customized cost centre configuration, hierarchical data viewing and reporting, individual academy account management and a wealth of HMRC, LGPS and TP expertise.

Finally, they were able to demonstrate their ability to integrate new academies as they joined the MAT through their implementation process – confidently stating that they had never not paid a new academy’s staff on schedule.

The Result

In three years, we have grown to 23 academies, all of which have been seamlessly integrated by our Strictly Education team. All 23 academies remain responsible for their own payroll and pensions administration but through the Strictly Education payroll portal we have central visibility and control and can therefore be covered if a bursar is unable to complete their submission. 

Right from the beginning we were looking for a payroll and pensions partner, not just a provider, and Strictly Education have lived up to this expectation. Whether helping our staff with the first Teachers Pensions submissions or providing 1:1 training after the introduction of RTI, the Strictly Education team has always gone above and beyond to ensure we don’t have to worry about this area of our trust administration.

And true to their word, every academy has always been paid!