An Inclusive Multi-Academy Trust

The Torch Academy Gateway Trust is a dynamic and growing MAT Group based in the East Midlands. Our Trust Group is committed to providing high quality education to all of our students, regardless of their backgrounds. Our track record demonstrates our ability to deliver our core goal, achievement for every child. Our portfolio of schools includes both secondary and primary schools, working in a range of contexts. In addition we founded the Torch Teaching School Alliance, which links 23 schools together sharing effective practice and developing new models for staff development.


28th October 2014: Maths Star StudentsMeden School

With such a positive start to the academic year, there are many students that deserve to be recognised for their hard work and achievements this half term. Star student nominations are reserved for those students who truly do stand out. Not just for their work ethic or the quality of their classwork; these students have also shown perseverance and resilience when faced with difficult tasks and remained positive. They have made great progress in their own work and are a credit to the school.

The Nominees are

Year 7

Bradley Tansley, Natalie Hogg, Holly Speed, Will Fairwether, Chloe Whyle, Skye Nichol

Year 8

Rhea Jabanda, Ryan Ferguson, Kym Johnson, Kieran Collin, Tyler Lake

Year 9

Amber Melling, Emily Gozzard, Georgia Swinn, Chloe Rush, Adam Harrison, Joy Coles, Sophie Gross

Year 10

Miller Johnson, Robyn Turner, Olivia Curtis, Charlotte Butler, Alice Sharpe

Year 11

Harry Sisson, Rebecca Bridges, Becky Morris,  Lersak Coxon, Chantelle Harris, Joe Parsons, Ellie Rose Duffin

Year 12

Chris Vincent, Devon Steel

Year 13

Ebony Moody

28th October 2014: First NTS Teacher Taster Day 2014 a great success!SCITT

On Friday 24th October our Teacher Taster day was very well attended. Everyone had the chance to hear about the different routes into teaching, to observe some lessons and to chat with recently qualified teachers to find out more about what the job entails. Feedback from the day was really positive . It was great to meet you all!

24th October 2014: Dyslexia Awareness Week 3rd-9th November 2014Toot Hill School

Dyslexia Matters …

  • to the 1 in 10 people affected by dyslexia in the UK

  • because early intervention and the right support can help children with dyslexia reach their full potential

  • at school and at work, so making the environment dyslexia-friendly can benefit all.

As a school, we are in the process of applying for "Dyslexia Friendly Status", as we know that our teachers work extremely hard to differentiate for their students. They regularly use a wide range of classroom activities and resources that are suited to dyslexic learners, and through regular training opportunities, benefit from the support and expertise of the Learning Support Department.

Dyslexia Action will be posting on social media and their website, sharing videos and news articles, so please share these with family and friends to spread awareness.

23rd October 2014: This week at First Story......Do you like our 'Shelfie'?NUSA

NUSA writers met for their weekly session in the library, to discuss redrafting the pieces that they have already started work on, alongside writer in residence, Matt Black and shadow writer, Liz Newman.  The group were also joined by a professional poet called James, who has just completed his Masters in writing at Sheffield Hallam University.  James shared his experiences and explained that he is now about to start to work on his first poetry collection.  

The group then began to think about poetry and lyrics within music, following an exclusive preview of a hand penned song by Bethany Richards and Kayleigh Hempenstall (watch this space for more on this in the coming weeks) and the group started to consider performance poetry and its many forms. Students are ecstatic at having a 'First Story' area on the NUSA website and are eagerly scribbling in their creative journals to offer us further delightful pieces. Everyone is welcome to submit their creative writing or poetry, particularly if you would like to have it posted on the First Story area. Please send your work to Mrs Sarris at c.sarris@nusa.org.uk

Have a fantastic Half Term and don't forget to have a look at the competition page!  The holidays are a great time to set yourself a writing challenge!! Good luck!!

22nd October 2014: Spotlight on Matt BlackNUSA

Matt loves writing, always has done, and loves encouraging others to have a go at writing. He writes poems for adults and children, has lived in Sheffield for the last 25 years, and has 2 grown-up children. Recent collections are Swimmer and Goblin In The Fridge (Poetry Book Society Children’s Bookshelf Summer Choice). He has won awards and commissions, and has toured in Germany, U.S.A., Ireland, Poland and the Czech Republic. He has set a World Record (unofficial) performing in 50 venues in 5 hours on a tandem bicycle. He invented the world’s first Poetry Jukebox which he uses regularly at festivals and schools. He was Derbyshire Poet Laureate from 2011-2013, and is currently working for First Art, writing poems inspired by people and places in North Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

20th October 2014: Collaborative Sketchbook ProjectNottingham Free School

The Collaborative Sketchbook Project allows students to work together on one sketchbook along a selected theme.  The sketchbook and a selection of artist quality materials are passed between students in an 'Art Relay'.  

They will complete family, local, national or international research on the chosen theme, the first being Black History Month, before creating an artistic response.

Students will create a page or two in the sketchbook that illustrates their research, opinions and responses to the theme.  It can link in any way to the theme that they like and could include painting, drawing, illustration, collage, writing or mixed media.

We really can't wait to see the diverse, creative and unique responses from our diverse, creative and unique students!

20th October 2014: Ideas/Activities for the Half TermToot Hill School

Feeling bored?  Need to find some activities to do...promote a bit of reading?  Follow the link below for some ideas/activities to do in the Half Term.



17th October 2014: Class 9V Media - Advertisers watch this space!Toot Hill School

Class 9V Media Studies were provided with the task of designing a new advertising campaign to sell a fruity drink to a specific target audience.  The students had a week to work in their groups to create a storyboard, poster and a presentation to deliver to the class.  All groups showed a real determination to succeed and showcased their work today in an extremely professional manner. 

The class then voted for the presentation which they thought was the most effective.  Well done to winners Ellie Ivell; Grace Leadbeater and Emma Peck with their drink Grrrr…ape!

Well done to the rest of the class who impressed Miss Bell with their fantastic efforts. 

16th October 2014: Year 11 visit to Oxford UniversityToot Hill School

Fifteen students from Year 11 enjoyed a day at Oxford University on October 1st 2014. Whist there they visited Hertford College where they watched a presentation, by Dr Janette Gilbert, on studying at the university which provided information on the collegiate system at Oxford, how to apply and some of the courses which can be studied there. Janette read English at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, choosing to specialise in medieval literature and languages. This led to an M.St. in English (900 – 1550) at Exeter College, Oxford. Her interest in outreach and widening access to Oxford began with activities conducted as an undergraduate. While working on her Ph.D. in Medieval Dialectology,Janette worked part-time for the Undergraduate Admissions Office in Oxford. Janette treated the students to a mini lecture on medieval english, giving them a 'taste' of grauate level teaching.The students were impressed by the architecture of the college buildings and enjoyed the experience of eatng lunch in an oak panelled dining hall, where they saw a portrait display of  female alumni of the college, including Baroness Warnock and Natasha Kaplinski. This was followed by a tour of the college, chapel and library and a walk over the famous bridge which links two parts of the college. The world-famous Bodleian library, which houses the largest collection of books at the university,is sited opposite Hertford College (see photograph).

16th October 2014: NUAST Building almost complete!NUAST

The NUAST building is nearing completion. Here is a sneek preview!


Our Trust

Meet Our Team

John Tomasevic

Trust Director
CEO Torch Academy Gateway Trust

John is a National Leader of Education and serves on the DfE Headteacher Reference Group. He led Toot Hill School from a 'satisfactory' Ofsted judgment in 2004, to 'good' in 2008 and 'outstanding' in 2011. He has also led a number of wider networks, including Nottinghamshire's 'Good to Outstanding' network. John provides the strategic lead for the TAG Trust and is Executive Headteacher of Toot Hill, Meden and NUSA.

Barrie Thomas

Chair Torch Academy Gateway Trust

Barrie is Chair of the Board of Trustees and has extensive experience of school governance. He was elected as chair of governors at Toot Hill School in 2002 and was responsible for overseeing the conversion of the school to academy status in 2011. Now semi-retired he was Managing Director of a group of companies in the service sector.

Jonathan Taylor

Trust Director
Vice CEO Torch Academy Gateway Trust

Jonathan is currently Vice CEO of the TAG Trust. He has worked in school leadership since 2000 and joined Toot Hill School as Deputy Head in 2007, before his appointment as VICE CEO in September 2012. He led the development of the Torch Teaching School Alliance and is currently project lead for the Nottingham Free School. His areas of expertise include strategic leadership, self-evaluation, pastoral care, staff development and quality assurance.

David Hooker

Trust Director
Head of School, Meden

David is currently Head of School at Meden School. He has transformed Meden School, leading it out of special measures and delivering sustained improvement that saw Meden as one of the 10 most improved schools nationally. He was previously Deputy Head at Toot Hill School. David specialises in school improvement, curriculum development, appraisal and the use of data to drive improvement.

Ashfaq Rahman

Trust Director
Head of School, Toot Hill

Ashfaq is currently Head of School at Toot Hill School. Under his leadership Toot Hill School achieved its best ever examination outcomes, securing results that place Toot Hill in the top 2% of all schools nationally. Previously as Deputy Head at Toot Hill Ashfaq led the achievement agenda, consistently securing results that place Toot Hill as one of the highest achieving schools nationally. Ashfaq specialises in personalized learning, the use of data, school improvement and school standards.

Our Values Outlined

Our values are central to developing a positive ethos throughout our group of schools. This approach is focused on securing success for all our learners and providing them with the very best life opportunities.

We believe nothing is more important than making a difference to children.

We Promote:

  • Trust: All stakeholders work together to realise our vision
  • Integrity: All decisions are based on the best interests of our students
  • Mutual Respect: Ensuring a voice for all stakeholders
  • Empathy: Teaching should be well planned, varied and stimulating
  • Self Improvement: A commitment to supporting the development of our staff, students and wider community

Group Ethos

  • High expectations are essential to raising standards
  • Everyone can succeed
  • Barriers to learning must be challenged and overcome
  • Teaching should be well planned, varied and stimulating
  • Learning should be active, focussed and engaged
  • High standards of behaviour are expected at all times
  • Clear lines of accountability exist at all levels
  • Developing staff and students to engage in effective teaching and learning

Securing Success

Our vision is to build capacity for sustained improvement. There are a number of short term strategies that can be initially used to enhance outcomes but it is out view that these need to be supplemented by a process that transforms a school for long term improvement.

This work is centred on transforming a school using our 'Pillars of Success' improvement model. Transformation is achieved through the combination of a number of changes and improvements to each of these pillars within a school:

  • Leadership
  • CPD
  • Curriculum
  • Learning Organisation
  • Care, Support, Guidance
  • Performance Mangement
  • Tracking and Intervention

Schools in our Trust

Secondary Phase

Toot Hill School

Toot Hill in an 11-18 comprehensive school, serving 1800 students, located in Bingham, Notts. Ofsted evaluated Toot Hill as 'outstanding' in December 2011 praising the school's examination outcomes, curriculum, leadership, behaviour and pastoral systems. Toot Hill runs an extended learning week and operates an innovative 'tiering' system to ensure appropriate stretch and challenge for every child. Toot Hill is the founder school of the TAG Trust and the lead school of the Torch Teaching School Alliance.

Meden School

Meden is an 11-18 comprehensive school of 900 students serving the former mining community of Market Warsop. The TAG Trust formally sponsored Meden in 2012 and has overseen its rapid improvement. Meden was in the top 10 most improved schools nationally in 2012 and this improvement was maintained in 2013.

Nottingham Free School

The Nottingham Free School will open in September 2014, serving the Sherwood, Carrington, Mapperely and Mapperely Park areas of Nottingham. The school will be distinctive, specialising in Arts and Science, and will run an extended school day. Initially opening for just Year 7 the show will grow in size to over 700 when full.

Primary Phase

Birklands School

Birklands joined the TAG Trust on 1st April 2014. It is a feeder primary school to Meden, serving children in Market Warsop. We are very excited at the prospect of supporting out first primary school and will look to establish strong links between the primary and secondary sectors, using expertise from the Torch Teaching School Alliance.

Partnership Schools


In November 2013 the TAG Trust entered into a long term partnership support agreement with Nottingham University Samworth Academy. NUSA serves the Bilbourgh area Nottingham, with 800 students on roll. Located in an iconic new building NUSA seeks to raise aspirations and secure high outcomes for students. NUSA works innovatively with its sponsors, the University of Nottingham and the Samworth Trust.

Djanogly City Academy

In April 2014 the Torch Academy Gateway Trust entered into a long term support partnership with the Djanogly City Academy. DCA is situated to the north of Nottingham and serves the communities of Forest Fields and Basford. The aim of the partnership is to improve teaching and learning, ensuring that every pupil realises their full examination potential and secures the very best start in life.


From September 2014, TAGT will become educational partners at the Nottingham University Academy of Science and Technology. Sponsored by The University of Nottingham and Sir Harry Djanogly, NUAST will provide GCSE, BTEC and A Level qualifications in the sciences, computing and engineering.

Housed in a purpose built facility in Dunkirk and supported by local industry, NUAST will provide Nottingham with a much needed specialist provision in academic and vocational education.

Torch Teaching School Alliance

An Inclusive Teaching School Alliance

The Torch Teaching School Alliance is a partnership of 22 multi-phase schools spread across the East Midlands, based at Toot Hill School, Bingham, who all share a common goal of continuous school improvement through collaboration.

The prime aim of our teaching school alliance can be distilled into two key targets:

  • Improving the quality of teaching in the classroom
  • Raising levels of attainment and progress through all key stages

We warmly invite you to consider joining us to help shape the future of our profession and the lives of the children we serve. We are an open and inclusive Teaching School Alliance welcoming schools from all phases. If you would like to find out more about the Torch Teaching School Alliance use the contact form on this site or alternatively visit our website at www.torchtsa.co.uk.

Jobs and Recruitment

The TAG Trust offers an exciting and dynamic workplace environment. We believe that staff make a difference to children and place staff development at the centre of our strategic planning. All teaching staff are offered the opportunity to complete a funded Masters in Education programme, in partnership with the University of Nottingham. Staff are offered regular training opportunities and we run a series of 'in-house' training schemes to prepare staff for career progression at all levels. The Torch Teaching School alliance offers the opportunity for wider professional networking and opportunities to lead and learn from colleagues working in a diverse range of settings.

Our staff are highly professional, work hard and are appropriately rewarded for doing an excellent job.

Current Vacancies

Toot Hill School

Classroom Learning Assistant - Closing Date: 07/11/14 (6 days to go)

Visit Toot Hill School for more information and an application form.

Contact Us

Torch Academy Gateway Trust
c/o Toot Hill School
The Banks
Nottingham NG13 8BL

01949 863 053