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.


23rd July 2015: Sports Day 2015Djanogly City Academy

Djanogly Students took part and supported their tutor group friends in a first sports day event on the Forest Fields. Thank you to the council for marking out the track.

The weather was good and the performances amazing! Well done to all those that took part and a special well done to those that medalled. Support from spectators was also fantastic. I am sure that students who are part of Courage House will be smiling more than most on our last day today as overall winners.

See our Twitter feed for photos @djanoglyacademy!

22nd July 2015: Notts County Press ReleaseNUSA

On 17th July our Notts County girls football training session was joined by some very special guests - the local press as well as two Notts County players who have just played in the World Cup! They brought with them the FA cup, which they will be competing for on the 1st August against Chelsea. 

The event was covered on the  6pm ITV news last Saturday and was also shown on Notts TV.

Click the link below to see the coverage in the Nottingham Post:

One of our students also did an interview on BBC Radio Nottingham talking about the football-based mental health project Goals 4 Life, which is viewable on their website.

Well done to all of our students who were involved!

20th July 2015: It's all about Boulogne!!!Toot Hill School

The penultimate day in activities week (Thursday 16th July) saw 19 students and 4 members of staff head across the channel to spend an exciting day in Boulogne. An early start of 2.30 did little to dampen people’s spirits, and we set off in buoyant mood for the 1st part of our journey. A quick pit stop at Thurrock services for comfort (and coffee) also offer the chance to enjoy the daybreak.

Re-fuelled and refreshed, we set off for Dover where our punctual arrival allowed the trend setters in the group to lead the way for the day by snapping up some selfie sticks from the shop (these would become the order of the day and the absolute must have accessory). Embarking compete, it was smooth sailing through calm waters all the way to Calais. We arrived in France excited and on schedule and set off for Boulogne where our lunch awaited at the renowned crêperie St Michel. A warm welcome and warmer crêpes/galettes greeted us, and we all sat down to enjoy great company and a fantastic repas (thankfully warm weather was soon to follow too)!

Basking in sunshine, our group were able to put their newly acquired selfie sticks to good use, as they tackled the town trail – hunting down patisserie, pancakes, post cards, phones and post boxes. Hopefully their specially selected teachers will appreciate the post cards sent back for them (to arrive before the new academic year). Students were also able to learn a few new words whilst exploring the town’s new ‘7 deadly sins’ themed garden, before the serious business of shopping began. Fans became the order of the day to combat the heat, and it became increasingly obvious that the confectionary sponsors for the day were tictacs and candy floss, with a side order of (melted) Milka chocolate.

It was then time to say goodbye to Boulogne – and hello to the Hypermarché, where attention began to turn to the drive home. Time for the 2nd, 3rd or 4th (Ted Caunt) change of outfit for the day, and for many more forward thinking members of the group, it was time to buy whatever they could find to make the return journey more comfortable – for some (Grace, Megan, Demi, Cery and Mia) that meant food, and a brilliantly French picnic (baguette et fromage galore!); for others sleep was the priority (Auchan may need to restock their supply of travel blankets…).

Our arrival at Calais port saw hearts sink, as the coach came to a standstill with the security checks in sight. The clock ticked on and on, and it quickly became clear that our travels would be delayed. 20, 30, 40 minutes passed – one hour, two hours before, finally, almost three hours after our intended departure we set out for home, with the wind doing its best to test the balance of even the most shore-footed amongst us. We returned to our temporary home to head for school – with Maddy, Charlotte, Libby and Grace doing their best to deafen Mr Adams and Mrs Rahman (quote <Libby Nightingale> ‘I’ve laughed so hard, I’ve ripped my mouth up’.) Truly a triumph of spirit over circumstance and testament to the good old stiff upper lip!

Lightening, driver changes, DVDs and dress up (feat. Maddy as E.T) saw us home for 1.30am – a 23 hour day completed! Congratulations to staff and students alike for surviving, and maintaining the highest of standards and spirits!

20th July 2015: Year 10 Fly HighToot Hill School

Last Thursday saw Mr Adams take 9 of Toot Hill’s finest linguists to RAF Cranwell for a day of languages tasters and challenges. ‘Team French’, consisting of Isobel Ward, Lizzie Ellis, Hannah Benson, Jenny Brown, Raffe Kenwood and Seb Rolley were joined by a depleted German team (Katy Walker, Jack Boswell and Kyle ) braved the tropical heat and enclosed space to show willing, ingenuity and creativity throughout the day.

They were a credit to the school throughout, and the day started well with Isobel and Jack playing important roles in their teams sharing the (soon to be melted) spoils by winning the ice-breaker decoding competition. Ice broken (insert heat related pun of choice here), we were ready to try some Pashtu – with Mr Adams unable to resist the urge to get stuck into the new challenge too! Of equal interest was listening to the experiences of the RAF’s linguists and learning about some of the ways languages are used in day-to-day operations (we all learnt something new here!)

After a comfort break to re-hydrate, it was time to find out the challenge for the day. A parachute egg drop… Time to exercise the engineering based brain cells as well as flexing the linguistic muscles! Our teams set about their tasks with gusto – team German deciding to literally ‘go big or go home’ (with a parachute large enough for Jack himself) whilst team French went aesthetic and complex (would it work? Read on to find out!). Of equal importance was the devising of survival kits and justifications in their chosen languages, and the all-important presentations to business and language specialists (brains and bravery would be vital to survival let-alone success).

The task, however, wasn’t without distractions – the first of which involved blind-folded students being guided around a room in French/German by their peers in order to communicate a hidden code to a team of inspectors. Team French performed admirably, finishing joint third in their heat before a heavily depleted team Deutsch competed well against the odds and the obvious numerical disadvantage. This was followed by a teaching kidnapping, with Mr Adams and Mrs Farmer whisked away to prevent any help, hindrance or interference. (Thankfully this wasn’t really needed, and the students were already hard at work and making headway on their respective tasks).

After a chance to stretch legs, get some fresh air and enjoy a nice free lunch, our Franco-German engineers were ready to complete their tasks – it was time for the final preparations for presentations and to add the finishing touches to parachutes. A real shame, therefore, when the French chute started to disintegrate in Seb’s hands. Only a frantic effort from Hannah would ensure there was anything to present to the awaiting panel of judges!

Parachutes, presentations and survival kits completed, it was off into ‘the Dragons’ Den’. Our French contingent were first up, and their presentation lived up to Mr Adams’ lofty expectations – clear, concise and well communicated (turns out they didn’t need his help after all!). Nerves for them turned to the impending egg drop, and the almost certain messy end to their eggs’ short lives. Despite the rapid decent and failure of their ‘innovative’ parachute, team French had at least protected their egg effectively and it emerged unscathed. Unfortunately for team German, this wasn’t the case – a tangled shoot and rough landing on concrete meant their egg met a sticky demise (there would be no bonus points here, all but ruling them out in the race for top spot).

With the final tasks completed, it was time for the prizes. Although neither team made it into the top two, they were awarded special praise (and a prize to Katy Walker) for their response to the teacher kidnapping and ability to help others and create a large, cohesive team with other schools. What a fantastic skill to have! There were further prizes for the entirety of team German for their excellent commitment against the numbers game, and for Katy (again) for completing the incredibly difficult logic puzzle later in the day. At the end of a busy day, it was time for final goodbyes, mercis and dankes before we set off. All 9 students involved can be incredibly proud of themselves, and they were excellent ambassadors of the school throughout. Special mention is reserved for their independence during all tasks – as much as they may have wanted help at the start, they stuck to their tasks and completed them with minimal interference from Mr Adams and more than most can be very pleased with what THEY produced and achieved.

Hopefully our friends at the RAF will be joining us at Toot Hill in the new academic year, and more of our students will have the chance to work with them, and find out about some of the exciting opportunities they can offer the linguists of the future.

20th July 2015: PSHE/Careers Year 8Djanogly City Academy

On Wednesday 15th July colleagues from the City Council joined us here at DCA to run interactive sessions with our year 8 students focused on increasing transferrable skills for their chosen career paths.

Sessions were held on personality types, team building, logical thinking skills and presentation.

The day was a huge success with students enjoying their learning of valuable life skills.

Mr. B. Holliday

Head of PSHE (Personal, Social, Health & Economic education)


17th July 2015: Literacy Legends Summer Term WinnersToot Hill School

Literacy Legends Winners Summer Term 2015

Most Books Borrowed and Read - 7.13 with Miss Bacon with a wondrous score 180 books borrowed and 8.6 with Miss Pilkington with an opulent score of 183 books borrowed. 

Some news to make Mrs Litherland and Ms Marris jovial is:

Least Number of Overdues - 7.5 with Miss Wilkinson, they can be bumptious about their super low score over the 7 weeks with only 3 overdues, and i can hear a tintinnabulation of bells for 8.8 and Miss Dixon again!(winners in Spring Term).  They took top orders with 5 overdues over the 7 weeks.

Well done to those tutor groups for entering the spirit of competition!!  More Literacy Legends are just around the corner in the Autumn Term.

Other news that Mrs Litherland and Ms Marris would like to be zealous about is on Wednesday July 8th 2015 they took 13 lucky students to Waterstones in Nottingham for browse, treated them all to a book of their choice up to the value of £10.00(and one for the LL), made our way up to Costa Coffee and enjoyed a Hot Chocolate.  A wondrous time was had by all, and we hope this trip will inveigle the students to continue to read and enjoy further vicarious experiences through the world of books!

15th July 2015: Ocean Finance Team Sports KitToot Hill School

Physical Education plays a huge part of life at Toot Hill School. We have many sports teams and play fixtures regularly throughout the year thanks to our hard working and dedicated staff. We have sports kits for football, netball and table tennis but when it comes to athletics, the kit is nonexistent and with your assistance, that could change.

As a student myself, I think it is really important for us to make the most of the opportunities when it comes to activities we enjoy. After putting the hours and hard work to train for our sport, the opportunity for everyone to wear a matching kit would symbolize a real team and would help instill a sense of belonging and help us feel good about ourselves whilst taking part in sport.

Achieving success whilst wearing a new kit could be really powerful and help inspire other students to get involved. They will then benefit from becoming part of a team and developing their own skills. On top of this, it will make athletics training and squads even more competitive so that our very best athletes can follow in the footsteps of Team GB athletes such as Jessica Ennis-Hill at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Thank you for reading this letter and I hope you think Toot Hill School deserves to have this new kit.

Yours sincerely,

Abi Davinson

Tutor Group 7.4

14th July 2015: Uniform ShopsNottingham Free School

The uniform shops will be taking place in the Courtaulds offices, please enter the main Courtaulds entrance which is to the left of the school main door as you are looking at the building.

14th July 2015: Elliot Clogg is selected to represent TEAM GB!!Meden School

Elliot has been selected to represent Great Britain as part of Team GB at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Tbilisi, Georgia from 26 July to 2 August for Swimming. He is one of eight 15/16 year old male swimmers selected with the same number of female swimmers too.  Elliot has been working incredibly hard in training, pushing himself to his limits and the hard work has definitely paid off! It is a fantastic opportunity for Elliot and an amazing achievement too. Everyone at Meden School, pupils and staff are incredibly proud of him and his family are bursting with joy. 


Here is the link to Team GB for the official announcement:


14th July 2015: Breaking News!Meden School

Meden School is thrilled to announce that  swimmer Elliot Clogg  in Year 10 has been selected to represent Team GB in the European Youth Olympics this summer in Georgia.

We would like to wish Elliott and the rest of the team the best of luck. We will bring you news as it happens so watch this space!


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.

David Hooker

Trust Director
Vice CEO Torch Academy Gateway Trust
Principal, Djanogly

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
Vice CEO Torch Academy Gateway Trust
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

Data and Assessment Officer - Closing Date: 07/08/15 (3 days to go)

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

Toot Hill School

Catering Assistant - Closing Date: 14/08/15 (10 days to go)

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


Exam Invigilator - Closing Date: 31/08/15 (27 days to go)

Visit NUSA for more information and an application form.

Contact Us

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

01949 863020