The Trust

The Trust

ACE Schools Multi Academy Trust was formally set up on 1st June 2016 gaining Sponsor status at the same time with the aim of growing the Trust from a single educational provision in Plymouth into a group of Schools, to support the development and improvement of the education for all pupils within the Trust.

The aim is to improve good Schools to excellent and to support failing Schools through proven educational practice, strong leadership and outstanding governance, and to develop new provisions to meet these high standards. Since it has been established, ACE has developed a highly effective internal capacity to support the Schools we work with in their work with children and young people, helping them to make the biggest difference to their life chances. ACE also has a highly robust growth strategy which ensures that the effectiveness of our internal capacity is never compromised as the Trust grows.

The ACE motive force is: We stand for excellence in education, uncompromising professionalism and solution focused support, with the pupils at the heart of everything we do. Our core aim is to create ‘positive futures for all’ through a positive, supportive and proactive environment created through caring, competitive, innovation. ACE Schools MAT will support all children and young people, Head teachers, School staff, parents/carers and stakeholders and the wider communities they are a part of.

ACE MAT Needs You!

View the message from our CEO Gavin Gracie.

Place Holders and Seat Warmers not needed!

ACE Multi Academy Trust works across Devon, Cornwall and Plymouth with children for whom main stream education is not right.  Young people with behavioural challenges; children with mental health concerns; students who find the traditional setting of a school intimidating.

We change these young people’s lives.  Our extraordinary staff have the ability to connect with these children and apply the principles of trauma informed care to enable them to reach their potential.  It is not an exaggeration to say that we offer a life changing service.

But we need your help.  Our staff need trustees to help guide and protect the vision and mission of the organisation and local representatives to be the eyes and ears of the Trust in the community.  

Chief Executive Gavin Gracie said “In the current situation in our communities with Covid-19 we have seen fantastic community support and people coming together to help.  The ACE Trust needs your help and support as well.  We need local people, with a passion for education and a belief in young people, to join us as Trustees and local representatives.

We can’t offer any salary, dividends or even a pension.  What we offer instead is a genuine opportunity to give something back to your community.  You will be part of a team that turns lives round; making a real difference for our young people, their families and their communities.”

Trustees and local representatives work flexibly, but need to prepare for and attend at least 2 two hour meetings every term (often held virtually) and when possible spend some time visiting the schools.  In return the Trust can offer support, training, induction, team work and a life enhancing experience that will bring greater satisfaction that just about anything you have done before.

To apply, send your CV and brief covering letter to our Trust Clerk Andrea Chick on  You can also call Gavin Gracie for an informal discussion on 07719 928353

Our other aims:

  • We will form a collaborative network that allow our academies to run more efficiently, share best practice, and to attract, train and retain the best teachers whilst focussing on delivering equal opportunities for all children irrespective of background and circumstances.
  • We will create the widest connected network of strategic professionals to serve our academies with insight and knowledge, for the inclusive advancement of education delivery and best practice.
  • We will provide universally high quality education and life opportunities for all children and young people, whilst providing unrivalled career development pathways for staff- and training the education leaders of the future.


ACE Schools has a strong governance structure. The board of trustees has a great mix of skills and experience covering specialisms around education, business, governance and commissioning as well as close links with the local community. Trustees are committed to strong governance, performance, leadership and risk management to ensure the Trust is operated efficiently and effectively and achieves its aims.


The interim MAT Chief Executive Officer Gavin Gracie was appointed over the August 2019 holiday and took up post on the 5th September 2019.


The education team at ACE Schools has a great reputation for its wide range of specialist teaching and support and its passion and dedication in supporting pupils. The team operate within a framework of shared values so that every learner is provided with the opportunity to succeed and become successful learners, confident and healthy individuals and responsible citizens.


ACE Schools also has a strong business support team headed up by a fully qualified chartered accountant as Head of Finance who has senior leadership experience across a range of sectors and functions including finance, ICT, operations, human resources (HR) and property. The finance, IT and administration teams at ACE Schools are now in a strong position to support the development of new schools and assist schools choosing to be part of our multi academy trust. We operate with a number of leading education management information systems (including Capita SIMS and PS Financials) as well as office support software. Contracts for various support services (payroll, premises, catering, vehicles, etc.) are in place with key suppliers which enable us to achieve a combination of high quality service and support as well as value for money through central purchasing.

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