The Trust

The Trust

ACE Schools Multi Academy Trust (MAT) was formally set up on 1st June 2016 with the aim of building on the solid foundation established when a number of complementary education provisions throughout Plymouth were brought together under a single umbrella called ACE Schools.

ACE Schools now operate around Plymouth from eight different locations and provide education and support services throughout the community to support pupils to access education in schools, medical facilities or their own homes. As an alternative education provider, and pupil referral unit, ACE Schools has developed a great reputation both locally and nationally for the work that it does. The school’s performance, size and services mean that it is one of the leading alternative providers of education in the UK and it is in a good position to help grow and develop education services both within Plymouth and beyond.

Since becoming a multi academy trust, ACE Schools has been joined by Courtlands Special School, a local primary school for pupils with special educational needs. Courtlands Special School academised on 1st February 2017 to become part of the multi academy trust. In addition work has started on plans to set up a new free school in Plymouth, The Palmerston Forts School, to support pupils with a range of educational needs associated with the autistic spectrum. The aim is to have this school operational from 1st September 2018.

So what makes ACE Schools MAT the best choice for head teachers and governors considering becoming an academy and part of a multi academy trust or local authorities keen to develop and extend their educational provision?

ACE Schools MAT has a number of positive features which together form a unique proposition.


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 senior leadership team has a diverse and complementary range of leadership skills and experience. Two members of the team are fully qualified Ofsted inspectors and the head teacher and deputies hold the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH). Members of the team have master’s degree qualifications in education studies, coaching and mentoring and business administration. A distinctive feature of the leadership team is that they have held senior roles in the commercial sector and as a result have a range of skills and experience that goes beyond education.


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.

The Future

ACE is an ambitious organisation where change is constant, positive and often rapid.  In September 2016, our CEO shared the vision for the next twelve months with all staff.

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