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.


22nd July 2016: Techno Challenge! - Activities week STEM fun with year 7, 8 & 9Toot Hill School

30 year 7, 8 & 9 students had a fun creative and successful week building and racing Paddle Boats and Power boats as well as racing each other at Langar Karting track.

As well as the fun of the event, students were using Science and Engineering skills covering topics like, Pulley ratios, Torque, Hydrodynamics, and Electrical Engineering

On the Friday the boats were judged and raced on the following categories:

•Fastest Powerboat:  Sameer Qaiser

•Best Designed Powerboat:  Rhys Dunkley

•Best Engineered Powerboat:  David Wood

•Most Effective Paddle Boat:  Aiden McCarthy

•Best Designed Paddle Boat:  David Wood

•Best Paddle Boat Manufacture:  Oliver Scarth

However all students should be proud of their achievements and conduct having created some amazing results with a really positive attitude.  We're looking forward to next year already!

More photos available HERE.

22nd July 2016: Get Caught Reading #summerNottingham Free School

We are running our second Get Caught Reading competition over the summer! All you need to do is get a picture of you reading in a strange/funny/exotic location and e-mail it to abritten@nottinghamfreeschool.co.uk. There will be prizes! All the photos will also be made into a great display in September to help us remember our summer holidays. Have fun reading!

Here is last year's winning photo from Aaron in Y8





20th July 2016: Literacy Legends Waterstones Trip Summer TermToot Hill School

On Wednesday 13th July 2016 14 students visited Waterstones in Nottingham with Mrs Litherland and Ms Marris: treated to a book up to the value of £10.00 and a Hot Chocolate from Costa Cafe in the shop.  Students enjoyed a browse, books chosen included:

See How They Run by Ally Carter

The second thrilling book in the EMBASSY ROW series.

Grace thought finding her mother's killer would bring her peace. But the truth has only made her a target. On Embassy Row, trust is a luxury. Death is a very real threat. And a girl like Grace should be very careful about which secrets she brings to light...

Girl Hearts Girl By Lucy Sutcliffe

An inspiring, uplifting and sympathetic story about sexuality and self-acceptance, Lucy Sutcliffe's debut memoir is a personal and moving coming out story. In 2010, at seventeen, Lucy Sutcliffe began an online friendship with Kaelyn, a young veterinary student from Michigan. Within months, they began a long distance relationship, finally meeting in the summer of 2011. Lucy's video montage of their first week spent together in Saint Kitts, which she posted to the couple's YouTube channel, was the first in a series of films documenting their long-distance relationship. Funny, tender and candid, the films attracted them a vast online following. Now, for the first time, Lucy's writing about the incredible personal journey she's been on; from never quite wanting the fairy-tale of Prince Charming to realising she was gay at the age of 14, through three years of self-denial to finally coming out to friends and family, to meeting her American girlfriend Kaelyn.

A Thousand Nights by E.K Johnston

He killed three hundred girls before he came to my village, looking for a wife.

When a powerful and dangerous king arrives in the desert to take one of the village girls as his next wife, one girl will stop at nothing to save the life of her sister - even if it means sacrificing herself.

At his palace she is sure death awaits. But the king's fascination with her keeps her alive night after night, as the tales she weaves for him create a strange magic between them and her words come to life before her eyes. As her stories become more intricate and beautiful, her magic becomes more powerful, but will it be enough to save her?

Generation Next by Oli White

Things haven't been easy for Jack recently - life as a teenager has its ups and downs. But when he meets a new group of friends, who are every bit as geek as they are chic, his luck seems to be changing. Each of the group is talented and when they pool together to create Generation Next, an incredible new kind of social media platform, it's clear that they're on to something special.

What if your Instagram account grew by hundreds of thousands of followers overnight, and big companies were fighting each other to offer you photoshoots? When GenNext suddenly goes viral, Jack and his friends are thrust into a crazy world of fame which is as terrifying as it is awesome.

Because someone out there is determined to trip Jack up at every step. If he doesn't stop them, soon everyone he cares about - his friends, his family, and the girl he's falling for - will be in danger...

All 14 books chosen by the students will be available in the Learning Lounge in the Autumn Term.  

This activity is part of the Literacy Legends Inter-Tutor set competition; students are chosen by Mrs Litherland and Ms Marris for varying achievements associated with reading including taking part in 'Booktrust Challenges', giving time up to be a Student Librarian, use of the Learning Lounge, Peer Reading, past borrowing figures and changed attitudes to reading...

Literacy Legends will return in the Autumn Term...


18th July 2016: Year 10 reports out this weekNUAST

The final reports for year 10 have been given to students this week to take home. These are written reports with teacher comments on student progress.

18th July 2016: End of Term ArrangementsNUAST

NUAST will close earlier than scheduled on Friday 22nd July 2016. Taught lessons will finish at 12:15 and all students will then take part in an end of year celebration assembly, concluding at 13:00.

The Autumn Term will begin on Monday 5th September 2016 at 08:30.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the school office.

Thank you for your support throughout this academic year.

The NUAST Team



18th July 2016: Exam Results Day InformationNUAST

Exam results can be collected on the following dates:


GCSE Results- Thursday 25th August 09:30

AS/A2 Level Results- Thursday 18th August 09:30


Students who are unable to collect their results in person must provide a named contact for collection or request the results are sent via post, in advance of results day. This can be done by emailing a.hawrot@nuast.org.


We wish all NUAST students well in their future studies and careers.

15th July 2016: End of Term ArrangementsNottingham Free School

Wednesday 20th – Friday 22nd July – Activity days.

This year, the theme of the activity days is ‘Around the world in 3 days’. All students will take part in a variety of workshops designed to highlight how each of the subjects we study has been shaped by cultures across the world and how we celebrate diversity.

Friday 22nd July - We will finish at an earlier time of 2pm after a whole school picnic on the field. Students who normally buy a school lunch will be able to buy picnic food, and students who usually bring a packed lunch will be able to eat this at the picnic. The school bus will leave at 2.05pm. This is also an optional non-uniform day. This has been organised by one of our Year 8 students to raise money for the Ataxia charity, which lies very close to her heart. If students wish to wear non-uniform, we ask for a £1 contribution on the day.

All iPads will be collected in for an update over the holidays.

13th July 2016: PRESS RELEASE: Prime Minister announces opening of Newark Toot Hill Free SchoolNewark Toot Hill Free School

We are delighted to announce that following a rigorous application and assessment process, the proposal for Newark Toot Hill Free School, a new secondary school for Newark, was today announced by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, in one of his last acts in office. 

Approved by the Department for Education, the Newark Toot Hill Free School, proposed by the Torch Academy Gateway Trust, will now work towards opening in September 2017, catering for 120 Year 7 students in the first year. 

John Tomasevic, CEO of the Torch Academy Gateway Trust said: 

We are delighted that our bid has received the endorsement of the Secretary of State and we look forward to providing a new opportunity for parents and children in the Newark area.

Newark Toot Hill Free School will compliment existing secondary school provision and provide much needed additional school places over the next 7 years. 

Sarah Pearson, Interim Director of New Schools Network, said:

“The application process to set up a free school is extremely rigorous so it is a testament to TAGT’s hard work that they have been approved to open.


11th July 2016: Word of the Week ListToot Hill School

The English Department have been putting together 'Word of the Week' this year. 

Word of the Week 2015/16

Abhorrent         Inspiring disgust and loathing; repugnant.

Benevolent         Well-meaning and kindly.

Countenance       A person’s face or facial expression.

Solitude             A state of isolation.

Abominable        Causing moral revulsion

Indignation         Anger or annoyance started by what someone believes to be unfair treatment.

Fortitude           Courage in pain or adversity (when you are in a difficult or pleasant situation).

Aplomb              Self-confidence, especially in difficult or demanding situations.

Behemoth          Any creature or thing of monstrous size or power.

Dishevelled        Something or someone that is disorganised, messy, and unkempt.

Elate                 To make (someone) extremely happy.

Facetious           Treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humour; flippant.

Gregarious         Sociable; enjoys the company of others.

Habitual             Done constantly or as a habit; doing something constantly or regularly.

Intrepid            Fearless; adventurous

Jaunty               Having a cheerful, lively and self-confident expression.

Knave                A dishonest, deceitful and unreliable scoundrel.

Languish            Lose or lack vitality; grow weak; to be forced to remain in an unpleasant place or situation.

Multifarious       Occurring in great variety.

Negligence         Failure to act with the prudence of a reasonable person.

Ominous             Threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments.

Prognosticate     Make a prediction; tell in advance.

Resolute            Having a fixed purpose; being determined.

Sedulous            Showing dedication and being careful and conscientious.

Troglodytic        Resembling a primitive cave man; a person considered to be reclusive, reactionary, out of      date.

Umber               Yellow brown colour, usually used to describe earth.

Veneration         A feeling of great respect for someone or something.

Waggish            Humorous in a playful, mischievous, or inappropriate manner; witty or jokey.

Zephyr               A soft, gentle wind. 

Abyss                Bottomless hole, a vast expanse or depth.

Baleful               Destructive, deadly and threatening.

Coagulate           Change to a solid or semi-solid state.

Disparity             A great difference between two or more things.

Execrable           Extremely bad, deserving of hate, unpleasant.

Flaunt                 To show off or make a display of yourself.

8th July 2016: Reading CloudNottingham Free School

All students now have access to their own page on Reading Cloud, our on-line library. They can see what books we have in stock, make requests/reservations, write reviews and blogs, connect with other students and even create their own home library! Just go to www.readingcloud.net and use their own personal log in with their date of birth as their password.


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.

John Mills

Chair Torch Academy Gateway Trust

John became Nottingham University's eighth President of Council in January 2012 and is also a Pro-Chancellor. He has been a member of Council since 2005 and was Treasurer of the University of Nottingham from 2008 to 2011. As President of the Council he chairs Nominations Committee and the Remuneration Committee. He is also a member of Finance Committee. A mathematics graduate of the University of Nottingham he trained as a Chartered Accountant with Kidsons before joining Deloitte Haskins and Sells to specialise in tax, becoming a member of the Chartered Institute of Tax. He became a partner in the firm which, following two mergers, became PricewaterhouseCoopers. John retired from the firm in 2005 having run part of the regional and national businesses. He is now Deputy Chairman of Matalan having been Chairman for six years and a Director of a number of private companies and a Director of the Torch Academy Gateway Trust.

David Hooker

Trust Director
Vice CEO Torch Academy Gateway Trust
Principal, Djanogly

David is currently Principal at Djanogly City Academy. He previously led Meden School in Market Warsop out of special measures and delivered 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

Contact Us

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

01949 863020