An Inclusive Multi-Academy Trust

The Torch Academy Gateway Trust is a dynamic and growing Multi Academy Trust based in the East Midlands. Our Trust 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. The schools in our portfolio includes both secondary and primaries, working in a range of contexts. We also run a successful School Centred Initial Teacher Training programme and a Teaching School Alliance which links 23 schools together sharing effective practice and developing new models for staff development.


16th January 2017: 500 Words Competition - 2017Toot Hill School

Writers and readers (ages 5-13) let’s get ready for the 500 word challenge.

  • Competition entries for 2017 are open from 8.00am on Monday 16th January and close at 7.00pm sharp on Thursday 23rd February.
  • All stories must be submitted via the 500 words website by clicking the link on this page and creating a submission profile. Stories can only be entered by a parent, guardian or teacher on behalf of a child.
  • This year we’re also introducing a top tool that allows teachers to submit all their classes’ stories at the same time, so there’s no excuse not to get those creative cogs turning!

And if that’s not enough of an incentive to get writing, then check out the wonderful prizes that you could win at the 500 Words Final, live on the Radio 2 Breakfast show on Friday 16th June.

So what are you waiting for get WRITING!

For more information visit the BBC 500 Words website.

16th January 2017: New Library AssistantToot Hill School

Fact File

  • Loves video gaming, she mainly plays PC but also dabbles with the PS4. Her favourite games include Mass Effect, Skyrim, Rocket League, Ratchet and Clank and MORE!
  • Watches a lot of Netflix and if you have a favourite TV show she will know if it’s based on a book and will then tell you why the books are better! (Because they are)
  • MOVIES need more be said?
  • Her favourite books include the Hunger Games Trilogy, Lord of the Rings, Wool, Revelation Space and more!

Be sure to swing by at breaks and lunches to marvel at our book collection and of course come say ‘Hi’ to Miss Jones.

13th January 2017: Year 8 STEM micro:bit - After School Club UpdateToot Hill School

Year 8 students have been having a fantastic time getting to grips with their micro:bit mini computers in the after school STEM club every Wednesday. Some have gone from no previous programming experience to coding their micro:bits to control motors, buzzers, and LED as well as responding automatically to external switches and light levels.

We have now made our own robotic buggies and the students have grand plans as to what they will program them to do. Maze solving, obstacle avoidance, Bluetooth control and even robot laser battles are all in the pipelines!

Congratulations to the group on their positive start and look out for future updates to see pictures and video of the buggie in action!

Any students wishing to join the group may still do so and should contact Mr Walters.

12th January 2017: Book Trust Challenge - January 2017 - Jessica's GhostToot Hill School

BOOK TRUST CHALLENGE IS BACK! Its time to get excited. Remember all you need to do is:

  1. Pick up the book
  2. Read it!
  3. Answer the 10 questions
  4. Return the book to the Learning Lounge (pref not overdue)
  5. If you are one of the first six to complete it you get PRIZES -> 25 credit points AND a goody bag!!

Sounds pretty good to me! Jessica's Ghost is also a compelling read dealing with issues such as teen suicide. So it will keep you on the edge of your seat. So come pick up your copy today!!!!

12th January 2017: Orienteering Reading Challenge - January 2017 - Emotional/ Thought ProvokingToot Hill School

We have an amazing little challenge for you all! Answer some quick questions by hunting for specific books around the Learning Lounge and upon completion earn yourself 10 credit points if you managed to beat the challenge! 10 credit points says you can't.

12th January 2017: Genre Of The Month - January 2017 - Emotional/ Thought ProvokingToot Hill School

Its that time again! This month we are putting any Emotional and Thought Provoking books in the spotlight. We have some amazing reads all lined up. So for readers who love this genre come have a nosy and see what takes your fancy and for those who have never experienced this genre you are in for a treat!!!!

11th January 2017: Coding crazy - Year 9 success at the University of SheffieldNottingham Free School

Danice Bowles and Milly Cunningham-Siddall boarded an early morning train from Nottingham to Sheffield on Tuesday 10th January 2017. Their destination was the Diamond Building at the University of Sheffield, where they had been invited to take part in the Regional finals of a STEM competition. In June 2016, the two girls had worked alongside two students from Nottingham Academy on a STEM project and had gone on to win the Nottingham heats. They were subsequently invited to Sheffield to participate alongside 15 teams from across the whole of the East of England. The students were given an introduction to the building and then given their challenge. This involved coding a Lego robot to navigate it's way around a complex track, identifying colours and making sounds as it traveled. There was no teaching of Java, the coding programme used, and the girls had to show resilience and determination to get the robot to move. They were absolutely fantastic and did not give up. At the end of the challenge time, the robots were tested. The judges commented on the complexity of the code that the girls had chosen to use and were impressed with the angle at which the robot traveled. Although Danica and Milly did not go on to win the challenge, we are immensely proud of their representation of the school and their determination. Well done girls!

11th January 2017: NTS trainees return to extended training weekSCITT

Following a very successful first placement trainees return to NTS training rooms to extend their knowledge and reflect on teaching ideas and experiences.

Day 1's theme was to develop an 'Action' plan and invent a new concept idea to engage hard to reach learners; some great ideas presented in an entertaining fashion!

Day 2 trainees visited one of our wonderful partner schools NUSA to have a excellent session on the importance of 'safeguarding' followed by a Q&A session and school tour with a class of yr7 pupils. During the afternoon all trainees enjoyed a very interesting and meaningful session on 'the challenges and successes of a city school' delivered by Head of school Mark Watts, powerful messages reinforced how important teachers are in supporting and enabling pupils to reach their potential.

Day 3 had a PSHE/SMSC theme exploring the importance of relationships and pastoral care within schools and how to promote 'British values' delivered by Laura Munroe and Polly Fender. Trainees again had the chance to explore ideas and presented on their findings.

Day 4 is all about 'securing my first teaching post' with the first session delivered by Trust and SCITT strategic leader Chris James. Finding out as much as possible about different schools is key in enabling successful transition of ITT into NQTs. The rest of the day involves learning interview techniques including a live interview simulation by the pupils from Toot Hill school.

What a great week! Next week trainees visit primary schools for the second time to teach specialist subjects before travelling on the 23rd January to Jyvaskula Finland. Never a dull moment!

9th January 2017: EYFS meetingBirklands School

Coffee morning for all Reception and Nursery parents. We hope to see you there!

9th January 2017: Library VisitBirklands School

Year 6 visit to the library at 10.45am. Please remember your card and book.


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 at NUAST and NUSA.

John Mills

Chair Torch Academy Gateway Trust Board of Directors

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 Chair of Directors for the Torch Academy Gateway Trust.

David Hooker

Trust Director
Vice CEO Torch Academy Gateway Trust
Executive Principal, Djanogly

David is currently Executive Principal at Djanogly City Academy where in 2015 the school secured it’s best ever results. In 2015 the Academy moved out of special measures under David’s leadership and is continuing to develop and improve.

Prior to his role at Djanogly, David led Meden School in Market Warsop out of special measures, securing an OFSTED ‘Good’ rating in 2014. 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
Executive Headteacher: Toot Hill School and Newark Academy

Ashfaq is currently Executive Head Teacher with responsibility for Toot Hill School and Newark Academy. Ashfaq became Head of School at Toot Hill School in 2012 and under his leadership the school has secured excellent examination results that have placed it amongst the highest preforming secondary schools in the East Midlands. In 2016, 84% of students secured English and Maths (Basic) and the school achieved a progress 8 figure of 0.3.

Ashfaq is now developing a Trust wide approach to securing high achievement and working closely with all Heads of School. He has recently applied to become an Ofsted lead inspector and a National Leader of Education. He has vast experience in governance and working collaboratively with other local schools and trusts.

Previously, as Deputy Headteacher at Toot Hill School, Ashfaq led the achievement agenda. He also specialises in personalised learning, tracking and the use of data, school improvement and school standards.

Christopher James

Trust Director
Executive Headteacher: Meden School, Torch Teaching School Alliance, Nottinghamshire Torch Scitt and Torch Progress Boards

Christopher James joined the Trust in 2015. He is currently Executive Headteacher at Meden School in Market Warsop and is also responsible for developing the quality of teaching across the trust. This includes the CPD Programme, shared curriculum provision and training institutions.

As Executive Head teacher at Alfreton Grange from 2015, Christopher made a significant impact in transforming the school. Progress 8 in 2015 was -0.87 and this rose to +0.05 in 2016. Previously Christopher was Headteacher of Garibaldi College in Mansfield which he led from satisfactory to Ofsted Good within 9 months and improved results dramatically from 46% of students achieving 5+ A*-C including English and Maths in 2011 to 70% in 2014. This put Garibaldi College in the top 5% of all schools in the country in terms of progress.

Christopher specialises in rebuilding schools that are in special measures and developing confidence and creativity in schools that are classed as ‘coasting.’

Helen Duffy

Primary Executive Headteacher: Birklands Primary and Victoria Primary

Helen Duffy became part of the Trust Executive team in 2015. She is responsible for Birklands Primary School in Market Warsop and Victoria Primary School in the Meadows area of Nottingham. IN 2016 Birklands Primary secured its best ever KS1 and KS2 outcomes securing 65% in R/W/M at Key Stage 2 with a progress score for maths in the top 20% of schools nationally.

Previously Helen lead Sherwood Primary School in Market Warsop and took the school from 'Satisfactory' in 2011 to a secure 'Good' in 2014. Whilst there she was also responsible for leading on assessment and teaching and learning. Helen has recently undertaken training in undertaking Pupil Premium reviews.

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

Statutory Documents

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 leading to the school being awarded an OFSTED 'Good' rating in 2014.

Nottingham Free School

Nottingham Free School opened in September 2014, serving the Sherwood, Carrington, Mapperely and Mapperely Park areas of Nottingham. The school delivers a distinctive offer, running an compulsory extended school day which provides both study and enrichment opportunities for its students. Initially opening for just Year 7, the school now has 270 pupils and is oversubscribed in every year.

Newark Academy

Newark Academy is an 11-18 secondary school which joined the Trust in September 2016. Since Newark Academy became part of the Trust we have introduced a new school leadership team who are making rapid and sustained improvements to every aspect of life in the school. The school is housed in a new, purpose built facility which was opened in January 2016.

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. In 2016 Birklands Primary secured its best ever KS1 and KS2 outcomes securing 65% in R/W/M at Key Stage 2 with a progress score for maths in the top 20% of schools nationally. The Trust has invested heavily in improving both the education provision and learning environment at the school with a new playground installed in 2016.

Victoria Primary

Victoria Primary School joined the Trust in September 2016. Replacing Riverside Primary School, Victoria serves the Meadows community with a 2 form entry.

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.

Nottinghamshire Torch TSA

An Inclusive Teaching School Alliance

The Nottinghamshire 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.

Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT

Based at Toot Hill Bingham, Nottinghamshire, our SCITT offers school based Primary and Secondary Teacher training in a range of schools and subjects.

We offer School Centred Initial Teacher Training across a range of Nottinghamshire Schools in partnership with the University of Nottingham. This allows students to train in schools, through classroom based experience with the support of a school based mentor, securing a PGCE qualification at the end of the year.

We also provide School Direct placements in a range of schools in Nottinghamshire at both primary and secondary level.

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

When completing your online application form, if you have any questions or need any assistance, please email our recruitment support provider here and include the advert reference in the subject line. Alternatively, please call 01509 236 434 for assistance.

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Toot Hill School

Classroom Learning Assistant

Closing Date: Mon 30th Jan 2017 9am

Salary: Competitive

Type: Temporary / Term Time

Duration: Until 31 August 2017

Summary: We are looking to appoint a suitably qualified and motivated person who will, under the supervision and guidance of middle managers: • Cover whole classes during a teacher's absence, keeping pupils focused on tasks set by the class teacher. • Work with groups and individual pupils in and out of the classroom to support their learning needs. • Supervise students at break and lunchtimes. • To supervise pupils to ensure they arrive and leave the school site safely.

Meden School

Examination Invigilator

Closing Date: Sun 31st Dec 2017 12am

Salary: £8.87 - £8.87

Type: Casual / Variable Hours

Summary: Meden School is looking to appoint a pool of exam invigilators working on a casual basis over the academic year. During exam periods the work could be a couple of hours in the morning and/or afternoon, you will be paid per hour at a rate of £8.87. Please see attachment for more details.


Engineering Job Advert Pack

Closing Date: Tue 17th Jan 2017 (today)

Visit NUAST for more information and an application form.

Firbeck Academy

Teaching Assistant

Closing Date: Wed 8th Feb 2017 (22 days to go)

Visit Firbeck Academy for more information and an application form.

Contact Us

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