Welcome to The Dunham Trust

A very warm welcome to The Dunham Trust.  It is my pleasure to introduce you to a team of professionals within the Trust who love the vocation they have chosen to follow.  The child is at the centre of everything we do.  I am privileged to work with a Board of Directors who have a vast range of experience within industry and education, their intent is that The Dunham Trust will be the best it can be, for the young people within our care.

The Dunham Trust was established in 2013, when we consisted of two schools, Elmridge Primary an Outstanding Primary School, Cohort 1 Teaching School and Acre Hall Primary, a rapidly improving Primary School.

In March 2015, Lord Nash agreed to the development of The Orchards Free School, a primary school for young people with need, located in Trafford.  We were then proud to welcome Lime Tree Primary School in July 2017, becoming the fourth school in The Trust.

We are a fledgling Trust and very clear in our educational aims and expectations. We believe in quality in all areas, therefore our growth is measured and sustainable. 

Our aim and commitment is to transform the schools within The Trust into sustainable learning academy communities. The skills and expertise within the Trust ensures that our academies and young people aspire to, and achieve, success.


    Jo Appleyard

    Executive Principal and CEO

    “We aim to ensure that, for everyone involved, excellence and equity become and remain a reality”

    There are four schools in The Dunham Trust: 

    All schools are located in the borough of Trafford and each has its own Local Governing Body.  There is both the expectation and opportunity for collaboration across the individual schools. 

    The Trust is committed to:

    • High quality academy improvement activity
    • Cross-trust networking opportunities
    • Research and development


    We believe that we are able to help our academies and their young people to aspire to and achieve success.  To do this, we are committed to ensuring that every child and young person has a pathway to succeed that:

    • gives the best possible start in life
    • equips with creativity, spirit and confidence
    • enables individuals to appreciate life and equip for further learning
    • supports the child in becoming a responsible citizen
    • ensures continued success in his/her future and contributes to the local community

    Our aims for ‘Improvement’ are designed to ensure all academies are consistently benchmarked against key improvement priorities. This framework will ensure effective progress across the Trust, whilst at the same time, leaving space for autonomy at the school level. It will:

    • focus efforts on what really matters, i.e. our vision, principles and commitment to the children, young people, families and communities that we serve
    • provide a flexible approach to improvement that meets the needs of each Academy. This will involve a commitment to immediate improvement in each individual context, professional development and a collaborative approach that engages with improvement projects designed to build capacity, an approach that is responsive, reflective and sustainable.
    • focus on outcomes, understanding that these are not negotiable. We are committed to a no-excuses culture. In achieving these outcomes, all will focus on individual responsibility and collective accountability for successThe Trust has a responsibility to ensure the success of each academy by allowing every pupil to maximise his/her potential.


    The promotion of sport, outdoor education and the creative arts is a significant feature of the schools within The Dunham Trust.  The Trust recognises the importance of the development of pupil self esteem and offering a broad range of out-of-classroom experience. In order to achieve this each school aims to:


    “They come this way only once so we should litter their pathways with quality experiences”


    Individual schools in The Trust have regular opportunities to participant in joint creative projects, led by a wide range of creative specialist. These inclusive opportunities also provide a successful platform for both staff networking and staff professional development.


    The Trust believes that the support and challenge that it is able to provide to governors, principals, leadership teams and staff will ensure continuous improvement across all aspects of school-life:

    • Governance
    • Leadership
    • Teaching & Learning
    • Curriculum
    • Aspiration


    There is a commitment from The Trust that a wide range of support is provided through the Teaching School and from Trust personnel including budget setting, procurement, strategic financial planning and management.

     You can access the following information on The Dunham Trust website:

    • Directors of The Trust
    • Articles of Association
    • Funding Agreement
    • Financial Accounts
    • Register of Business & Pecuniary Interests