St James'CE VA Primary School

Creating a school family founded upon Christian values

  • love
  • hope
  • peace
  • joy
  • forgiveness
  • compassion
  • honesty
  • patience
  • perseverance
  • koinonia

Academy Conversion


During the Spring and Summer of 2021, the Governing Body spent time discussing and considering the value of joining the Diocese of St Albans Multi-Academy Trust. At the same time, the School started to work in partnership with the Trust, which has allowed all staff to begin to engage with the Trust's activities and start to build relationships with colleagues in schools across the Trust.

In July 2021, as a result of its work, the Governing Body resolved to formally begin the process of applying to join the Trust. This was approved by the Regional Schools Commissioner in December 2021. In January 2022, the Governing Body commenced its formal consultation with key stakeholders, along with working with the Trust to complete the relevant conversion activities. 


You can find the DSAMAT website here

Letter to Parents January 14th, 2022




Rationale for joining DSAMAT:

  • St James’ is proud of its long-standing history as a Church School serving this local community. As time has gone on, it has moved closer to working alongside other Church Schools which share its distinctive Christian ethos. Joining DSAMAT would give us the opportunity to engage more formally in a likeminded community which has a shared ethos and culture and which values our Christian Distinctiveness.
  • The vision, aims and values of the Trust are closely aligned with those of St James’.
  • Working within a Trust such as DSAMAT will offer even more opportunities for collaboration, to share and learn from other’s best practice
  • There are varied opportunities for staff and children to work together to enhance our provision and to offer staff high quality professional development, which might not be readily available within school currently or within existing networks
  • Working with the Trust will enhance our school development through in-depth evaluative work, leading to an improved provision and educational offer for all our our children.
  • Whilst not the deciding factor, there are financial benefits to working collaboratively, including potential cost savings and more efficient business practices.
  • The Trust has a strong Christian Ethos and all schools within the Trust are C of E Academies
  • All schools are Headteacher led, there is a core belief in Headteachers leading schools and that all schools are individual and unique
  • Excellent Academic Challenge and support and Operational / Business Leadership, allowing leaders to focus more on educational outcomes
  • Having worked in partnership with the Trust for some time now, we believe that there are exciting opportunities for our staff to contribute their skills and talents within a family of likeminded schools, whilst also benefiting form the skills and expertise of colleagues within the Trust.
  • We value the approach of the Trust in that St James’ will retain its identity and its ethos – we will be able to keep all that is already great about our school!
  • Through a process of extended research and due diligence, the Governing Board of St James’ CEVA Primary School unanimously voted to seek to join the DSAMAT.


DSAMAT's vision sits well with our vision and ethos:

  • We want all children to have access to a great education that will change their life for the better
  • We believe that schools are stronger when they work together, support each other and share excellence
  • We want to help schools be the best that they can be long term, for the next generation 


The Trust has a clear vision which shapes its work:

  •   Enabling all to flourish: Rooted in God’s Love 

  •  Together, our academies work to be places of: Hope: Nurture: Collaboration: Equality: Respect


    Underpinned by our Church of England foundation : 

      I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.

    John 10 v 10

  • We are committed to providing a wide education for our children, so seek schools that are working to develop rounded, positive citizens as well as ensure that they achieve great academic outcomes.
  • DSAMAT believes in headteacher led schools. Our staff are part of a team that shares practice, wisdom and experience.
  • Our headteachers remain the local leader of our community, working with parents and their governors directly.
  • Schools in the Trust have their own identify, uniform and set their own timetable/local curriculum
  • We support local governance, so can work with existing governing bodies and/or develop capacity through regional boards according to need.
  • We agree some central systems and support processes to facilitate efficient shared working, including finance systems, MIS, assessment, HR support, payroll
  • We support compliance, ensuring our community is safe and meets statutory regulations
  • Schools contribute a % of their GAG funding to the DSAMAT community to provide central leadership, support, guidance and training to help our schools become greater.