In February 2019, three schools came together in partnership to create BEST because they share the same passion for ensuring that education succeeds for all.

Our philosophy promotes a growth mindset where everyone – children and staff – can learn and aspire to be the BEST. Whilst academic progress (where appropriate may need to be added here, as many of our pupils do not follow an academic curriculum. We follow a combination from informal through to formal curriculum, the majority following informal or semi-formal) and achievement is central to our core purpose; helping the child to grow socially, emotionally and personally is essential to securing their positive adult future. We very much focus on each individual child or young person who we support. However, we also believe that working closely with their families is essential to every learner’s success and it enables the family to share their child’s success and grow with their child; thus creating and underpinning sustainable change.

The Believe Engage Succeed Trust’s our core purpose is:

Engaging learners to enhance their life opportunities and outcomes.

We aim to be the ‘Go To’ place for progress and innovation in learning within specialist SEND and SEMH provision in the East of England.

Our fundamental objective is to allow all of Suffolk’s SEND and SEMH children and young people we support who cannot access or engage with mainstream education to:

• BELIEVE in themselves,
• ENGAGE with their learning so that they can
• SUCCEED in their educational and vocational qualifications.

Thus, developing the life skills that help them become successful adults who:

• confidently engage with their communities,
• leading them into a fulfilling lifetime of opportunities as independent adults, so that
• they can make a positive contribution to society.

To achieve this, we create highly effective provisions that can adapt to the needs of our children and their families, driven by the conviction that having fun whilst showing respect and providing dignity ensures every individual matters.

Our ethos is rooted in relational approaches and operates with a framework of rights and responsibilities. We ensure staff are knowledgeable in effective strategies grounded in the theory for creating sustainable change in children and young people. Our approach is to reaffirm and celebrate positive behaviours and always challenge unwanted behaviours calmly and assertively.
In a nutshell:
• We do place the child the centre of everything we do.

• We have built a strong reputation for always ‘going the extra mile’ for all of our children.

• We provide bespoke holistic offers for each of our children and young people.

• We help our learners to recognise their successes and achievements.

• We do nurture and promote a “can do” ethos in school.

• We create an inclusive, challenging and supportive learning environment where everyone feels valued and can enjoy the experience of learning.

• We are committed to ensuring all our students have equal access to all activities, whatever their need.

• We believe that everyone – children and adults – should be encouraged to use their voice in a positive way to enhance learning for all.

• We seek out partnership opportunities with agencies and organisations within our local community, to ensure learning goes beyond the school environment.

As a very new MAT, the key challenges for the Trust Board over the next 12-24 months are:

1. Complete our transition to being a MAT: The Trust looks to complete its transition by the end of this financial year with people, structures and processes all in place and running effectively.

2. Enhance the Trust schools’ effectiveness: in supporting the personal development and academic achievements of all children so that they can be the BEST that they can be and be confident citizens.

3. Measured growth: to expand the Trust’s offer in terms of both the range of services which we offer and also the number of SEND and SEMH children we support across East Anglia.


Suffolk County Council’s (SCC) recent SEND Sufficiency Review (January 2019) identified short fall of over 800 places in the number of SEND / SEMH places. In response to this, over the next 2 years, SCC intends to commission 3 new Special Schools in Suffolk, as well as additional SEMH places. Norfolk County Council has announced that it too is looking to expand its SEND and SEMH provision with the opening of new Free Schools. 

The Board will be working to position BEST to be the successful bidder for these new Free Schools for both SEND and SEMH places. BEST’s Governance Structures have already been designed with this growth in mind.  

The Trust is also aware that therapy services for pupils are greatly under-resourced for specialist provision, despite being of immense value to engaging them in learning.  The Trust plans to invest some of its financial resources to purchase these vital resources for the use of its schools and undertake vital research to evidence the impact upon pupil engagement through enhanced therapy service provision.