RNIB Academies

Image shows a young girl in school, wearing an apron

Find out what we offer academies and how we are working to support their education of children and young people.

Our work with schools and academies

RNIB is well established in the education field, and has been running schools since 1918. In September 2013, we opened our first academy: RNIB Three Spires Academy in Coventry.

RNIB Specialist Learning Trust is the sponsor of Three Spires in line with Department for Education (DfE) requirements. RNIB Specialist Learning Trust is a multi-academy trust and this is enabling us to sponsor more academies, in both mainstream and special settings.

Our aims are to:

  • develop a family of academies across the UK which are focussed on providing first-class teaching and learning for their pupils
  • support the smooth transition of schools converting to a sponsored academy
  • work with academies to build on their existing strengths to improve outcomes for all pupils.

RNIB Specialist Learning Trust - who we are

RNIB's Specialist Learning Trust team includes educationalists with many years of successful special needs and mainstream school management. Our team also comprises colleagues with health, care, business and financial expertise.

Trustees of RNIB Specialist Learning Trust

Dates are from which involved.

Sally Harvey

  • 2009 Managing Director at RNIB
  • 2010 Board Member for RNIB Services
  • 2009 Chair of the Board at Cardiff Institute for the Blind
  • 2009 Chair of the Board at Irish Centre Housing
  • 2013 Chair of the Executive Committee at 1st Little Heath Scouts
  • 2013 Chairperson of Sapphire Independent Housing

Laura Crandley (2013-2015)

  • 2011-2015 Head of Partner Developments at RNIB
  • 2012 Trustee for Cardiff Institute for the Blind

Robert Jones

  • ​2014 Employee and Headteacher at RNIB Three Spires Academy
  • 2014 Accounting Officer

Adrian Evans

  • 2015 Employee at RNIB
  • 2018 Chair of Trustees

Virginia Tyler (resigned 10.12.2015)

  • 2010 Sole Director of So Ask Ltd.

Janet Baidoo

  • 2017 Trustee

Ian Briggs

  • 2016 Trustee

Judtih Massey

  • 2017 Chief Financial Officer

We operate from RNIB Pears Centre for Specialist Learning in Coventry.

We are particularly interested in sponsoring schools that are:

  • currently in special measures, or are at risk of failing
  • successful in their own right, but wish to access the benefits of belonging to a "family of schools" that are focussed on providing first-class teaching and learning for their pupils.

What we offer academies

Academies we sponsor have access to the following services:

  • Specialist educational expertise.
  • Specialist care, healthcare and therapies.
  • Marketing support, including branding, website and communications.
  • Facilities management support.
  • Health and safety management.
  • Finance and procurement support.
  • Human resources (HR) and payroll services.
  • Fundraising support.
  • ICT solutions.

Benefits of becoming an RNIB academy

"Becoming an academy sponsored by RNIB Specialist Learning Trust has been a very positive step for Three Spires. We are extremely pleased that the Trust has arranged for Three Spires to remain an important element within the Local Offer to Coventry children. Being part of the Trust is enabling us to build on our established strengths and further develop the quality of service we offer to pupils."
Amanda Clugston, Headteacher, RNIB Three Spires Academy

Benefits for pupils

  • Commitment to a first-class education and improved outcomes.
  • Access to additional support from care and health specialists, such as therapists and nurses.

Benefits for parents

  • The knowledge that your child's school is sponsored and supported by a not-for-profit organisation well established in the education field.

Benefits for staff

  • Support to develop and deliver high quality teaching and learning for pupils.
  • Continued professional development opportunities (CPD) and a training programme.

Benefits for governors

  • Support in shaping strategic decisions for the academy.

Benefits for the community

  • A commitment that the academy will still be part of the Local Offer in the area.
  • The opportunity to be part of the academy's governing body.

Join us

If you are a Headteacher, a Principal, a Governor or a Trustee and wish to discuss the possibility of your school joining RNIB Specialist Learning Trust, please contact:

Adrian Evans, Head of Education
RNIB Pears Centre for Specialist Learning
Wheelwright Lane
Ash Green

Telephone 024 7636 9500
Email [email protected]

RNIB Specialist Learning Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales number 8478985.