David Ross Education Trust
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David Ross Education Trust Employee Reviews

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United Kingdom38 reviews
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3.0
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Great people, poor organisation
I worked in a school office and it was the most stressful job I’ve ever had. The pressure placed on office staff is unbelievable. At one point I was the only person working full time and was expected to carry out the role of three full timers seamlessly with no support from our operations manager. It opened my eyes to the pressures the teachers are under too. No glue sticks but the trust owner flies into schools on a helicopter. We raise money for the school but it gets pooled to share with other no to so hard up school. Very odd.
Pros
Colleagues and a great head teacher. The kids. Working term time only.
Cons
The organisation hierarchy, not focused on children’s identified needs and more on trust goals. One size fits all approach, Pastoral care not a priority.
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1.0
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Lifeguarding
I was a lifeguard here and the management was terrible it was always your fault if you did something wrong even if you weren't taught to do so. They always would pretend that the care be really the don't
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1.0
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Avoid working for DRET
If your face fits and you always say yes and never have an opinion of your own, this is the place for you.
Some headteachers are controlling. Tantamount to bullies. PPA time not protected. Leadership time for middle leaders non existent as always used for cover.

School atmosphere toxic.
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4.0
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Positive and supportive workplace
I have worked here for about 6 weeks. I work with a great team and receive very good support in my role. The flexibility and work-life balance is unprecedented for me and I am so happy to work for an orgaisation that supports this (and not just says it does). There are challenges in my role but I am supported to overcome them, overall my exerience so far has been positive.
Pros
Flexibility
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1.0
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Avoid working here
Do not work for this company. Lovely students and teachers but the academy are awful, they make terrible decisions, do not speak or listen to staff, run their own model ‘their way or the highway’ yet actually have NO positive progress results to back this up. Too interested in showing off what they are doing on social media eg taking photos during the silence for remembrance rather than actually respecting the fallen. They ‘pretend’ to care about wellbeing by ticking boxes but in reality if they cared they would work more collaboratively and in a supportive manner. Kids and parents are unhappy and staff morale is really poor. High staff turnover, pedantic and sadly the kids best interests are not the priority (they would deny this) dictatorial.
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1.0
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Avoid at all times !
Horrible mat to work for running around like idiots doing your own job and others!
Staff moral low ht think they are god

No support form slt but yet then when something goes wrong they are all out in force .

Literally the dret way or the highway which is constantly quoted

Other staff fab management shocking and no cares at all for the children
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1.0
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Stay away at all costs!!!
If I knew what I know now at the stage of accepting this position i would have turned it down! The places is a shambles, no training, no communication, no support whatsoever and the staff turnover is at an all time high.
Having been told at interview that this place is a great place to work at and they invest in their staff, to now being told that the department is going through a restructure and your job doesn't fit into the new structure, effectively making me unemployed!

If you want to be taken for granted, constantly stressed and working 24/7 then work here. However, if you have any sense you'll stay well away from this organisation. There are much better places to work at.
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1.0
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Save yourself and avoid!
The headteacher is a bully! It’s her way or the highway which results in a high staff turnover.
It’s become a production line producing robots.

The staff (except HT) and children are fantastic and is the only positive about the school.

Spends money on decals for windows and walls rather than resources. This school doesn’t believe in showcasing children’s work it concentrates on showcasing the HT.

When issues get escalated/reported to HR they cover it up and stick together. Avoid this Academy and protect your mental health and occupation.
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1.0
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Avoid like the plague!!!!!!
Under no circumstances work here. The bullying is rife!! Never known anything like it.

Quite an eye opener to be honest. High staff turnover..they arent bothered one bit, unless you are brown nosed (slt for sure). Fake management..only talk to you when they want to. Learnt to say nothing back to head..then twisted. Parents rule the school. Head is scared of them, keep them on side.
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3.0
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Good Stepping Stone
School staff are great, and working with students gives great job satisfaction. Targets and goals are set too high in most schools with hours normally over set in contract.
Pros
Free Food, Work with pro atheltes, good links
Cons
Undervalued, Low Pay
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1.0
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One of the worst Academy Trust's
Working at a Secondary Academy in the Lincolnshire area, I have been to at least 2 of the Academies. They are badly run, the top people and management treat staff like trash, making sure their staff know they're replaceable and not cost effective.
Management put their own needs above all else, ensuring they abide by DRET's way and policies. In education, the students should be at the centre of everything, and within DRET it is not, on the surface and from an outside perspective it looks amazing, but on the inside you realise how little the SLT and head care about the students, being more bothered if they themselves look good and are reviewed well, rather than if the students needs and wellbeing are being met.

They have a high staff turnover for a reason and I feel so much sympathy for the students, who have to deal with being at the school.

DRET try to employ a "one size fits all" approach across all their schools from behaviour management, to the curriculum, which as any decent teacher would know, is by no means the case, and what would work in a grammar school, may not work in a mainstream secondary, or even from one mainstream secondary to another, as location and the type of students should influence how the school is run and how the students should best be managed. DRET do not realise this.

To show how much David Ross really care's about the students;

1. He has his name for the Academy trust, and it is plastered EVERYWHERE.

2. He flies to schools in his personal helicopter, and refuses to go to the school if there are no places to land nearby. He cares more
 - more...
Pros
Easy to climb the ladder if you're a "yes" person
Cons
Almost everything.
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1.0
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dret; dont really educate trust
Worked under county for a College for 6 years prior to dret taking over and found it a privilege and was proud to be an employee; not so much after.

The bullying is rife. I cannot express just how bad the bullying is, mainly caused by unrealistic goals, there is a clear favouritism for managers and a "do whatever it takes" approach.


I was asked by my manager if I had undiagnosed dementia (I'm mid 20's) be cause I had such a high work load that I would frequently forget petty things due to pressure.


I would be called at home out if hours and shouted at down the phone for not finishing my 20 hours worth of work that I was issued the night before, so much so that my newborn daughter would be woken from the screech of my manager.


Dret higher ups do not seem to care about this, and instead my manager initiated a personal vendetta against me because after reporting the bullying proper policies and procedures were not followed and so I was named and singled out as the whistleblower.


Save yourself a hardship and look after your mental health; get a paper round instead, honestly it will be more rewarding.
Pros
Some friendly staff
Cons
Everything else
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4.0
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Personal
This Job gave me the opportunity to work at Skegness Grammar School which is the finest school in the county in my opinion. There are opportunities for advancement and progression for those who are willing to work hard put the time in.
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1.0
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Awful place of work
Awful place of work, has left me very ill. This academy trust incourages a bullying culture amongst staff! They have no concern for staff or more worryingly they have no idea what is right and best for the children! This trust has no care for the mental well-being of their staff! I am disgusted by the way they treat their staff!
Pros
None
Cons
Mental well-being, bullying, no care for children, awful attitudes
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1.0
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Awful
Unfortunately this is an academy chain that does not care for its students or staff. No work life balance and it is awash with bullying. Bullying at all levels, staff and students. Avoid at all cost if you wish to remain same!
Pros
Students
Cons
None
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5.0
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Rewarding
Working for a forward thinking, passionate about giving every child the basic right to a great education and innovative trust is exciting and offers me great job satisfaction. I love my job. I can't imagine it is any greener on the other side.
Pros
Making a difference
Cons
None
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3.0
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Hard work but rewarding
Wonderful staff and children, day to day hard work but rewarding. Enjoyed helping the children grow and develop daily, hardest part of the job is working at top speed with not a lot of help and resources available.
Pros
Free lunches, working with a positive team
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1.0
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No work life balance, high stress, high pressure. Ofsted obsessed
My school has become a pressure cooker of stress, extremely deep planning, excessive observations, in depth marking and feedback and general mistrust from SLT.
We've had 4 principles in as many years, two of which seem to have been appointed by head office to pile as much onto teaching staff as possible to see who breaks and leaves then replace with nqts.

Expectations are unrealistic and the school is completely driven by league tables. Teachers are expected to do more with less (no ta support for an entire key stage) but are told that that is how most other schools operate.

Staff are singled out as not meeting standards, despite being previously good or outstanding teachers, "support plans" are put in place with even more pressure untill the staff member hands their notice in.


Avoid DRET at all costs unless you are willing for them to become your entire life.
Pros
My fellow staff are the most amazing group I've had the pleasure of working with.
Cons
DRET requires your entire life and possibly your soul as well.
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1.0
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Awful, avoid
As with many of the comments, bullying is high within this academy and very little gets done about it. It’s very much a “my way or the high way” approach. If you have a family you are expected to ditch them and be attentive to emails and work life 24/7. The interview process is a complete scandal with promises of great CPD, support and a positive work environment, it’s not. A lot a teachers have dealt with mental health issues due to so much pressure. There are many fabulous places to work, the academy is not one of them.
Pros
The children
Cons
Bullying from senior members and long hours.
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1.0
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Image is more important than children and staff welfare
Money being allocated for fads when teachers have to buy basics such as pencils, a disgrace. Stress put on managers being passed down to staff by bullying and unrealistic target setting. Emphasis on Uniform making life difficult for children of poorest parents, SEN equipment non existent where I worked and never anything in budget for the neediest of pupils. Work life balance is dreadful, I gave an extra 45 minutes a day unpaid work to get everything done and to help teachers. As a parent at the school also, I could see how a fantastic community school turned into an uncaring number crunching, pretentious business interest. DRET needs teachers at the very top of the tree.
Pros
The children and staff
Cons
Everything else
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1.0
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1 star is generous.
I have worked for this company for 5 years. Initially the schools were allowed to look after themselves and that meant better quality CPD as the school I was in valued opportunities for staff.
However as the Trust has moved towards shared services and forced systems, it has lead to chaos. Staff retention is at an all time low, systems are not staff friendly, decisions are not made for students/children.

I have watched many excellent teachers and leaders leave, as they are unable to work in such a negative atmosphere. This has been driven by the very top, who aren't in schools, don't speak to staff and students and many of whom have no background in education.

The worst part is seeing the impact on students who deserve a "world class education" and instead get endless supply teachers and a poor standard of education.

Wages are not always in line with elsewhere, with the Trust ignoring the 2% uplift recommendation this year for teachers on the main scale. For leaders, the wages offered are not on line with schools of a similar size.

Basically, don't work for them. You'd be better off anywhere else but here. It isn't worth sacrificing your mental health.
Pros
The students are lovely, as are many school based staff.
Cons
Everything else!
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Overall rating
2.1
Based on 38 reviews
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Ratings by category
2.3
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2.5
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2.1
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2.1
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2.4
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