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Sunny Bank Primary School

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The Island Learning Trust have been shortlisted for Trust Executive Team of the Year

The MAT Excellence Awards are all about celebrating excellence and impact in school trusts.

The Island Learning Trust have been shortlisted for Trust Executive Team of the Year. This is an incredible achievement for The Island Learning Trust on it’s mission to ensure our children are ‘the best they can be’.


“We are absolutely thrilled and honored to have been shortlisted in these awards which also follow our recent shortlisting at the National MAT Awards.” says Debbie Wheeler, CEO at The Island Learning Trust. “The strides forward our Trust has made against great adversity in recent years has been exceptional and showcase our Trust values – Resilience, Optimism, Ambition and Responsibility.”


An external advisor to our schools captured the essence of our Trust, our Trust Premium:


The Trust’s vision and values are embedded across each school. The key question: what is in the best interests of our children?” drives the Trust and each school. A culture of high expectation and aspiration is modelled by senior leaders who are passionate about what pupils can achieve and determined to put in place strategies to achieve this.

Behaviour is a strength. Each school is calm, orderly, and purposeful. Pupils have a positive attitude to learning. Reading is given high priority and there is a determination that every pupil will learn to read with every opportunity provided for them to access rich texts to support their enjoyment of reading.

Care and attention have been given by the Trust in maintaining school accommodation to a high standard. The schools are light, attractive places to learn and work. Classrooms are well resourced. This extends to the grounds and outdoor classrooms for the youngest pupils.




  • All schools demonstrate improving outcomes at the end of KS2.
  • Many indicators falling within the top 90-99 percentile for attainment and progress
  • Full, broad, and balanced curriculum is in place- with high quality enrichment- Forest and Beach Schools, wide range of clubs on offer and specialist sports coaching
  • Our schools must have a culture of wellbeing, characterised by connection, inclusion, purpose, safety, recognition, and development.
  • Leaders who care about their team, nurture, and develop them making their wellness a priority.


In addition, Phil Reynolds has been shortlisted for CFO of the Year at the same awards.


“Phil is highly regarded within the Trust thanks to his passion, positivity and remarkable energy for life and doing good. He is solution focused, thriving on challenge and creative thinking.” said Debbie.


Phil Reynolds responded “I am thrilled to be recognised but the recognition is a reflection of the whole team at the Trust who support me every day. So thank you to each and everyone one of you.”


Award winners will be announced at Optimus Education’s MAT Excellence Awards night on 27 June 2024.


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