An Inclusive Multi-Academy Trust

The Torch Academy Gateway Trust is a dynamic and growing Multi Academy Trust based in the East Midlands. Our Trust is committed to providing high quality education to all of our students, regardless of their backgrounds.

Our track record demonstrates our ability to deliver our core goal, achievement for every child. The schools in our portfolio includes both secondary and primaries, working in a range of contexts. We also run a successful School Centred Initial Teacher Training programme and a Teaching School Alliance which links 23 schools together sharing effective practice and developing new models for staff development.


26th October 2016: First RAG week is a huge success for Newark AcademyNewark Academy

Members of Newark Academy Sixth Form decided to run their first ever RAG (raising and giving) week as a way of giving something back to their local community. The week has been so much more successful than anticipated raising more than £850. There were a number of fundraising activities among both students and teachers including a lip sync battle, film night, football matches and a cake sale, creating a fantastic atmosphere around school.

The event week has been primarily arranged by Sixth Form Head Girl, Millie Parker and Head Boy, Ali Miah. Millie said: “The students have got really involved every day and the teachers have been there to support us. We can’t thank them all enough. We have raised more money than we ever thought would be possible for the Senior Citizens Community Christmas Party.”

Ali continued: “We will invite elderly from one or two local care homes as we are hoping to cater for about 60 people. This is the first RAG week we and the school have ever done and the Sixth Form look forward to the next fundraising event they can run to support their community.”

The 9th December 2016 will be the first ever Christmas Party and Newark Academy is looking forward to welcoming and entertaining some very worthwhile members of the community.

Head of Sixth Form, David Palethorpe said: “The Sixth Form have been nothing short than inspiring this week to all in the school. This really is what happens when you give young people the opportunity to take an idea and develop it as their own. They have been committed, organised and energetic - all attributes which are needed to make individuals successful.”

Newark Academy Sixth Form students are committed to their own future, their school and their local community making them well prepared for their next steps into life. These are the reasons why so many of the Yr13s leaving in the summer were successful with obtaining their preferred university placements which included Imperial London and Nottingham University as destinations.

The Newark Academy Sixth form is developing its offer of courses for the next academic year and invites its Yr11s and their parents to come into the school on Tuesday 8th November 2016 for the Sixth Form open evening. We look forward to inspiring you to become the next group of inspiring students.

24th October 2016: A Spooktacular EveningNewark Academy

A ‘fangtastic’ performance took place at Newark Academy on 20th October when a number of local primary schools came together with GCSE Drama students and the Newark Academy Community Arts Groups to put on a Halloween Community Performance Special called Spooktacular.

The theme of Halloween as a forum to express the arts in a unique and fun way was the inspiration to develop community links with the Newark Academy Family. Over 100 children took to the stage dressed as ghouls, witches, and other such Halloween style delights. Even members of the audience dressed up, with prizes given out for the best costumes.

Over two hours of fantastic performances were enjoyed including, dance, drama, music and poetry. There were well known Halloween favourites such as Ghostbusters, Monster Mash and Thriller mixed in with some original pieces created and performed by the students.

The whole evening was a huge success and everyone had a wonderful time.

20th October 2016: Year 8 Football SuccessDjanogly City Academy

Year 8 boys to sunny Clifton this afternoon to play Farnborough Academy in the Year 8 Nottingham League cup. Please pass on congratulations to them as always their behaviour was spot on and there never say die attitude was fantastic. They represented the Academy with distinction.

DCA Vs Farnborough 20/10/2016 K.O. 3.45pm

After a few of the lads had already stepped up earlier in the term to represent the year 9s they were back on an even footing against the all-black clad Farnborough Academy Year 8’s. A perfect surface and a blustry afternoon lent itself to another cracker of a football match. Fresh from their 5-a-side silver medal success the Djanogly boys started confidently, the early play lead to an opportunity which Shakarl duly finished with an accurate low shot into the bottom corner of the goal. A fantastic start and inside 2 minutes DCA led by 1. No-sooner had the celebrations subsided Farnborough pressed for an immediate reply and in the blink of an eye it was 1-1. A frenetic opening few minutes set the tone for what would be an end-to-end match from start to finish.

It’s fair to say Djanogly lost their way after the equalising goal and a further 2 Farnborough goals saw them finish the half with a 3 – 1 lead. It was no-more than they deserved. (HT 3-1) Que managerial words of wisdom from Simpson who with a rousing half time speech sent the lads back out. Immediately It was Djanogly who were quicker to the second balls, sharper in the tackles and had Farnborough pinned into their own half. Early efforts from Adrian and from Abel were well saved by the competent Farnbourough keeper. The next goal was crucial and it looked as though it would be coming our way. Sure enough, after impressive wing play on the right Osama’s cross found Hasib unmarked at the back post who swept the ball in for 3-2. The joy was unbridled, the celebrations ridiculous. Wardle ordered for calm heads; we still needed one more! We didn’t have to wait long however before Osama again took control on the right wing. Abel was slipped in and beat his man in the box, he played it back to Osama who crossed the ball. Who was on the end of it? Hasib for his second goal of the game, 3 each! Unbelievable scenes.

By this point the momentum was with the boys and it was all Djanogly. Adrian and Aburrahman were busy in the midfield; after a crunching tackle in the centre-circle the ref allowed play to continue, and rightly so. Shakarl picked up the loose ball, nothing ahead of him he looked up and saw the keeper off his line. With that he took aim and lobbed an audacious 30 yard effort which flew over the head of the stricken keeper and into the bottom corner of the goal. It was 4-3!

Farnborough rallied and pressed for a leveller. The defensive unit of Dapo, Danial, Abulhadi and Joseph stood firm. A dramatic last-gasped save from Aziz kept our noses in front and the lads ran out heroic 4-3 winners.

Farn 3 – 4 DCA FT.

(Top left to right) Danial Ahmed, Shakaral Shand, Abdulhadi Sherif, Dapo Edun, Aziz Ullah Khan Ettajili, Osama Alshintri, Joseph Uhunmwghango

(Bottom) Adrian Conacel, Aburrahman Saad, Abel Lunca, Hasib Hussain, Danyal Irfan.

19th October 2016: Update for parents and carersNewark Toot Hill Free School

It has been great to meet so many of you over the last couple of months at our Year 6 Open Events. Your attendance and ongoing enthusiasm for the school confirms that Newark wants and needs a new secondary school for its community. We have now received over 150 provisional applications for Year 7, 2017 entry.

As we have discussed at the Open Events this Autumn, opening in 2017 will be dependent on finding a suitable site for the school and if a new building is required, also locating temporary accommodation until the new facilities are built.

We are working hard with the Department for Education (DfE) and the Education Funding Agency (EFA) to put in place a plan for 2017 opening but it is important to remember that if a site cannot be found in time, the school may have to defer opening until 2018.

For this reason, it is vitally important that even if you have applied to the Newark Toot Hill Free School, you also apply for a place at an established school through the Nottinghamshire County Council School Admissions service.More details of how to apply for a school place through Nottinghamshire County Council can be found here.

We have begun to receive some interesting suggestions for the long term name of the Newark Toot Hill Free School. If you would like to add your suggestion to the list, please contact Stephanie by email with your idea: stbird@torchacademy.co.uk

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continued support. We understand that the whole community is waiting to hear where the school will be located and we will notify everyone the moment we have confirmation. For parents and carers, that will be before the 1st March school place offer day, allowing you to make an informed decision about the school place you select for your child.

Kind regards,

John Tomasevic

CEO Torch Academy Gateway Trust

18th October 2016: Newark Academy Awarded School Games MarkNewark Academy

Over the past year, Newark Academy has been working hard to improve sport participation across the school. We are thrilled to say that the hard work has paid off and can announce that we have now received our Bronze School Games Mark!

The School Games Mark is a Government led awards scheme launched in 2012 to reward schools for their commitment to the development of competition across their school and in the community.

This award is only available for schools that have signed up for the extra level of School Sport Participation and Competition. The games are organised into different levels from 1 through to 5 and Newark Academy took part in levels 1 through to 4: intra-school competitions through to regional competitions. Students that have taken part have been very successful with teams winning district and county finals in a range of sports from Cricket to Tag Rugby.

Mrs Beardsmore, Head of PE said: “We have been awarded the Bronze award of the School Games Mark which shows our level of participation and competition. Taken into account is the size of the school, the sports that are offered and participated in and the levels that we achieve. This is a fantastic achievement, it’s been a whole team effort from the PE department and commitment from the students. Next year we’re aiming for Silver!”

18th October 2016: Year 7 FootballDjanogly City Academy

Can you do it on a cold wet and windy night in Sneinton?

The answer to this question is…No! Unfortunately, the year 7 football team lost 6-1 to Nottingham Academy. However, to say this was their first ever football match the boys did amazing. I couldn’t be more proud of their heart and desire.

A special mention must go to Issa Ahmed who was like Vladimir Stojković In goal – a true hero!

  • Kevin Oheneba
  • Anderson Stoica
  • Dylan Richardson
  • Haseeb Ayub
  • Haseeb Lali
  • Hashim Younas
  • Zain Ali
  • Rehan Khan
  • Uzair Ahmed
  • Issa Ali
  • Kizito Kalonji
  • George Christian

17th October 2016: Netball Success!Newark Academy

On Saturday 8th October four girls from Newark Academy had an early start as they took the journey to Bilborough College to attend the Nottinghamshire Netball Academy Trials.

With over 80 girls at the trials the competition was strong. All four girls, Maisie Handley (Year 9), Katie Mills (Year 7), Katie Beardsmore (Year 7) and Jessica Catton (Year 7) played some excellent Netball throughout the morning holding their own against some very strong players. The day tested the girls on all aspects of Netball, with skill activities, invasion games and full 7-a-side matches.

Our congratulations go to Maisie as she has been select to attend the Netball Academy for further trials and a 15 week Nottinghamshire Satellite training programme before selection to the County squad. The other three students weren't as lucky but the experience will be invaluable and they have lots of tips and skills to take back to the school team.

Great effort and dedication by all, well done girls.

16th October 2016: Year 9 SurveyToot Hill School

Please follow the link to complete the quick survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/8VZ5VLH

16th October 2016: Congratulations to.....Nottingham Free School

Amelia Wallace has recently got her black belt in kick boxing and has become the youngest person in the East Midlands with a black belt.

Thomas Scotney has also recently achieved his black belt in Aikido.

Well done!

14th October 2016: How to access Eclipse at home and schoolToot Hill School

Eclipse is the Library Management system the Learning Lounge use. Students can:

  • search for books in the Learning Lounge
  • look at news items - reading incentives/competitions happening in the area
  • what books have been returned recently
  • find out Top Ten Books etc

Eclipse is accessible at School and Home:

  • Type https://u001985.microlibrarian.net onto your web browser to access Eclipse from home. Or:
  • Via any computer in school - select Computer - P. Drive – Eclipse.net folder - click on Eclipse icon.



Our Trust

Meet Our Team

John Tomasevic

Trust Director
CEO Torch Academy Gateway Trust

John is a National Leader of Education and serves on the DfE Headteacher Reference Group. He led Toot Hill School from a 'satisfactory' Ofsted judgment in 2004, to 'good' in 2008 and 'outstanding' in 2011.

He has also led a number of wider networks, including Nottinghamshire's 'Good to Outstanding' network. John provides the strategic lead for the TAG Trust and is Executive Headteacher at NUAST and NUSA.

John Mills

Chair Torch Academy Gateway Trust Board of Directors

John became Nottingham University's eighth President of Council in January 2012 and is also a Pro-Chancellor. He has been a member of Council since 2005 and was Treasurer of the University of Nottingham from 2008 to 2011. As President of the Council he chairs Nominations Committee and the Remuneration Committee. He is also a member of Finance Committee. A mathematics graduate of the University of Nottingham he trained as a Chartered Accountant with Kidsons before joining Deloitte Haskins and Sells to specialise in tax, becoming a member of the Chartered Institute of Tax.

He became a partner in the firm which, following two mergers, became PricewaterhouseCoopers. John retired from the firm in 2005 having run part of the regional and national businesses. He is now Deputy Chairman of Matalan having been Chairman for six years and a Director of a number of private companies and Chair of Directors for the Torch Academy Gateway Trust.

David Hooker

Trust Director
Vice CEO Torch Academy Gateway Trust
Executive Principal, Djanogly

David is currently Executive Principal at Djanogly City Academy where in 2015 the school secured it’s best ever results. In 2015 the Academy moved out of special measures under David’s leadership and is continuing to develop and improve.

Prior to his role at Djanogly, David led Meden School in Market Warsop out of special measures, securing an OFSTED ‘Good’ rating in 2014. He was previously Deputy Head at Toot Hill School. David specialises in school improvement, curriculum development, appraisal and the use of data to drive improvement.

Ashfaq Rahman

Trust Director
Vice CEO Torch Academy Gateway Trust
Executive Headteacher: Toot Hill School and Newark Academy

Ashfaq is currently Executive Head Teacher with responsibility for Toot Hill School and Newark Academy. Ashfaq became Head of School at Toot Hill School in 2012 and under his leadership the school has secured excellent examination results that have placed it amongst the highest preforming secondary schools in the East Midlands. In 2016, 84% of students secured English and Maths (Basic) and the school achieved a progress 8 figure of 0.3.

Ashfaq is now developing a Trust wide approach to securing high achievement and working closely with all Heads of School. He has recently applied to become an Ofsted lead inspector and a National Leader of Education. He has vast experience in governance and working collaboratively with other local schools and trusts.

Previously, as Deputy Headteacher at Toot Hill School, Ashfaq led the achievement agenda. He also specialises in personalised learning, tracking and the use of data, school improvement and school standards.

Christopher James

Trust Director
Executive Headteacher: Meden School, Torch Teaching School Alliance, Nottinghamshire Torch Scitt and Torch Progress Boards

Christopher James joined the Trust in 2015. He is currently Executive Headteacher at Meden School in Market Warsop and is also responsible for developing the quality of teaching across the trust. This includes the CPD Programme, shared curriculum provision and training institutions.

As Executive Head teacher at Alfreton Grange from 2015, Christopher made a significant impact in transforming the school. Progress 8 in 2015 was -0.87 and this rose to +0.05 in 2016. Previously Christopher was Headteacher of Garibaldi College in Mansfield which he led from satisfactory to Ofsted Good within 9 months and improved results dramatically from 46% of students achieving 5+ A*-C including English and Maths in 2011 to 70% in 2014. This put Garibaldi College in the top 5% of all schools in the country in terms of progress.

Christopher specialises in rebuilding schools that are in special measures and developing confidence and creativity in schools that are classed as ‘coasting.’

Helen Duffy

Primary Executive Headteacher: Birklands Primary and Victoria Primary

Helen Duffy became part of the Trust Executive team in 2015. She is responsible for Birklands Primary School in Market Warsop and Victoria Primary School in the Meadows area of Nottingham. IN 2016 Birklands Primary secured its best ever KS1 and KS2 outcomes securing 65% in R/W/M at Key Stage 2 with a progress score for maths in the top 20% of schools nationally.

Previously Helen lead Sherwood Primary School in Market Warsop and took the school from 'Satisfactory' in 2011 to a secure 'Good' in 2014. Whilst there she was also responsible for leading on assessment and teaching and learning. Helen has recently undertaken training in undertaking Pupil Premium reviews.

Our Values Outlined

Our values are central to developing a positive ethos throughout our group of schools. This approach is focused on securing success for all our learners and providing them with the very best life opportunities.

We believe nothing is more important than making a difference to children.

We Promote:

  • Trust: All stakeholders work together to realise our vision
  • Integrity: All decisions are based on the best interests of our students
  • Mutual Respect: Ensuring a voice for all stakeholders
  • Empathy: Teaching should be well planned, varied and stimulating
  • Self Improvement: A commitment to supporting the development of our staff, students and wider community

Group Ethos

  • High expectations are essential to raising standards
  • Everyone can succeed
  • Barriers to learning must be challenged and overcome
  • Teaching should be well planned, varied and stimulating
  • Learning should be active, focussed and engaged
  • High standards of behaviour are expected at all times
  • Clear lines of accountability exist at all levels
  • Developing staff and students to engage in effective teaching and learning

Securing Success

Our vision is to build capacity for sustained improvement. There are a number of short term strategies that can be initially used to enhance outcomes but it is out view that these need to be supplemented by a process that transforms a school for long term improvement.

This work is centred on transforming a school using our 'Pillars of Success' improvement model. Transformation is achieved through the combination of a number of changes and improvements to each of these pillars within a school:

  • Leadership
  • CPD
  • Curriculum
  • Learning Organisation
  • Care, Support, Guidance
  • Performance Mangement
  • Tracking and Intervention

Statutory Documents

Schools in our Trust

Secondary Phase

Toot Hill School

Toot Hill in an 11-18 comprehensive school, serving 1800 students, located in Bingham, Notts. Ofsted evaluated Toot Hill as 'outstanding' in December 2011 praising the school's examination outcomes, curriculum, leadership, behaviour and pastoral systems. Toot Hill runs an extended learning week and operates an innovative 'tiering' system to ensure appropriate stretch and challenge for every child. Toot Hill is the founder school of the TAG Trust and the lead school of the Torch Teaching School Alliance.

Meden School

Meden is an 11-18 comprehensive school of 900 students serving the former mining community of Market Warsop. The TAG Trust formally sponsored Meden in 2012 and has overseen its rapid improvement. Meden was in the top 10 most improved schools nationally in 2012 and this improvement was maintained in 2013 leading to the school being awarded an OFSTED 'Good' rating in 2014.

Nottingham Free School

Nottingham Free School opened in September 2014, serving the Sherwood, Carrington, Mapperely and Mapperely Park areas of Nottingham. The school delivers a distinctive offer, running an compulsory extended school day which provides both study and enrichment opportunities for its students. Initially opening for just Year 7, the school now has 270 pupils and is oversubscribed in every year.

Newark Academy

Newark Academy is an 11-18 secondary school which joined the Trust in September 2016. Since Newark Academy became part of the Trust we have introduced a new school leadership team who are making rapid and sustained improvements to every aspect of life in the school. The school is housed in a new, purpose built facility which was opened in January 2016.

Primary Phase

Birklands School

Birklands joined the TAG Trust on 1st April 2014. It is a feeder primary school to Meden, serving children in Market Warsop. In 2016 Birklands Primary secured its best ever KS1 and KS2 outcomes securing 65% in R/W/M at Key Stage 2 with a progress score for maths in the top 20% of schools nationally. The Trust has invested heavily in improving both the education provision and learning environment at the school with a new playground installed in 2016.

Victoria Primary

Victoria Primary School joined the Trust in September 2016. Replacing Riverside Primary School, Victoria serves the Meadows community with a 2 form entry.

Partnership Schools


In November 2013 the TAG Trust entered into a long term partnership support agreement with Nottingham University Samworth Academy. NUSA serves the Bilbourgh area Nottingham, with 800 students on roll. Located in an iconic new building NUSA seeks to raise aspirations and secure high outcomes for students. NUSA works innovatively with its sponsors, the University of Nottingham and the Samworth Trust.

Djanogly City Academy

In April 2014 the Torch Academy Gateway Trust entered into a long term support partnership with the Djanogly City Academy. DCA is situated to the north of Nottingham and serves the communities of Forest Fields and Basford. The aim of the partnership is to improve teaching and learning, ensuring that every pupil realises their full examination potential and secures the very best start in life.


From September 2014, TAGT will become educational partners at the Nottingham University Academy of Science and Technology. Sponsored by The University of Nottingham and Sir Harry Djanogly, NUAST will provide GCSE, BTEC and A Level qualifications in the sciences, computing and engineering.

Housed in a purpose built facility in Dunkirk and supported by local industry, NUAST will provide Nottingham with a much needed specialist provision in academic and vocational education.

Nottinghamshire Torch TSA

An Inclusive Teaching School Alliance

The Nottinghamshire Torch Teaching School Alliance is a partnership of 22 multi-phase schools spread across the East Midlands, based at Toot Hill School, Bingham, who all share a common goal of continuous school improvement through collaboration.

The prime aim of our teaching school alliance can be distilled into two key targets:

  • Improving the quality of teaching in the classroom
  • Raising levels of attainment and progress through all key stages

We warmly invite you to consider joining us to help shape the future of our profession and the lives of the children we serve. We are an open and inclusive Teaching School Alliance welcoming schools from all phases. If you would like to find out more about the Torch Teaching School Alliance use the contact form on this site or alternatively visit our website at www.torchtsa.co.uk.

Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT

Based at Toot Hill Bingham, Nottinghamshire, our SCITT offers school based Primary and Secondary Teacher training in a range of schools and subjects.

We offer School Centred Initial Teacher Training across a range of Nottinghamshire Schools in partnership with the University of Nottingham. This allows students to train in schools, through classroom based experience with the support of a school based mentor, securing a PGCE qualification at the end of the year.

We also provide School Direct placements in a range of schools in Nottinghamshire at both primary and secondary level.

Jobs and Recruitment

The TAG Trust offers an exciting and dynamic workplace environment. We believe that staff make a difference to children and place staff development at the centre of our strategic planning. All teaching staff are offered the opportunity to complete a funded Masters in Education programme, in partnership with the University of Nottingham. Staff are offered regular training opportunities and we run a series of 'in-house' training schemes to prepare staff for career progression at all levels. The Torch Teaching School alliance offers the opportunity for wider professional networking and opportunities to lead and learn from colleagues working in a diverse range of settings.

Our staff are highly professional, work hard and are appropriately rewarded for doing an excellent job.

Current Vacancies

Contact Us

Torch Academy Gateway Trust
c/o Toot Hill School
The Banks
Nottingham NG13 8BL