Welcome to the CARE Foundation Trust! This site is here to tell you a little bit about us, who we are, what we do and what we aim to achieve.

Who we are

The CARE Foundation Trust is a family of 10 primary schools located mainly in the Ashford area.  We are a Cooperative Education Foundation Trust who have created a Trust in which we work together on an equal basis.  We are not a Multi-Academy Trust. There is a rich and complementary mix of school types, comprising: community, Church of England, foundation and endowed primary schools.  Most are rural or semi-rural and range in size from half-form to two form entry.

Our Family History

Nearly all of the schools had been working together in an informal collaboration for almost 12 years before it was agreed to form the Foundation Trust.  This involved cooperation, advice, support, training and development between headteachers, governors and staff.  There were also many joint activities between pupils.


Our vision is for the Trust to build on and strengthen the collaboration which has already been achieved in terms of support and sharing best practice, and to create a learning community which seeks to further improve teaching and learning for all. Being part of a trust ensures each school can maintain their own individuality – ethos and vision – whilst allowing a support network which will give all participating schools the opportunity to succeed.

The CARE Foundation Trust will work together to ensure a high-quality learning experience for children within Trust schools. The Trust will provide a strong and well-tested legal entity through which to collaborate more effectively for the benefit of our pupils. The trust will seek to engage external partners to strengthen the quality of education on offer.

As a Co-operative Education Trust, we will adopt and support the values and principles of the co-operative movement in our work: all Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. Co-operative members also believe in honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others. Members of the Foundation Trust board will continue to consult with and represent all members of the school communities and other stakeholders involved in our schools including staff, pupils, parents and members of the local communities.

Aims & Ambitions

We will:

  • Develop outstanding teaching for all our learners.

We will use the Trust to develop and support work designed to:

  • Deliver high quality and outstanding teaching.
  • Utilise local resources efficiently in the interests of learning.
  • Develop the expertise of our staff to ensure all learners can achieve.
  • Ensure that all learners make significant progress during their time at school.
  • Offer a positive and supportive staff environment with the prospect of progression within the Trust, ensuring all staff are motivated, enthusiastic and positive role models.


  • Ensure that our education partnership includes working with the wider community.

We will use the expertise and resources available in our Trust to support work designed to:

  • Develop and share resources to improve outcomes for our learners.
  • Engage local community organisations and extend what schools can offer.
  • Engage other partners who can support our work to the benefit of our learners, staff and governors.
  • Extend and enrich the curricula and learning opportunities for all our children.


  • Harness the practical benefits of a wider working group

We will use the facilities and partnerships to offer practical support in a time of declining local authority resources to:

  • Offer each other practical support in the form of peer reviews, external advisors, moderation, training, development and sharing best practice.
  • Negotiate together and with the support of our partner organisations achieve better value for money, improved resources and offer vital savings to school budgets.
  • Support fellow schools in times of need by sharing advice and resources as required and agreed by the Foundation Trust Board.


The following schools are members of the CARE Foundation Trust:

Aldington Primary School
Brabourne CE Primary School
Brook Primary School
Challock Primary School
Chilham St. Mary’s CE Primary School
Goat Lees Primary School
Lady Joanna Thornhill (Endowed) Primary School
Mersham Primary School
Phoenix Primary School
Smeeth Primary School

In addition to our family of schools, the Trust has partners who have representation on the Trust Board and work closely with us in a variety of ways.  These extend the learning and development opportunities for children, staff and governors.  These are:

The Co-operative Schools Network
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Diocesan Board of Education
Kent County Council

The CARE Foundation Trust was formed on 1st August 2017

How we work

The Trust Board is made up of the Chairs of Governors and Headteachers of each of the member schools together with a nominated representative from each of the partner organisations.   In addition, one staff and one parent representative is elected annually from across the schools to serve as a Trustee for one year.  The Board makes the overall strategic decisions for the Trust.  No one on the Trust Board receives any kind of remuneration from the Trust, they work on a voluntary basis.

The Governing Boards of the individual schools maintain control of their own delegated budgets and contribute to a central fund which is used for agreed projects and Trust basic administration costs.

There are operational groups which are concerned with:

School Improvement
Teaching & Learning
Finance, Estates & Procurement
Personal Development, Behaviour & Well-being
Health & Safety
Human Resources/Legal Matters
Public Relations


If you would like to contact us please feel free to contact any of our schools, or you can write to us at:

CARE Foundation Trust
Goat Lees Primary School
Hurst Rd
TN24 9RR