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Trust Diagnostic

This in-depth, consultative review helps you identify and understand your trust’s strengths and development areas, and build an action plan for improvement.

  • Diagnose, prioritise and implement change
  • Work with experienced academy leaders
  • Develop a plan to transform your trust
  • Improve outcomes for all pupils

Why us?

Gain detailed insight

Our trust diagnostic tool turns data gathered from people working at all levels of your trust into real insight. This allows you to zone in on your trust’s strengths and weaknesses and identify areas for improvement.

Learn from experts

Gain a greater understanding of the system, with exclusive insight from a trained team of 20 highly effective trust CEOs and Chairs, led by Sir David Carter.

In-depth analysis

The review provides high quality reports including analysis of the diagnosis phase including a personalised Discovery Report based on the series of conversations, helping you to work with your trustees and external stakeholders to support change and improve performance. Owned by you and your trust, these reports are targeted and action-focused.

Collaborate with colleagues

Grow your relationships across your trust. This is a unique opportunity for you to develop a clear and strategic action plan with direct input from your senior executive team through to your pupils and parents. You’ll get a 360 review – vital support to help you transform your multi-academy trust into a successful and cohesive organisation that delivers better and better standards for children.

Build trust-to-trust working

Working with our review teams enables you to learn from expert leaders with sector experience, who are uniquely placed to understand the unique requirements of your region and trust.


The Trust Diagnostic is split into three phases. Phase one and two initially take place over three months with phase three following approximately six months later.


Using insights and learning from trusts across our network, we will work with you to review the overall capacity and sustainability of your trust. Using Ambition’s diagnostic tool, we will gather data from your trust on everything from vision and values to communication, being a great employer, governance and board strategy. Our system leader experts will then help you identify trends and areas for further investigation.


The discovery phase starts with a series of online, intensive conversations, focusing on three agreed objectives taken from our analysis of the diagnostic survey, plus a fourth line of enquiry - risk and resilience. This involves virtual interviews and focus groups with people involved at all levels – from the Chair of your board to support staff in your schools. You will receive an in-depth Discovery Report with recommendations to help you shape the strategic direction of your trust. Following our second phase conversations, we will support you through the implementation of changes, including access to the expertise of the review team and the support of Ambition Institute.


At the end of the review period we will repeat the diagnostic survey to evaluate the impact of the change process and what new areas might be a priority. Together, we will look at what has already been improved and any further recommendations to build capacity within and beyond your trust.

The programme is delivered by a range of experts from the sector. These include CEOs of trusts that been through complex change, meaning they can provide invaluable insights to help your trust improve.

The programme is supportive and non-judgemental. By joining the Trust Diagnostic, you will gain real insight to help your trust move forward for the benefit of the pupils you serve, and make a positive contribution to the whole trust sector.

Note: Each review is built around the needs of the individual trust and, as a result, programme content is subject to change.



The Trust Diagnostic costs £8,000.

If your Trust has less than 4000 pupils, the cost is £6,000.

Contact us to find out more.


This diagnostic review is open to CEOs or Chairs of Trustees of multi-academy trusts or similar school group organisations.

Please fill out this quick enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss how to apply.