Trust in Learning Academies supports growth and transformation with centralised HR and payroll.

20th February 2020

With centralised HR and payroll systems, a multi-academy trust optimises its people strategy and gives time and money back to its schools.

Bristol-based Trust in Learning Academies (TILA), formed in 2012, is a multi-academy trust (MAT). Some 3,500 pupils attend its five schools, and it employs a total of around 450 staff. Among the trust’s priorities are continued growth in the Bristol area, and transformation of as many schools as possible to ‘outstanding’. 

“Developing the right people strategy is critical to achieving our growth and transformation goals,” says Sue Elliott, TILA’s Director of HR. “To help us do that, we needed data and metrics that only a schools-specific people management solution could provide.”

Following extensive research, the trust chose Civica HR & Payroll for Schools to manage its people and its payroll processing. Among the deciding factors were the Civica solution’s unique ability to integrate with Capita’s School Information Management System (SIMS), which all the schools use to manage daily life. “This integration is critical, as it gives us the real-time information about staff absences we need to bring in the right supply teachers to cover lessons,” says Sue.

Each of the trust’s schools used to outsource payroll processing to a different provider, which meant payroll data was both fragmented and outside the trust’s control. Now, the trust uses the Civica payroll bureau to handle processing for all its staff. Centralisation and ownership of payroll and HR data provides the trust with comprehensive workforce information to inform its people strategy; while control over solution reconfiguration allows the trust to keep pace with legislative changes.


  • Centralised delivery of HR and payroll services releases £145,000 in additional funding for teaching and learning in the first year
  • Consolidation and ownership of both HR and payroll data enables increased staffing insight for individual schools and the trust as a whole
  • A data-driven people strategy supports the trust’s vision for growth and transformation
  • Real-time information about staff absences enhances supply teacher provision
  • HR self-service increases transparency and helps employees feel like part of the trust.

Total savings in the first year were £145,000 across our schools. In addition, the schools’ business managers have more time to focus on strategic improvements to teaching and learning, which are vital to our transformation agenda.”

Sue Elliott, Director of HR, Trust in Learning Academies

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