Mission and core principles
Our mission is to challenge educational and social disadvantage in the North
We establish high-performing non-faith academies which maximise attainment, value diversity, develop character and build cultural capital.
By the age of 18 we want every student to have the choice of university or a high quality apprenticeship.
We are aligned around the same mission and values, and we want all Dixons students and staff to benefit from our best collective practice. Moreover, we all benefit from the collective Dixons resources, brand and reputation. At the same time, we have the autonomy to explore and learn from different practices, and know that true leadership and personal accountability are founded on ownership and self-direction. We expect each other to exercise the aligned autonomy which is the foundation of our success so far.
To achieve this, our culture is founded on six core principles:
- High expectations of all: Our academies have high expectations for all students, and our governors set ambitious targets for academic achievement and conduct that make no excuses based on the students' backgrounds. Students, parents, teachers and staff create and reinforce a culture of achievement and support in all we do. There are no shortcuts, and we do not make excuses. All students are expected to make outstanding progress that will enable them to succeed in further or higher education and in the world of work.
- Values-driven: Dixons academies are communities with a strong sense of moral purpose. The interests of students and their learning are at the heart of all we do. Each academy is built around a clear set of values which demand and nurture personal responsibility, consistent integrity, and respect for others. We know we need to work hard if we are to succeed, we need to treat people well if we are to work together effectively, and we need to do what we say we will do if we are to earn the trust of others.
- Choice and commitment: Success at Dixons is built on a three-way partnership between students, parents, and the academy. To attend and work in a Dixons academy is a choice. Each of us must make and uphold a commitment to our academy and to each other to put in the time and effort required to achieve success. We do not tailor our curriculum to the diverse communities we serve, but expect our students to share and engage in common learning experiences which maximise the achievement of all.
- Highly professionalised staff: Learning and progress at Dixons are rooted in professional, positive and caring relationships based on mutual respect between adult and student. All staff at our academies act in the best interests of students and adhere to the high standards of professionalism laid out in our Code of Conduct. Teachers know their subject well, understand how children learn, and work to update their skills through professional enquiry. We invest in staff and leadership development across our learning community.
- Relentless focus on learning: Students and their learning are at the heart of every Dixons academy. We prioritise student learning above all else when we choose where to focus funding and how to spend our time. Our pattern of holidays sustains learning throughout the year. Our extended school week offers students more time in the classroom to acquire the knowledge and skills needed for academic success, as well as more opportunities to engage in a wide range of extracurricular experiences.
- Empowered to lead: Our Principals are empowered to lead their academies, and they do so primarily in the best interests of their students and their school. They also work in partnership with other Principals for the good of the Group as a whole. They articulate their own culture, values and vision for learning around our shared core principles. We empower our people in every area and at every level of the organisation, and hold them accountable for their outcomes. We develop a strong culture of student leadership in all our academies.
In summary, we define the Dixons Difference as our relentless focus on student achievement, led by highly committed and professional staff. By creating a can-do, independent culture with an emphasis on self-discipline, we prepare our learners for future success in an ever-changing world. Our academies put students at their heart and work in close partnership with parents. We value diversity and cultivate happy schools, based on high expectations, strong relationships and integrity.