Are you thinking of joining us?

Our Trust is built around autonomy for our family of schools to allow Heads and local governing bodies to make decisions in the best interests of their pupils, underpinned by highly effective challenge and support from the central team. 

We work with integrity in all we do and in partnership with our schools. 

With Tilian you retain your identity and ethos.

Pupils receive great education

Welcome to the Tilian Partnership of schools website. Tilian is a high performing primary MAT based in Suffolk. We are centred around the three key themes of




Because of this, our schools remain in control of their curriculum, finances and other major decisions when taken for the best interests of their pupils. Unlike many MATs we involve our local governance Chairs in MAT decisions so we provide the services that schools truly need.

We believe that all schools are entitled to high quality School Improvement. We therefore have a dedicated team to support school improvement and utilise expertise from our schools and external practitioners to help Heads develop their schools.

We understand that Headteachers are vital to the success of a school and we also know the pressures on them. We have therefore prioritised Headteacher well-being through support services such as confidential, half-termly, coaching sessions with an independent and trained coach as well as the creation of a new role focused on ongoing support for heads (once again completely confidential). We welcome Phil Knowles to this part-time role. We are also fully supportive during inspections, before, during and after to give heads and staff additional support, guidance and back-up.

Andrew Berry, CEO of the Tilian Partnership

News and Events

Breaking News!!!

Wilby Church of England Primary School joined us on 1st December

Joining Tilian and becoming part of a tight-knit network has meant that support is never far away, whether that be from other like-minded schools or the Trust’s central school Improvement services.

The dedicated School Improvement team, who have a wealth of experience, have worked directly with and supported the headteacher and staff, providing high-quality and individualised training and support.                                                                                                                                                           

The Trust models excellence, so that we are supported to challenge good current practice and aspire for outstanding provision.

A common misconception about becoming a Multi-Academy Trust member is the fear that you will lose autonomy over your school. This is certainly not our experience of joining Tilian. While the Trust offer operational guidance and advice, we will still maintain the integrity and independence of our school—we feel that our unique identity is highly valued and encouraged.

Against a rapidly changing educational background, where bespoke and sustained support is increasingly difficult to procure, it’s such a relief to feel that we are no longer alone. Being part of Tilian we now feel protected and strengthened and even more excited for the future.

Orford Church of England Primary School joined us on 1st December

We welcome the staff, pupils and families of Orford to Tilian. Orford is an amazing school, offering so much to its children as recognised in its recent inspection by Ofsted.

Following a third unsuccessful collaboration in 10 years, the governors of Orford CEVA Primary were keen to remain as a stand-alone primary longer term, retaining our unique character, but with the support of something “bigger” i.e. a MAT.

Our parents are very proud of what Orford has to offer its pupils and value the bespoke curriculum in particular. Tilian offered us all of the benefits of being in a MAT (collaboration, support, CPD, partnerships, shared resources etc.) whilst allowing us to continue delivering all that we do. Tilian have expressed no ambition to become large and corporate, which the governors were keen to avoid.

Tilian’s Christian ethos aligned with ours but - more importantly - it’s values of autonomy, integrity and partnership fulfilled the above wish. Upon meeting the CEO and the wider team, their positive and supportive approach to school improvement meant the choice was unanimous. Tilian offered useful and impactful up-front advice, support and shared practice before joining which aided the whole school’s improvement, and reinforced our thinking that this was the correct choice for us. As a new head leading a school with an impending OFSTED inspection, knowing that one of the team was at the end of the phone with reassurance, practical advice and solutions which can be easily implemented in a small school was invaluable.

Gemma Cannon - Headteacher 

Nestle Executives stunned by Gislingham pupils

As part of their work on Farm Schools, Year 5 pupils at Gislingham presented their projects on sustainability in food cereals to top executives from Nestle. 

The children spoke with great skill, knowledge and conviction. The impact on the audience was significant moving from great joy and laughter to a few tears.  

Performance in Key Stage 2 SATs

This year 63% of our pupils achieved the expected standard, or higher, in Reading, Writing and Maths. This is 4% above the national average.

In Reading 82% of our pupils achieved the expected standard which is 9% above the national average. 40% achieved the higher standard (greater depth) - a massive 15% above national.

September PD DAY

Michelle Boyd, Head of Bardwell, led an engaging session on supporting children with the acquisition of tier 2 vocabulary.

This linked closely to the Trust's focus on Oracy this year, led by Louise Clark, Chief Improvement Officer.


OFSTED Crawford's CE Primary achieves GOOD in all areas. The report justifies the school's decision to adopt a "radically different", broad and balanced curriculum for its pupils, whilst still focusing on the core subjects of English and Maths. It also demonstrates the value of a MAT that allows autonomy for its schools.

Highlights of the report include:

OFSTED: Bardwell CE Primary achieves GOOD in all areas. This is a tremendous improvement since 2018 when the school was graded as RI in all categories. 

Some of the many highlights:

2023: Another successful year for building funds

Trust schools have once again been very successful in securing government funds for building works. 

Bardwell - Roof - Replacement of the roof slates for the Main School Hall and Kitchen.

Crawfords - Boiler- Refurbishment and replacement of the heating system including a new boiler, radiators and pipework.

Old Newton - Boiler - Upgrade to the heating system with new boiler, radiators and pipework.

Old Newton - Water Quality - Upgrade of the hot and cold water system.


Rougham - Roof - Replacement of the leaking flat roof.

Rougham - Safeguarding - New security fencing and automated gate access for the school site.

Creating Our New School Improvement Offer

The Headteachers of our schools are working with Louise Clark, Chief Improvement Officer, and external experts to create a new offer which meets the needs of all schools. Working in partnership with our excellent leaders ensures that our offer focuses on effective strategies drawn from the latest educational research.