Specialist Schools Trust

The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation dedicated to raising levels of achievement in secondary education.

They have a membership of over 5000 schools and organisations and are a registered charity.


The SSAT aim to give practical support to transforming secondary education in England by building and enabling a world-class network of innovative, high-performing secondary schools in partnership with business and the wider community.

What are Specialist Schools?

Specialist schools are an important part of the Government's plans to raise standards in secondary education.

The Specialist Schools Programme (SSP) helps schools, in partnership with private sector sponsors and supported by additional Government funding, to establish distinctive identities through their chosen specialisms and achieve their targets to raise standards.

Specialist schools have a special focus on those subjects relating to their chosen specialism but must also meet the National Curriculum requirements and deliver a broad and balanced education to all pupils.

Any maintained secondary school in England can apply for specialist status in one of ten specialisms: arts, business & enterprise, engineering, humanities, languages, mathematics & computing, music, science, sports and technology.