The Journal for Executive and Governance Leaders

Introduction

Now that we are adjusting to the new normal, this edition of Trust builds on the last by offering examples of approaches to strategic planning to mitigate the considerable challenges facing us in the new academic year. There is also a strong theme about the importance of the sector seizing the day and taking the unique opportunity the pandemic has presented to play its part in achieving both real educational and wider societal positive change.

In her lead article Leora Cruddas develops this theme and stresses the importance of school trusts being integral to a collaborative civic effort to repair the social and educational fabric of our society by building ‘back better’ on the strong foundations of the best of our education system and ‘rising stronger’.

Gareth Conyard, Deputy Director Teacher Workforce Development Division Department for Education writes about the roll-out of the Early Career Framework. He describes this reform, designed collaboratively with the sector, as representing the most significant change to the initial experience of new teachers since teaching became a graduate profession in the 1980s.

Becky Francis, Chief Executive Officer of the Education Endowment Foundation discusses some of the key messages from their rapid evidence assessment which examines the existing research into approaches used to support the remote learning of pupils.

In his piece Jonathan Lewis, Service Director – Education Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council demonstrates the value of ethical leadership and true collaboration during a time of national crisis. He provides an account of how he and his colleagues worked together in full and open co-operation and reflects on it as an example of the school-led system truly flourishing.

Claire McLean, Chief Executive Officer of the Tudor Grange Academies Trust shares some of their thinking behind the key priorities that underpin their approach to post lock-down strategic planning as they prepare to meet the challenges of the new academic year.

Matt Crawford, Chief Executive of Embark Federation describes the 9 stages of their post pandemic Reconnection to Recovery and Resilience Pathway. He explains how the highly successful programme and the associated resources have been widely shared and has had a significant positive impact way beyond their own trust.

Sebastien Chapleau, Director of Whole Education considers the role that school trusts have played during the COVID-19 pandemic and encourages them to rethink strategically about the way they engage with communities and the wider civic role that they could, and perhaps should play, beyond the crisis.

Jean Boyle, Partner in the Employment Team at Stone King offers some practical advice for school leaders regarding how they might approach post lock-down performance management and pay decisions.

Mark Blois writes in his capacity as Chair of the Trust Board at LEAD Academies Trust. He looks back on his 9 years in this role and shares his reflections on their journey so far and how, as thy have grown, their governance arrangements have had to constantly evolve to remain fit for purpose.

Finally Sharon Hague Senior Vice-President for UK Schools at Pearson reflects on the sector wide response to COVID-19 and outlines how collectively we can build on the lessons learned over lockdown.

I would like to again thank those who have kindly found time to contribute to this edition of Trust whilst also continuing to play their own part in our sector’s response to the pandemic.  I hope you will find this edition of interest and of real value. We continue to welcome feedback from our growing readership both on the choice of topics covered so far and suggestions regarding subjects that we may seek to cover in future editions.