April 2019 edition: Introduction


Welcome to the April edition of Trust. I am pleased to provide my taster of the range of topics we address in this issue.

In her lead article, Leora Cruddas, CEO of CST, highlights the seemingly ever present negative media coverage relating to academies and MATS and urges the sector to seek to reverse this by taking back control of the narrative and proactively promoting the many positives of the MAT structure.

David Laws, Executive Chairman of the Education Policy Institute, shares his thoughts on navigating the current uncertain political landscape and suggests that the unrelenting focus on Brexit may in fact present a real opportunity for the "school-led system” to emerge.

Sam Freedman, CEO of Education Partnerships Group, uses the milestone recently passed of more than 50% of children in England now being educated in academies, to give us his insightful view of the system. His article looks back at the growth of the academies programme thus far and offers some thoughts on the way ahead.

Peter Kent, Head Teacher of Lawrence Sheriff School Rugby and President of the ICP (International Confederation of Principals), introduces an international flavour to the publication, advocating that part of our moral duty as education leaders is to foster connection and learning across as broad a canvas as possible, beyond the boundaries of our own schools, regions and countries.

Roger Inman, Head of the Education Sector at Stone King, highlights the lessons learned from a recent case where an Academy successfully challenged a SEN placement.

Stef Edwards, CEO of Learn-AT, describes the process behind researching and developing their School Improvement Framework, which they believe is leading to authentic, incremental and they hope sustainable change.

With a backcloth of these particularly challenging financial times, Stephen Morales, CEO of ISBL, explains the valuable work of the School Resource Management Advisers (SRMAs), the thinking behind this new role being established and the considerable savings generated thus far, by their work supporting schools and trusts.

Tiffany Beck, Chair of Trustees for Maritime Academy Trust, writes about her personal experience of some of the very real challenges faced by Chairs. She paints a vivid picture of both the weight of responsibility this role carries but importantly also shares the huge rewards of being part of successfully turning a school around.

Finally Jesse Johnson, Head of Multi Academy Trusts at RM Education, explains how the effective use of technology can enable collaboration across MATs and offers examples of how it can be deployed to enhance how people work and learn in a Trust.

As ever I would like to thank all concerned for their stimulating contributions to this our fourth edition of Trust. I hope you will find it to be both of interest and of real value.