June 2020 edition: Introduction


In this edition of Trust, as you would anticipate, we continue to focus on the impact and longer-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on our sector.

As schools begin to open more widely, in her lead article Leora Cruddas discusses ethical leadership. She highlights some of the great examples of civic leadership demonstrated by local authorities, schools and trusts during the crisis and leaders acting with professional generosity and mutual reciprocity. She reminds us as executive and governance leaders that our responsibility to be civic-minded and work with other civic actors has never been more vital.

Matt Hood, Principal at Oak National Academy gives us an insight into the incredible speed that those involved in this collaborative project have worked at during the crisis to successfully set up this online classroom and resource hub. He shares some of Oak’s thoughts about what the next academic year might look like and the three key themes emerging from this thinking.

Professor Sam Twiselton, Director of Sheffield Institute of Education considers the disruption caused by the lockdown to the school based element of ITE. She reflects on the likely impact of the absence of this key element of training and stresses the importance of schools being mindful of this when supporting and adjusting their expectations for teachers taking up their first jobs next year.

Martin Shevill, Senior Education Advisor for NTA (National Teacher Accreditation) builds on Sam Twiselton’ s observations and offers some practical ideas on how schools and trusts might modify their approach to their induction process for the new intake of NQTs to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19.

Natalie Perera, Executive Director and Head of Research at the Education Policy Institute considers the huge challenging question of how we rebuild our economy, infrastructure and continue to work towards a fair and equitable society following the COVID-19 pandemic. She shares a series of recommendations to government published by EPI, which seek to strike the right balance between providing support, being fiscally prudent and, above all, reflecting the evidence.

Rosemary Fisher, Vice-Chair of Folio Education Trust shares her experience of working during the crisis to address the immediate challenge of creating the conditions for learning in the "new normal” and mitigate risk to the lowest possible level, while also engaging in continuous debate about the longer-term opportunities for their Trust.

Ian Deakin, an employment lawyer and member of the Education team at Browne Jacobson LLP discusses some of the potential HR challenges of the wider re-opening of schools and shares some practical advice for employers including three core principles to adhere to in order to limit the associated risks.

Finally Denise Inwood, Founder and Managing Director of BlueSky Education talks positively about the importance of the sector embracing the opportunity this crisis presents for a radical rethink of how we conceptualise and deliver training and development and to challenge some of our long-standing thinking and practice.

I would like to 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 hugely impressive response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that we are adjusting to the new normal, this edition seeks to offer a more positive tone to reflect our move from being in immediate crisis mode to planning and recovery mode. I hope that you will find a palpable sense of optimism threaded through the content and the very real opportunity for this unexpected crisis to lead to positive change and improvement.