2019 / 2020 articles

Caroline Whitty

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.

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Also featured

Leora Cruddas

"Rising strong"

We have seen a plethora of articles and blogs written over the past few months, regarding all aspects of education. Many have called for fundamental and...

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Gareth Conyard

The Early Career Framework

We know we need to be attracting great people into the teaching profession, and that we want to retain and develop that talent. This was true well before...

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Jonathan Lewis

The Importance of Ethical Leadership at a Time of National Crisis

I was both pleased and a bit embarrassed to be recognised in the last edition of Trust as someone that had shown ethical leadership during this time of...

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Becky Francis

Supporting Remote Learning

Since March, schools have risen swiftly to extraordinary challenges, including logistical, cultural and emotional challenges – to support pupils and...

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Claire Maclean

Building Agility and Confidence – One Trust’s Approach to Post Lockdown Strategic Planning

As the lockdown eases and we continue to refine our Trust’s strategic approach in readiness for the new academic year, being agile and confident in response...

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Matthew Crawford

‘Rising strong’ – A Pathway to Recovery and Reconnection

Embark Federation is an Education Charitable Trust that serves 3,000 children and their families. Formed in January 2019, it now works with 9 schools,...

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Sebastien Chapleau

Catching Up On Our Civic Duty

We have been talking a lot recently, about the role(s) schools have been playing throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the role they could – and...

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Mark Blois

Evolving Governance Within a Growing Academy Trust

For the last nine years I have had the huge privilege of serving as Chair of the L.E.A.D Academy Trust and this article offers a few reflections on that...

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Jean Boyle

Post Lockdown Performance Management and Pay Decisions: Advice for School Leaders

In January 2020 the talk around teachers’ salaries focused heavily on the government’s proposal of a pay increase for all teachers, including a suggested...

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Sharon Hague

Journeying Through a ‘New Normal’ Together

It would be fair to say that Covid-19 has turned education on its head.

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Caroline Whitty

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 sec...

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Leora Cruddas

Leading Ethically During COVID-19

We have seen some magnificent examples of civic leadership exercised by local authorities, schools and trusts during COVID-19 – leaders acting with professional...

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Matt Hood

Lockdown Learning: Oak’s Lessons for the Future

We often stretch metaphors at our peril. When telling the story of Oak National Academy, I think it’s worth the risk. Often in education we talk about...

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Sam Twiselton

NQTs and COVID-19 – Challenges and Opportunities

COVID-19 has brought so many different challenges in so many shapes and levels of stress for everyone working in the education sector. Those who are about...

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Martin Shevill

Mitigating The Impact of COVID-19 on NQTs

School closure due to COVID-19 has reduced the training time for those on ITT courses by over one third. Not surprisingly, feedback is suggesting that...

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Natalie Perera

Addressing the Post-Pandemic Widening Disadvantage Gap

The question of how we rebuild our economy, infrastructure and continue to work towards a fair and equitable society following the COVID-19 pandemic must...

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Rosemary Fisher

Becoming a Vice-Chair During the Pandemic

"Allow me to encourage you to reflect on the impact you have had at this time.”

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Denise Inwood

A Great Leap Forward for Professional Learning

The coronavirus crisis has disrupted our lives but, as the dust settles, it presents a golden opportunity to rethink and reframe our approach to professional...

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Caroline Whitty

Introduction

We find ourselves in unprecedented times. Our schools have risen superbly to the occasion and are doing a remarkable job in carrying on the education of...

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Leora Cruddas

The Tenacity of the Human Spirit

Recently I wrote an article in TES about the path from crisis to recovery in the COVID-19 response. In this article, I talked about the need to build resilience...

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Sir David Carter

Tough Times Don’t Last – Tough Teams Do!

March 2020 will be seen as a watershed moment for education in this country. It was the moment that concerns about public exams, the new inspection framework...

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Dawn Carman-Jones

COVID-19 – Testing the Resilience of our Governance Structures

I want to start by expressing sincere gratitude to everyone working in education at the moment, in all capacities; you are supporting our young people...

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Tom Rees

Business as Unusual for School Trusts

Life in a school or trust is always busy and full of challenges but a global pandemic has brought new problems for schools to wrestle with.

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Catherine Paine

Schools Rising to the Unprecedented Challenge of COVID-19

When I was asked to write this piece, the world was a different place. The original article that I had written was about how we were working across REAch2...

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Robert Gould and Jonathan Coyles

Transforming Energy Management: Trusts Taking the Lead on Carbon Reduction

As part of our COVID-19 resilience and recovery planning it is important to give consideration to the other global threat we face, that of the climate...

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Paula Williamson

Data Protection and COVID-19; The Keys to Securing Agile/Home Working

With Covid-19 declared a global pandemic, school trusts need to be prepared for homeworking. Organisations where agile working is the norm will already...

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Caroline Whitty

Introduction

Welcome to the new edition of Trust. With the ever present backdrop of some of the key challenges facing the sector, not least the issue of teacher recruitment...

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Leora Cruddas

Maximising Civic Impact

In the last edition of Trust, I wrote about school trusts as an insurgent mission. This is a bold mission, requiring spikiness and limitless horizons....

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Tom Rees

Mapping the Territory for Leaders of School Trusts

In Robert MacFarlane’s ‘Mountain of the Minds’, he tells the story of cartography through the ages. MacFarlane describes how explorers were able...

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Mandy Coalter, LLB, FCIPD

Creating A Great Place to Work

Despite all the turbulence around us with the election, Brexit, new Ofsted framework, education funding and so on, as we start the new year one issue remains...

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Jack Worth

The Balance Between Autonomy and Coherence

One of the most important challenges facing any school leader is deciding how best to create working conditions that maximise staff motivation to perform...

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Ben White

Exploring Teacher Workload

Since the publication of Making Data Work (the DfE Workload Advisory Group’s report on data use and workload) I have been invited in to explore workload...

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Nick Smee

Managing a Trust’s Reputation in the Online, Post Truth World

School trusts are facing unprecedented reputational challenges in a post truth world. Whilst the requirement for schools to have an online presence is...

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David Gooda

Succession Planning and Leadership Recruitment: a Crisis Not to be Wasted?

Trust boards discover they have a leadership vacancy in one of two ways. But whether planned or unexpected, it’s a supremely valuable moment, where the...

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Caroline Whitty

Introduction

Welcome to the new edition of Trust. I am pleased to provide my synopsis of the range of topical subjects covered in this issue.

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David Laws

Teacher Shortages: Is Pay an Issue?

The government continues to find it challenging to meet its recruitment targets for teachers – not least in shortage subjects. Meanwhile, a significant...

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Leora Cruddas

School Trusts – An “Insurgent Mission”

In their excellent book, The Founder’s Mentality, Zook and Allen talk about the insurgent mission as one of the key features of the founders of successful...

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Rebecca Boomer-Clark & Mark Gregory

The Work of School Improvement at Scale – Learning Lessons From The US

At the beginning of the original Academies Programme many curious school leaders looked across the Atlantic to learn from the US Charter schools movement,...

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Catherine Dottridge

McKinsey 7S Model: A Simple Framework for Success

Do you know how well your school trust is positioned to achieve its goals or what elements influence its ability to implement change successfully?

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Luke Sparkes

A Choice and a Commitment

The premise of Patrick Lencioni’s excellent book, The Advantage, is that the single greatest advantage any company can achieve is organisational health....

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Chris Kenyon

What’s Behind an Academy Trust’s Decision to Grow?

To put this in some context: academisation is still relatively young. And in this short space of time, those who academised have had to formalise collaboration...

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Roger Inman

There May Be Trouble Ahead: The Importance of Acting Early to Manage DfE Intervention into a Failing Academy

In a period of political uncertainty, many trusts find themselves facing forceful intervention by the DfE when one of their academies gets into trouble....

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Sarah Haythornthwaite

Closing the Reading Gap

As education leaders, but also as parents, I think we can all agree that reading is at the heart of all learning. So I found it encouraging that, since...

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Caroline Whitty

Introduction

Welcome to the first edition of Trust for the new 2019/20 academic year. I am pleased to provide my synopsis of the range of topical subjects covered in...

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Leora Cruddas

School Trusts as New Civic Structures

Earlier this year, I was delighted to give evidence to the UPP Foundation Civic University Commission. It was a privilege to have the opportunity to think...

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Richard Greenhalgh

Trusts and Their Schools – a Network of Excellence

The growth of multi-academy trusts provides the opportunity for organisational added value. However it presents too, the risk of non-value-adding bureaucracy...

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Amelia Walker

Self-Evaluation and Improvement – A View of the System

So….I used to be responsible for evaluation in Ofsted. I’ll just get that out there before I say any more as it is relevant to virtually everything...

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Andy Wolfe

Trust is Living Well Together

Reflecting on the word ‘Trust’ – the ‘T’ of our Multi Academy or Single Academy Trust designation – centres our thinking on the importance...

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Unity Howard

Free Schools – An Integral Part of England’s Education Landscape

In 2010, the coalition Government invited parents, teachers, businesses, charities and existing schools to establish new schools across the country, and...

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Leila Mactavish

Ark Teacher Training – Nurturing Early Career Teachers

Teaching is stimulating. You use your brain in numerous ways: as an academic, a communicator, a parent and an actor. Teaching makes your synapses fizz...

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Steve Forbes

Balancing Safeguarding with Delivering an Engaging Curriculum Enabled By Technology

Online technology in education is evolving, with cloud-based applications, social media, and great educational resources online all becoming commonplace...

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Emma Hughes

Two Things Boards and Executive Teams Should Be Working on Together

Like every organisation, school trusts are made up of lots of different teams. Whilst the board and the executive are teams within their own right, they...

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