2020 / 2021 articles

Robert McDonough

Introduction

This edition of Trust, our journal for Executive and Governance leaders, is a special conference edition. Our authors reflect on their experiences of conference and on some of the key policy issues facing us today.

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Steve Rollett

Introduction

Welcome to this December edition of Trust, which is the final edition of 2020. In some ways it would be nice to describe this as a bookend to what has...

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Leora Cruddas

Introduction

In the introduction to this edition of Trust, I want to make the case for ‘robust’ policy. Robustness can be defined as "a system’s ability to maintain...

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By Leora Cruddas and Steve Rollett

The Case for Collaboration

The Secretary of State for Education set out the Government’s ambition for every school to be part of a family of schools in a strong multi-academy Trust...

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Tiffany Beck

Shifting the Narrative Around School Trusts

At CST’s recent Annual Conference, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson promoted Trust Partnerships, an opportunity for schools to have an informal relationship...

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Adrian Shardlow

Towards a Fully Academised System – but Keep it in the Family

Gavin Williamson has a clear vision of the future of the state-funded school system and that is for every school to be part of a family of schools in a...

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Nick Gibb

The Early Career Framework: Bridging the Gap from ITT to a Sustained Career

With schools having welcomed all pupils back to the classroom, there is a sense of optimism as we see young people once again enjoying the benefits of...

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Mary Myatt

Essentialism and Getting Back on Track

‘The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.’ Stephen Covey

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Matt Larsen-Daw

Understanding our Place in Nature - The Potential Impact of Environmental Education

The Dasgupta Review, an independent review into The Economics of Biodiversity commissioned by the HM Treasury, was published on 2nd February 2021.

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Steve Rollett

Telling the Story of Intelligent Regulation

It was my pleasure to host a panel discussion at CST’s annual conference on the issue of regulation. We were joined by an esteemed group of panellists,...

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Steve Rollett

Introduction

It’s a privilege to welcome you to this latest version of Trust Journal. As you will see, once again we have another edition packed full of thoughtful...

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Leora Cruddas

Future Schooling

Many in the education commentariat are talking and writing about the future of schooling in England. These arguments, situated in the context of the global...

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Richard Gill

The Future of the Teaching Schools Council and the Potential Impact of Teaching School Hubs

In his 2020 Association of School and College Leaders speech, the Secretary of State for Education set out a significant package of reforms to the teacher...

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Hilary Spencer

Honouring Equality with Evidence

As we near the end of this calendar year, I don’t suppose many of us will be too sad to bid 2020 farewell. It’s been a year with many challenges for...

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By Peter Fonagy and Jaime Smith

Wellbeing: The Impact of the Pandemic and what Schools can do to Support Mental Health

In the wake of the pandemic, wellbeing has become something of a buzzword. This may seem paradoxical given the circumstances seem to be shrinking the possibility...

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Naureen Khalid

Chairing a Local Governing Body in a Multi-Academy Trust

Governance of any organisation is hugely important; schools are no different.

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Stuart Burns

The System: Some Reflections

40 years ago, I received an A-grade for my Y5 school holiday project on "The Solar System”, which reflected my early promise as a knowledge-rich analyst...

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By Martin Shevill and Leila Mactavish

The Impact of Covid-19 on Teacher Training

For trainee and early careers teachers, COVID-19 had the potential to completely upend their budding career development and aspirations. Whilst it will...

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Paula Williamson

Why Cyber Breaches Occur on Fridays – The Importance of Being One Step Ahead of your Service Provider

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, having to divert precious staff time away from operations to deal with a personal data breach isn’t good news....

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Leora Cruddas

Five Key Strategic Challenges for the Next Academic Year and Beyond

As we near the end of an extraordinary academic year, I thought it might be worth reflecting on the strategic challenges that next year will bring. I think...

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Charis Evans

The House of Tomorrow: The Activism and Values of Zaiuddin Yousafazi

It can be too easy to be critical of the fragmented, sometimes fractious state of English education and take our children’s right to universal state...

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John Prior

Preparing to Meet the Post-pandemic Challenges Head-on

Orchard Hill College and Academy Trust (OHC&AT) exists to support, enable and champion the talents, skills and rights of the most complex and vulnerable...

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Steve Hodsman

Effective Trusteeship: A Personal View

Steve Hodsman, Chair of Trustees of the Delta Academies Trust and National Leader of Governance, shares his thoughts about what makes trustees effective,...

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Paul Tarn

The Tham Luang Cave Rescue - A Parable for our Work with Disadvantaged Children

For those of you who were not able to attend the CST Virtual Conference last month, one of the many powerful keynote contributions was about the Tham Lung...

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Rachel de Souza

The Big Ask

This has been a year like no other for children. The sacrifices they have made are enormous, like not seeing friends and family, having to learn remotely,...

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Sam Twiselton

New Teachers – We Need to Look After Them More Than Ever Before

Covid-19 times have shown us more clearly than ever the importance of education and why we need to protect it. We have not only seen how hard it is when...

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Nick Hurn

Staff Absence Protection: The Mutual Alternative

With increasing pressures on budgets, and staff absences increasing due to COVID, Nick Hurn discusses how we can support our schools with an ethical staff...

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Laurence Holmes

Winning Together: The Value of Collaborative Working

At the recent CST virtual conference, we were delighted to co-present a Masterclass session with Renaissance, one of our key suppliers. In this session,...

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Ash Rahman

The Way Forward - Building Trust Culture Together

There is no escaping the fact that the pandemic has caused significant disruption to the education of all of our pupils but particularly to the most vulnerable...

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Ken Lloyd

An Ethos for Effective Questioning

This article sets out some personal thoughts in relation to possible approaches to delivering effective questioning and challenge at Trust Board meeti...

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Samantha Friedman

Access, Engagement, and Connection to Nature and the Implications for Child Wellbeing

Amongst the devastating impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic were several societal shifts that many people are likely interested in maintaining. For some families,...

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Steve Rollett

The Resumption of Ofsted Inspections – Key Points for Trust Boards to Consider

With a more ‘normal’ schedule of Ofsted inspections expected to resume in the Autumn term, let’s take a bit of time to remind ourselves of key school...

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Sue Baldwin

Joining, Merging and Growing Academy Trusts

When Hannah Woodhouse (RSC for the South West) and I joined a CST masterclass on ‘joining, merging and growing’ Academy Trusts, the discussion with...

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Ciara Campfield

Achievement through Collaboration: Exploring Multi School Solutions

The landscape of inter-school collaboration is complex, encompassing a wide range of different types of collaborative activity, both formal and informal...

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Amanda Quinn

Navigating the Challenges of Public Procurement

The UK leaving the EU in December 2020 raised questions this year on the impact of procurement within education and concerns about new legislation to consider...

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Steve Rollett

Stronger Together

It is wonderful to be able to write this piece as CST’s Deputy Chief Executive. My only regret is that I’m not doing so in happier times. That said,...

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Leora Cruddas

An Overview of Current Reforms - and the Case for Unprecedented Collaboration and New Forms of Leadership

This is a significant moment in the history of education in England. The policy reforms that are about to be implemented will shift the strategic picture....

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Steve Taylor

C.S. Lewis and the Lure of the Inner Ring

Last December I was fortunate to attend a webinar delivered by the leadership coach, Mitzi Wyman, entitled ‘The Lure of the Inner Ring’. Her content...

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Ian Bauckham CBE

The Great Education Question of the Day: Catch-up – What is it and What Should we be Doing?

Catch-up. It’s the term on everyone’s lips. Gaps have widened. Commentators and think tanks alike put forward competing superlatives for the scale...

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Louise Thomson

Re-coding Governance

It is often said that good governance is essential to a successful organisation. Consequently, governments, regulators, policy-makers and influencers have...

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Malcolm Trobe

Using the New Headteachers’ Standards Across a Multi-academy Trust

The brief to the Headteacher Standards Review Group was to develop Headteachers’ Standards for leaders of single schools. The review group, however,...

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Cait Cooper

Mentally Healthy Schools: Opening up Conversations about Mental Health

The pandemic, and successive lockdowns, will have impacted on children and young people’s mental health in a number of significant ways. They may have...

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John Camp

Together we're Stronger

The Compass Partnership is a group of seven schools; six primaries and one all-through special school. As a group, we have existed since 2011 and have...

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Elizabeth Fortin

Coping with Poor Mental Health; Pupils, Schools, and their Obligations

The mental health toll of interruptions to education on children requires urgent attention. Poor mental health may manifest itself in a variety of symptoms,...

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Dominic Herrington

Reflections on COVID

When the history of this period of education is written, one of the things that will certainly stand out is the response of our school system to an unparalleled...

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Ernest Jenavs

A Year of Change: School Staff Perception of Trusts During the Pandemic

School Trusts have been working tirelessly during the pandemic to support their schools and communities. But has that been appreciated by staff working...

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Ed Vainker

Remaining True to Vision and Values in a Post-Lockdown World

When we opened Reach Academy Feltham in 2012 it was with the conviction that we would deliver a life of choice and opportunity for our pupils only if we...

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Rowena Hackwood

A Leadership Baptism of Fire

Starting a new leadership role is an exciting challenge at any time – but how does it feel to have taken up a new CEO role during lockdown and the subsequent...

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Leora Cruddas

Introduction

This edition of Trust is about building the future together.

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Steve Rollett

A Bridge to the Future

The capacity of people to look optimistically into the future, even when the present is deeply challenging, is perhaps one of the most remarkable and uplifting...

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Reuben Moore

The Early Career Framework – Learning from the Early Roll-out

The Early Career Framework (ECF) provides such an opportunity for new teachers and their mentors right across the system. It addresses that most critical...

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Vanessa Ogden

Education for a Changing World: Lessons from the Pandemic and the Power of Virtual Learning

‘This school is not the million bricks, but the thousand hearts who carry more dreams than the night sky has stars.’ Anonna, Year 7, January 2021 taken...

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Warren Carratt

The Extraordinary Art of Being Ordinary

“May you live in interesting times” is, allegedly, an expression embraced by the English, taken from a Chinese curse. Before the COVID-19 pandemic...

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Anna Machin

Reflections on the Governance Professional Role in Academy Trusts

One of the many contradictions I have experienced over the past year since Covid-19 entered our lives, is that life can simultaneously feel like it is...

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Robbie Coleman

Providing a Sustained and Flexible Source of Tutoring Support to Schools

Gratitude has been hugely important this year. During lockdown, the Clap for Carers provided a much-needed positive moment every week. NHS rainbows dotted...

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Derek Lefley

The National Tutoring Programme – An NTP Tuition Provider’s Perspective

Perhaps one of the worst outcomes of the pandemic will be if the hard-won gains made by schools in closing the attainment gap were to be reversed or even...

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By Declan Vaughan and Tom Lyas

Social Mobility - Creating a Fair Playing Field

“I didn’t want my future to be shaped by how little money my parents had”. Words which were spoken during a catch up with one of our trainee solicitors....

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Phil Herriott

Fraudsters are NOT on Lockdown!

With schools focusing on keeping their pupils and staff safe, and minimising the disruptive impacts caused by the pandemic, fraudsters are ready to take...

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Roger Inman

Assured Governance: How to Control Risk in Academy Trusts

Risk is very much currently at the forefront of our minds as schools work tirelessly to manage the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. However managing...

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Mandy Coalter, LLB, FCIPD

Learning the Post-Lockdown Lessons of a More Agile Workforce

Back in February this year, I was physically present at a meeting with several HR colleagues from academy trusts. We were discussing the challenge of...

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By Sara Collins and Richard Dunne

Children Need Nature Now

Whilst COVID-19 caused us all to pause and radically changed our lives, many people rediscovered the power of being outside in nature.

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Nick MacKenzie

What to do about Members?

The pandemic has shown us very clearly the value of human capital - our people. Let us hope that going forward this and successive governments invest in...

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Robert Barham-Brown

Recovery and Rebuilding Better

March 20th 2020 was the date UK schools closed and sadly they were to remain closed to all their pupils for some considerable time. Whilst this dark day...

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Peter Collison

Digital Assessment in Trusts and their Schools

Digital technologies have been a saviour for many Trusts and their schools throughout the pandemic. With lessons over Zoom, collaboration work via Google...

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Winston Poyton

How School Trusts can Prepare and Plan for the Next Normal

Leaders in education have more than proven their worth over the past few months, especially in multi-academy trusts. They’ve rolled out sweeping changes...

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