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Heads as Trust Leaders

22nd June 2020

It was a pleasure to spend a morning last week with Headteachers from Athena and GEP. The resolve, fortitude and commitment from our leaders has been commendable during this difficult period of educational lockdown. Colleagues will be the first to, rightly, point out that schooling is a team effort and all our staff have taken measures above and beyond during this time. However, it is right to thank and acknowledge the work of our school leaders at this time.

LeadershipOur meeting focused both on sharing the immediate and sustained learning at this time. All schools are adapting, improving and moving educational provision during these weeks. The situation certainly is dynamic, and the value of sharing, communicating and bouncing ideas off each other was well received last week.

The meeting also focused on looking towards the next academic year and improving our trust from within. Headteachers are formidable drivers for improving trust provision. As has been our mantra for some time: ‘the trust are the schools, and the schools are the trust’. Rather like the famous Kipling poem, ‘the law of the jungle’, it is vital that the rather arbitrary division of school and trust is blended. We, of course recognise that both organisations exist within their own right, but also as part of each other.

To this end, Headteachers are leading core aspects of our school improvement work at a trust level next year. Colleagues have always played an active role in trust development; however, we wish to build and develop this further as we move forward. It was inspiring to hear colleagues share their development goals, compare these to trust improvement aims and find an active middle ground that combines individual talent and wider development delivery. Sharing the best of ourselves for the good of the collective is a vital role of effective trust working and it is exciting what we can achieve when we work together.

The summer term continues to build in provision. Our blended learning and education model progresses as in-school contact grows, and on-line provision matures. It is still generally unclear what September provision will look like, even if the mood music seeks to secure a return for all.  What we do know is that through galvanising all our collective efforts we can support each other, provide quality for the children, invest in our staff and improve our trust. We are, after all, better together.

Jack Mayhew, Executive Headteacher  Athena Schools Trust

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