The key is found in training

27th January 2020

This Monday sees our half-termly collaborative training session return once more. This is an exciting opportunity to complete continuing professional development, leadership enhancement and network opportunities. Much has been made in recent months of a school’s ability to reduce its workload for its staff; to seek ways to make the challenging but rewarding role of teaching more manageable. Training and networking opportunities, like those on offer this week, are precisely such an example.

Reinventing the wheel is an operation that schools complete up and down the country. Indeed, on occasion, government policy necessitates such activity. The truth is that many teachers and support staff are working on the preparation of resources for effective classroom learning on exactly the same topics at exactly the same time. GCSE mock review lessons in physics to Y2 story maps, Y4 Great Fire of London … the list goes on.

To explore how we can help one another reduce workload but increase quality is at the heart of Athena collaboration, and the centre of our strapline ‘better together’.

Tonight sees Pupil Premium networks, Primary English meetings and Secondary Maths workshops, Middle Leadership training sessions, Heads of Sixth Form collaboration and a whole host of other activities designed to benefit staff learning, reduce workload and improve classroom quality.

We have begun in the production of shared folders for these networks and training courses to act as a repository for training materials and classroom resources. This will take a while – but is an important step in building a collaborative approach that really makes a difference to teachers and Support assistants.

Training and sharing really are the keys to a purposeful future. See which doors we can unlock.


Jack Mayhew, Executive Headteacher  Athena Schools Trust