Building capacity for a secure future

For many multi-academy trusts, whether newly formed or well established, the challenge of meeting and maintaining improvement goals across a family of schools over time can present real difficulties.  Frequently, direct intervention from a strong school can deliver some quick performance ‘wins’ but evidence from the academies programme suggests that these gains are not easy to sustain.

The main challenge seems to be one of capacity.  Most trusts have outstanding staff with a clear commitment to supporting colleagues in other schools, but it is often difficult for key individuals to be released to provide the depth of support required.  It is an approach that seems more suited to a sticking plaster approach than a long-term fix.

We believe that academy trusts and other groups of schools need to look beyond their immediate body of SLEs and LLEs and invest in developing trust-wide expertise and capacity – for today and for the future.

To allow this to happen, we challenge our partners to:

  • Invest in a coordinated programme of professional development so that all teachers can continually refine and develop their practice and potential middle and senior leaders can be identified and progressed – making a tangible difference to the trust as they go.
  • Explore the processes and systems that enable schools to work together most effectively. Frequently in academy groups there is a focus on shared ‘back office’ systems which can deliver savings and improve efficiency, but deep collaboration between educationalists, which can impact more directly on standards and progress, can often prove more challenging.
  • Adopt robust and scalable Quality Management processes that promote consistency and accountability across all member schools, and ensure that well-articulated plans are converted into tangible outcomes.

Through our collaboration with the NAHT, we have developed a partnership model specifically for trusts, federations and other less formal school networks that seeks to address each of these points, leading each trust to a point where it has the confidence and capacity to improve and excel.  You can find out more about NAHT Aspire Connect by following this link>>, and if you could like to discuss your groups particular requirements, please contact us to arrange a meeting with one of our Lead Achievement Advisers.