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CEO Briefing November 2017

As we prepare for our Halls to be decked over the next week or so and the Christmas countdown officially starts; it’s been an action packed second half term to report back on so far and there’s lots more excitement just around the corner!

We’ve had a crazy couple of weeks (more than usual!) as we’ve been working hard to submit two bids to open new Free Special Schools in both Sheffield & Doncaster: if we’re successful, we know this will generate a huge amount of work for us but we passionately believe that South Yorkshire is in desperate need of more diversity and choice (and capacity!) in the special school sector and it would be a huge opportunity lost if these new schools aren’t developed in the right way. We should know by 22 December if we’ve been successful or not, and then the Department for Education will make their final judgement on which Trust will open the new schools by 31 March 2018!

Whilst contending with sickness bugs that have affected a large chunk of our school populations (children and staff), we’ve continued to make things better each and every day for our pupils. Over the course of November, our MAT School Improvement Lead Jill Walker commissioned a former Ofsted inspector and highly experienced special needs consultant—Graham Pirt—to visit all our academies to provide an objective assessment of our strengths and weakness.

I was really pleased to see and hear that where we believe we are is exactly where Graham feels we are, too. It’s a sign of good leadership and governance when an organisation can clearly identify both its strengths and its weakness. Knowing where we need to improve (and how) means we can channel our improvement efforts into the right areas, and that’s what our wonderful Headteachers are doing! Well done to everyone for making Graham’s visits such a positive experience: above everything else, he was really impressed with our staff and how much they care for our children!

A few of us visited the new Regional Schools Commissioner (John Edwards) in mid November to share our vision for Nexus MAT and ask for help and support in developing new provision—especially for young people aged 19-25. He was as supportive as he was challenging, and I came way feeling really positive about next steps.

I look forward to seeing all of you over the coming weeks as we enter Christmas overdrive and end 2017 in style!

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Posted in CEO Briefs on Nov 11, 2017

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