CEO Briefing - School Year 21/22
Ah, British summer time: you know how to tease us with the prospect of warm weather, only to show us why August really ought to reclassified as an Autumn month… Still, I hope you all managed to get some R&R over the summer holidays, and have come back to the new school year with energy and enthusiasm. From a leadership perspective, it’s been such a welcome break to not have to spend time contact tracing and reporting over the holidays: something which has dominated all school holidays over the last 18 months. Vacuums being abhorrent to nature, my summer was instead filled with lots of other bits and pieces, though I can still say that I (only just!) preferred Bing and PJ Masks to COVID-19 reporting.
I’ve already had the chance to visit 5 of our academies at the time of writing, and it’s been fantastic to see so many of our workforce back together again. It’s always great to see school communities reunited at the start of a new year, and the lifting of restrictions over the summer has allowed staff teams to be closer again - in greater numbers - than we’ve been able to be for 18 months. The positives this has generated were clear to see and feel in my visits so far. Abbey’s Jill Newbolt certainly seemed happy about it, this morning… (don’t ask!).
There is so much more to be excited about this year, too - as usual, I’ll utilise these monthly briefings to share latest news and updates, but here are some of the highlights we’ve been working on over the summer...
As a Trust, we will be developing our Wellbeing Plan as part of our commitment to the new DfE Wellbeing Charter, which the Trust has signed up to! Many of the recommendations in the Charter are already common practice in our schools, so we have strong foundations on which to build.
We will be launching our new Nexus Learning Institute this autumn, which will outline the extensive learning and development offer we have for all our employees. One element of this is our new future senior leaders’ programme, Generation NeXt, with the inaugural cohort being enrolled this half term. The Trust Parliament initiative is also being introduced this year, with all our schools adopting the Government's Pupil Parliament model. However, we want to take this a step further and apply a model of voice and agency to all aspects of Trust business, which connects into school and Trust governance. This will really strengthen both pupil and staff engagement. I can’t wait to see this begin to take shape.
The last 18 month have been a surreal time to be alive, and working in public service through such circumstances has brought many challenges, but far more successes. I continue to be overwhelmed by the selflessness and commitment of our staff. We know that we are likely only a few weeks away from the return of face masks and bubbles in schools, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise with reduced social distancing measures. But that is what viruses do: they breed and they spread. Hopefully, the strength of the vaccine in reducing the progressiveness of the virus in the vulnerable and adults - combined with the low reaction levels that children and young people have shown - will mean we can come through this autumn and winter with less disruption than 2020, and build on that for an even better spring and summer where things really are back to what we know and want. See you all soon!
Posted in CEO Briefs on Sep 08, 2021More News