24 Nov

Graham
I received some great news this week but more on that later. This week I have been supporting our local governors and trustees with a number of monitoring and evaluation activities. To ensure all our key stakeholders are appraised of progress and attainment, safeguarding, financial and staffing matters, many of our senior staff are asked to complete termly monitoring pro-formas. The governors and trustees are then able to scrutinise every element of school performance and support and challenge in equal measure.

Last week we concentrated on Hollinwood Academy. Overall, I was delighted with the performance of the school. One of the key messages that came through was the performance of the staff team, particularly around their proficiency in teaching. I was also delighted to hear about all the interventions that take place to support learning. These interventions ensure that as our children and young people face barriers, our teams know they can support and guide them accordingly. The knowledge the teams have of every one of our children was truly inspiring. This coming week we will concentrate on New Bridge School.

I also had a really interesting meeting with Martin Blair from Hays Recruitment. Many of you will recall that we used Hays to support with the recruitment for a new head teacher at New Bridge. We were delighted with the manner in which they conducted the process and I know that the outcome of appointing Gavin will definitely support the school in continuing its journey towards excellence. The idea of using recruitment agencies is relatively new for the school sector. There is no doubt that appointing to middle and senior roles within schools is becoming more and more challenging. Using the experts at Hays saves our trust both time and money. However, the most impressive aspect we have found is that they help all our schools in matching the right staff with our vacancies. Listening to Martin I also believe they have a vested interest in improving the outcomes for all our learners. If our trust is to be successful, we will continue to partner with companies such as Hays, Manchester City, Premier Inn, Manchester University, Royal Oldham Hospital, First Choice Homes……and Apple – so, on to my news!

I applied a while ago for a place on a leadership learning programme with Apple. Twenty school leaders across the country have been selected to go over to the USA for 4 days during next year’s Easter holidays to work alongside colleagues from Apple. I was delighted to get an email last week informing me I had been selected – what a brilliant opportunity! I will have the chance to engage with and learn from some of the key figures at Apple, explore a range of leadership themes for high performance and engage with great schools, including some in the Apple ConnectED programme. The study visit will have a strong academic focus and on my return to the UK I have to apply and disseminate what I’ve learnt across local, regional and national networks. I’ll have the opportunity to :

  • share how learning technologies are enhancing pedagogy
  • engage thought leaders on creating high performance organisations
  • establish cutting-edge thought leadership and practices to disseminate within the UK school system

We constantly tell all our children and young people to develop a love of learning, to never stop learning and to always challenge yourself – I’m trying to practise what we preach!! What a privilege.

Take care,

Graham

You can find all Graham’s previous blog entries here