08 Feb

Graham

In this week’s blog I’d like to mention our many ‘unsung heroes’.

Over the course of the week, I’ve dealt with a number of technical, financial and policy issues. This is where our Trust teams come into their own.

First mention goes to our amazing finance team, led by Nigel Woodworth. This week they’ve spent time analysing, planning and predicting budgets. As many of you know, I have been working at a national level to ensure our children and young people get a fair financial deal. Our finance team put this into operation. At times, it can be particularly challenging as many of the plans our school leaders have, at this time, are just not affordable. One of the significant benefits of having our own Trust team is that they ensure we effectively utilise every last penny. Also, a huge nod of appreciation to Andy in our payroll team – he makes sure we all actually get paid on time!!

Next, I’d like to comment on our premises teams. Every single one of our site teams work tirelessly to ensure the children and young people learn in clean and safe learning environments. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cleaner school than Spring Brook Upper!! On top of that, they carry out a myriad of improvement jobs. Since the Christmas vacation we’ve put lots of canvasses around all our sites, we’ve painted, we’ve repaired, we’ve decorated, we’ve put up screens.

As importantly, our technical teams have ensured that our IT infrastructures are fit for purpose. We’ve now rolled out our 1:1 iPad programme to 4 schools. New Bridge School and Hawthorns were the latest schools to start their journeys. I mustn’t forget our transport team who seem to be playing a more active role term on term. They ferry the children and young people all around the North West so that they can learn in the most appropriate learning environments.

Now on to our HR teams. As part of our overall strategy, it’s vital that our HR teams ensure the positive well-being of all our staff teams. It’s extremely important that we not only recruit the very best people but then support and retain them. Our HR teams and school leaderships ensure that we get the right people, teaching the right pupils and students in the right schools. Our training and development teams are also instrumental in making sure our staff are properly supported with their training and development needs.

I’d like to also thank our amazing internal and external communication teams. Internally we’re embarking on our New Bridge TV – there are rumours about a radio station (!) – and a ‘New Tube’ site. We have over 1700 Facebook followers and our Heads’ blogs regularly receive over 1000 weekly viewings. Liz and Wendy do this, and their other jobs, with amazing speed and commitment. The first faces many of you see when you come into our schools and organisations are our brilliant reception and administration teams. We know that you find them helpful and courteous. Thank you all.

Finally, I’d like to mention a lady that I have had the privilege of working alongside for the last 20 years. She has been our ‘go to’ around any issues of process – she is a font of knowledge around school set ups and systems – she has developed our Dashboard system. She’s led the bidding process for Free Schools and almost single-handedly brought in £20 million pounds of investment into our boroughs. Please step up, Rita Righini. One of my favourite phrases is “I’ll leave that with you!” I’m dreadful at dealing with the detail in any project. We are massively successful because we have an Operational Director like Rita. She’s the one who makes sure we are compliant, we’re legal, we can afford it and, most importantly, that it gets done.

Thank you all for your commitment to our Trust and Group – we know we’re on a journey. Most importantly, we also know that it’s only by being together, by working as a team, that we can make a difference.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend,

Graham

You can find all Graham’s previous blog entries here