01 Mar

Graham
Welcome back everyone – I hope you all had a great break over half term.

Last week and this week a number of staff spent a few days exploring the issue of culture.

Last year, when over in the US with Apple, I became fascinated with the way the world’s most successful organisations operate. They appear to share a common element of ensuring conditions for growth (and success) are initially established and then constantly reinforced.

I asked Dr Ioan Rees, from Sycol, to support us with this work. Ioan has an excellent track record of working with organisations. The Sycol Programme delivers proven, practical guidance for schools and academies to ensure we achieve beyond excellence.

Beyond excellence is a particular challenge. I wrote in my last blog about the pace of change within the sector and our particular issues. I also stated that our Trust had an obligation to not only support the learners and families who are part of our group but also to disrupt the system for other children.

I use the term “disrupt” quite intentionally. We need to support and challenge the present system so that children, who may present as having additional needs, get the very best opportunity to succeed. To ensure we “disrupt” effectively we need to be clear about our vision, beliefs and principles. That’s what Ioan helped us with.

Process wise, a number of staff are continuing to meet to throw around ideas. We are looking at developing a revised vision and then solidifying our mission, values and key pillars of practice. We are looking forward to rolling out our ideas to the young people and our families/stakeholders.

Ensuring that we are robust in our vision, principles and practice will support any decisions that we make in the future. They will help guide our practice. If other schools want to join our Trust, we can talk about shared vision; if we want to build or develop new schools, we can build them with solid foundations; when we work with others, we can work in the knowledge that we agree with a set of core values. It’s all very exciting and essential work.

Today I also heard from the DfE that they are commissioning a longitudinal study of school leavers with additional needs. As many of you know, I chair a national group called SSV who have been lobbying for this information for 3 years. To be able to initially understand the destinations for our learners, and then set improvement targets, is certainly to be welcomed. We see this as a massive step forward. Our Trust would love to learn from other organisations who are achieving better outcomes than us.

So, all in all, a very productive week.

Have a great weekend,

Graham

You can find all Graham’s previous blog entries here