The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

School collaboration

Lisa Griffin

MATs Summit 2017: four phases of school improvement

‘School improvement is strongest when schools work together.' Lisa Griffin reports back from the first day of our multi-academy trust event. Sir David Carter sets out his vision for the future of school improvement School improvement was the theme of the day as the third annual MATs Summit kicked...
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Karen Burns

Let’s stay together – in a MAT

Personalising the art of retention is key to keeping staff. Karen Burns describes why multi-academy trusts provide more options to aid the retention of talent. Overwhelmingly the biggest contributor to staff retention is the feel and experience of working in a school on a day to day basis. It can...
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Gareth D Morewood

Why is co-production so powerful? Learning from research

There is a strong research basis to support co-production. Read on for a summary of key findings and how we can apply them in schools. After 20 years working in schools with young people and families, the last fifteen as SENCo, there is one thing I am very sure about: working together with parents/...
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Denise Inwood

Teaching schools must work together, but they need a helping hand

Six years on from the introduction of teaching schools, there’s a challenge to be faced: the absence of any coordinated school-to-school support. Teaching schools were first introduced in 2011 to facilitate systemic change in teacher training. Since then, it has become evident that the support they...
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Steve Taylor

MATs: a 'try before you buy' approach

Executive head Steve Taylor explains why his multi-academy trust are taking struggling schools on loan for a year as part of a ‘try before you buy’ scheme. Robin Hood Multi-Academy Trust formed in September 2016 with a clear vision: to test the boundaries of education, take risks and follow what we...
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Lisa Griffin

Establishing or joining a MAT: autonomy vs capacity

Our Establishing or Joining Multi-Academy Trusts conference was a day of debate, thoughtful questions and honest answers. Lisa Griffin highlights some of the key learnings. Autonomy and capacity were the big buzz words of the event. For most of the attendees who were looking for guidance on whether...
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Sue Birchall

Academisation u-turn: a change for the better?

The government's decision to row back on academisation spells uncertainty for many, a welcome relief for others. What will the future hold for the sector? The Education Bill, which included legislation forcing academisation, has been dropped. Yet another conundrum for schools, a change of heart...
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Lisa Griffin

‘A revolution is happening’: Tim Coulson on multi-academy trusts

At our recent MATs Summit, regional school commissioner Tim Coulson spoke to us about the role of the RSC and developing successful relationships with trusts. What do you think of the suggestion we heard earlier from Dame Dana Ross-Wawrzynski that MAT inspections should be based on an appraisal...
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Liz Worthen

‘Because you care, you can pull it off’: Lord Blunkett at the MATs Summit 2016

Grammar schools, career pathways, dealing with controversy and creating change: David Blunkett reflects on the current landscape for leaders in education. One of the highlights of the Optimus Education MATs Summit was hearing Lord Blunkett in conversation with Laura McInerney , editor of Schools...
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Katie Renton

The aim of teaching school alliances

Optimus Education recently held the ‘National Teaching School Summit 2015’ in London, bringing senior leaders from all across the country to meet and share their strategies for developing teaching schools. Katie Renton, junior content executive, summarises the main aims that were discussed...
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