The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

School collaboration

Tiffany Beck

Multi-academy trust governance: your questions answered

Governance was a hot topic at our annual MATs Summit. Tiffany Beck, chair of trustees at Maritime Academy Trust, answers some popular questions from the event. 1. We have a shortage of governors and trustees and require more skilled professionals. Can you share any tips on recruitment? Ask your...
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Laura McInerney

Learning from each other: lessons from the MATs Summit

Chair of our annual Multi-Academy Trusts Summit Laura McInerney looks back at her experience of the event and shares some memorable moments. An irritating truth of teaching is that no matter how long you spend planning for pupils to learn some big, important concept, events will always overtake...
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Lisa Griffin

MATs: inspection and accountability

We asked three multi-academy trust CEOs for their views on Ofsted, inspection and how MATs can measure and evaluate their own impact. Ofsted have asked for the power to inspect MATs. What would this mean for trusts? The key issue is not who inspects MATs, but rather how MATs are to be inspected...
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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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