TSAT Leaders Conference

TSAT’s annual leadership conference is always an excellent opportunity for Trust Leaders to catch up, share best practice and refocus on the key priorities for the Trust. This year was no exception and it was a pleasure to welcome new faces and potential new leaders to our Trust.

One of the major themes of the conference was the embedding of cognitive thinking throughout the organisation. I had the pleasure of leading two sessions on this theme during the conference, the first to the Trust central leaders and the second to all Trust leaders. It was very pleasing to see how the shared services leaders were so open minded to adopting new working techniques and how readily they embraced the need for the whole organisation to develop a common language of working – see the linked slides.

Lee Miller, Deputy CEO, led an excellent session focused on supporting the shared services team to understand that the schools in the Trust need to be considered, and treated, as customers and that the team needed to become customer orientated. In this way, schools will feel well supported and able to focus on their core business of supporting students to achieve their full potential – see the linked slides.

Having a clear vision for the Trust and ensuring that everyone was “on-board” was one of the most important sessions of the conference. The “Mind Quiz” – you can see how you would do by looking at the slides – really helped everyone to reflect on how embedded our vision of a cognitive approach to education really was. This focus on our core beliefs was then further developed though the exploration of the power of habits – “we are what we habitually do”, Aristotle – and a reflection on personal, school and Trust habits. By recognising our own habits and that of our institutions we can then look to enhance those that support our vision and change those that may have become an unseen barrier to our collective goals.

School leaders also had the opportunity to feedback on what they would like to be spending their time on in school and which areas they would like the Trust and shared services to take responsibility for. Unsurprisingly, school leaders wanted to focus on children, teaching and learning and the transformation agenda allowing shared services to take on finance, site and HR. This feedback will help shape the development of shared services going forward.

Peter Martin, Chair of the Board, finished off the Vision presentation by outlining the desire for the Trust to have the maximum positive impact on the maximum number of people and our desire to link our 2 hubs over the coming years.

Gwynn Bassan, Executive Principal, shared with the group the continuing work of the New Horizons Teaching School Alliance. It was a useful reminder of just how much support the Trust is providing to the whole education sector rather than just our own schools and is an excellent illustration of how a schools led school improvement system can work.

The presentation by PLMR our PR consultants proved very interesting and helped us all appreciate the need to consider how we engage with the media to engage the positively with the widest possible audience – see slides for hints and tips.

Incyte led a session that enabled us to reflect on how best to progress the Trust Quality Assurance process. This was followed up by a brainstorming session by the school leaders on how to make the vision of peer to peer review and support combined with external verification a reality. This was a vital process in helping the Trust move forward its quality assurance processes and maximise the beneficial impact this can have. I was very pleased with how well the school leaders participated in this and would like to thank Gwynn Bassan and Claire Stevens for facilitating the discussion and collating the ideas into a workable process.

Feedback from the conference was very useful and positive and we will be adjusting the conference next year to reflect the desire for increased formal opportunities to share best practice and reflect on the lessons learned when things have not gone quite so well.

My thanks to everyone who attended and those who led sessions during the conference and I look forward to all of us taking the Trust forward this year,

Stuart Gardner


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Presentation Documents