It goes without saying that the aim of any school or trust is educational excellence and continued improvement, but what does that look like, and how can it be achieved?
Nene Education Trust has recently outlined its clear strategy – related to its established ethos of work, world and wellness – on how it hopes to continue to raise aspirations and develop character in a positive environment.
The trust’s five-year Strategic Development Plan focuses not just on school improvements and educational excellence but also on a broad range of expertise, including mental health and wellbeing and pastoral care.
This applies to teaching staff, support staff and other professionals within the trust, and to the learners, so that everyone has a set of shared principles. At the heart of everything we do within our schools is the aim of enabling each young person to achieve highly and be successful in life, contributing back to the world in which we live.
We are extremely excited that former National Schools Commissioner, Sir David Carter, has agreed to act as an adviser to Nene Education Trust over the next year or so. Sir David, who was knighted for services to education in 2013, will support the board of trustees and will be involved in at least five strategic sessions during the year, and we hope that his input will be invaluable in helping us to develop and deliver our plans.
Our shared principles are the DNA running through all we do in creating the culture of our successful multi-academy trust, and through them we want to develop a trust of highly effective and sustainable schools, working in collaboration to improve and maintain high educational standards in order to advance education for the public benefit.
Throughout their educational journey in the Nene Education Trust, we aim to develop all our learners within a positive environment of learning, along with opportunities to develop their spiritual and moral compass so that they grow with integrity.
Our five-year strategic plan will focus on six key areas:
- Educational excellence
- School improvement
- Developmental organisation
- Mental health and wellbeing
- Collective responsibility
The importance of shared principles is to create a culture where everyone feels valued for the part they play and that they reach a point where they genuinely live and act out our values. Everybody is involved in building and contributing to that culture and has the chance to develop through personal and professional growth for individuals and teams.
Whether professionals or learners, we will all develop a greater sense of what it is like to be part of a vibrant and diverse community, embedding values and personal characteristics in our children and young people so that they are prepared for later life and contribute positively to society.
There does, of course, need to be a practical side to achieving our aims and we will be using evidence-based research and building and utilising partnerships with other local schools and trusts to identify our priorities. We want to work together, and be outward facing and ambitious, and invest extra resources, people and time into school improvement.
As an example of these aims:
- All schools in the trust will be judged Good or better by the seventh term after joining the trust. Schools already recognised as Good by Ofsted will maintain this judgement at subsequent inspections but will have at least two outstanding areas.
- All students should be able to describe and demonstrate their school’s values and describe how these will enable them to contribute positively to society.
- We have implemented clear processes in HR, finance, estates, IT, statutory policies and professional development.
- We celebrate achievements through social media posts and marketing, and through our annual Nene Education Trust Awards.
- We will continue to develop strong links with the community at large by providing facilities to be used for the improvement of community health and wellbeing.
School improvement is the responsibility of everyone across the trust. That means collaboration and creating a culture where everyone aspires to be better to underpin future successes. In its wider sense, the infrastructure of resources, facilities and services will enable education-facing leaders to focus on school improvement and educational excellence leading to improved outcomes.
Nene Education Trust is an eight-school multi-academy trust. The trust’s schools are Windmill Primary Raunds, Stanwick Primary, Newton Road School Rushden, Raunds Park Infants, St Peter’s CE Junior, Woodford CE Primary, Redwell Primary School in Wellingborough and Manor School, Raunds.