Schools and Trusts have adapted brilliantly, during Covid-19 to the complex demands of ensuring continuity of learning through the development of online, remote and blended learning provision.
WE have been inspired by the resilience education has displayed through this crisis – and encouraged by some of these positives that have emerged from such a difficult time.
- Our first trust influence forum explored what role should innovations in online and blended learning play in a post-Covid-19 world.
- Our second trust influence forum looked at assessment in summer 2021 with WE Founder Sir John Dunford (his ten point plan here), Martin Said from XP and Liz Robinson from Big Education.
The WE Trust Influence Forums are roundtable events that provide trust leaders with the space and time to collectively influence each other and the system and become a powerful, positive voice for the change they want to see in education.
Each Trust Influence Forum focuses on trust leaders’ perspective on an important issue facing education. Afterwards, we will share their thoughts in a draft position paper. This aims to stimulate reflection and conversation amongst schools and trusts within the WE network as well as across the wider system.
You are welcomed and encouraged to add your thoughts and comments using the Google Form at the bottom of this page. This is a living, breathing document which will be constantly updated.
Covid-19 has meant increased focus on the wellbeing of colleagues and pupils within our schools and trusts. We asked trust leaders how they’re responding to ensure their staff feel supported during the pandemic.
How have Trust Leaders responded to ensure their staff feel supported during the pandemic?
Trust leaders recognised that the staff in their trusts have shown high levels of resilience and professionalism in responding to the changing demands of educational provision throughout the pandemic. Whilst there are many examples of micro-actions undertaken to support staff with their well-being, the following common themes emerged from the conversation:
- An established compassionate and ethical culture/ethos has been essential as a foundation for authentic and meaningful support;
- The practicalities of ‘crisis’ leadership – timely and clear communication, flexibility and the need to recognise the individual and the challenges that they face;
- The importance of professional learning as a method of sharing practice in relation to Covid-19 strategies;
- Maintaining a focus on and a connection to purpose, recognising that it is through this that we can nourish and create a sense of well-being amongst all staff.
How Whole Education trust leaders are leading the way for personnel well-being, support and retention
Trust leaders were clear that the Covid-19 pandemic has provided a specific test of the trust wide relationships with and between staff. However, there is a longer term focus to create ethical organisations: values-led and where there is a rich culture of support and development for all staff.
The culture should be:
- Built upon professional trust
- Focused on the vision, values, mission and underpinned by moral purpose
- Supported by a rich and nourishing developmental entitlement for all staff
Looking to the future: Systemic cultural change – immediate priorities, our role and system expectations
Trust leaders reflected on the responsibility they have for ethical leadership within their own trusts, however they were also acutely aware of the pressures that exist at a system level. To ensure that all leaders and all organisations can lead ethically we must collectively challenge these pressures. Identifying the drivers for unethical behaviour at a national level:
- High-stakes accountability
- Challenging toxic behaviours