This blog is written by Douglas Archibald, Executive Director of Whole Education since its founding in 2010. He reflects on our 2019 Summer Conference, and exciting plans ahead for our national network.
I write this with a mixture of pride and excitement as Whole Education prepares for its 2019 Summer Conference and to the next academic year, when WE will celebrate our 10th birthday.
Indeed, there is a lot to be proud and excited about as I look through the inspiring work that 25 Whole Education schools will be presenting about at our Summer Conference (see programme below).Breakout sessions- SC 19
Looking through them, I’m reminded of the inspiring and courageous leadership across the network, which has led to so much innovative and impactful work in delivering a ‘whole education’. Like others in the network, these are schools that are helping learners develop the wider skills and qualities they need while at the same time ensuring all students do well academically.
All of these schools have long been focused on delivering a high-quality, (whole) education based on what they know their learners need to be able to thrive in learning and in life and work. They have always thought deeply about their intent as a school rather than doing what the system may be suggesting, always looking out to other schools for inspiration and ideas.
We’re encouraged by OFSTED’s new framework and the general focus on quality of education and with greater responsibility on schools validating what is best for their learners and accountability on whether or not they are receiving that. We are cautiously optimistic on how OFSTED will oversee this and how the system as a whole will respond, but are excited about how our network of schools can lead the way for those that deem a whole education as what their learners need.
Alongside delivery work to support our schools, we’ve spent much of this year working on our new 3 year strategy and with it working with our schools to develop a new refreshed core offer for our primaries, secondaries and trusts.
Essentially, this is all focused on working more closely with our schools and trusts to deliver a high-quality, whole education. We will provide support at all levels in the school, from more regular visits and check ins with our most senior leaders, work with senior leaders on our Leading a Whole Education programmes to deliver impact projects, and helping teachers to master evidence based ‘two for one’ approaches to teaching and learning that deliver academic results while developing wider skills and qualities at the same time.
For more on our core offers click here.
We’ve also been busy growing the Whole Education team to be able to deliver all this support and have a significantly refreshed leadership team with some new faces and some new roles. The Executive Leadership team now comprises James Pope, who will oversee Schools and Trusts, and myself to oversee Development.
We have also grown our teams at Primary and Secondary with Lisa Ling, our Secondary Director, now joined by Jo Corrigan as Director of Primary from SSAT. Rosie Leonard-Kane will be our Head of Programmes working on ensuring quality across all that we do, with David Crossley supporting all our work around effective implementation as Associate Director.
For more information on our whole team see here.
But of course, the defining feature of Whole Education is that we are a network of schools and a very intentional one. We’re proud of the level of commitment and quality work happening in our schools across the country, but also of the level of commitment and support they give to each other. Our summer conference today with almost one hundred and fifty dedicated professionals is a celebration of that.
If you want to be part of this growing network, click here to get in touch.