29 November 2016

Around the ATLP in 80 days

By Richard Gill, CEO, the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership

It’s been 80 days since I started my journey as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the ATLP; 80 very satisfying days where, every week, I learn more about the role of a CEO in the current education climate. I may not have circumnavigated the globe during that time, but I have regularly visited all of our primary and secondary schools across Coleshill, Erdington and Four Oaks and, daily, worked closely with my Business Support Team, Trustees and Local Governing Bodies.

At the same time, all of our children are setting out on their own ‘voyages’, with a destination to discover a brave new world and we need to make that journey as enjoyable and memorable as we can.

Throughout my travels it has become clear that we are not seven islands, but one although there is still much more to achieve.  Our strength is in collaboration – not the type that is imposed by any one school –  but from equal, organic partnerships, such as the recent primary school writing day (see our superheroes) and the ATLP student leadership sessions, across all our academies.

mat-writing-day-children

School improvement also requires robust leadership. Last week we welcomed candidates from both inside and outside of the ATLP, to our ‘Aspire to Headship’ programme, which aims to promote the next generation of school leaders.

I continue to support the work of the Teaching Schools Council across the West Midlands; the opportunities afforded by a school led system are exciting and we must not allow ourselves to waste this opportunity. I strongly support the development of an effective education system where school improvement is led by the best headteachers, principals and school leaders.

Having a Teaching School within the multi-academy trust is a responsibility we take seriously ensuring that our alliance plays their part in delivering on this agenda so that outcomes and opportunities for all are improved. The Teaching School is the heartbeat of school improvement both within the MAT and beyond where we share the expertise of many across schools, across LA borders and across phases ensuring that excellent practice is shared across a wider area and by different people from different contexts.

With reference to the ‘Schools that work for Everyone’ document, I applaud the aim of the consultation when it states at the outset that: ‘this consultation sets out the Government’s aim to create an education system that extends opportunity to everyone.’ This, however, does not need others to support such an ambition. In the spirit of collaboration all have a role to play but each must play to their strengths and latest Ofsted data showing that 89% schools are at least good is testament that academies and maintained schools can deliver on this policy intention.

As a MAT we are committed to the proposal of increasing the number of good and outstanding school places that are available to all children and young people regardless of their background.

As such, our journey towards excellence continues, with seven schools all heading in the same direction and a firm commitment to walk alongside, collaborate with or support anyone at any time so long as young people benefit from improved life chances.