Everyone is getting to grips with the new performance measures and these times of change are always a challenge, however whatever the measure the fundamental premise that high quality teaching and learning will deliver high quality outcomes, remains firmly at the heart of all we do. This drive for quality and high standards is absolutely central to improving outcomes for young people with obvious implications for social mobility.
We have been busy preparing our regional plan and identifying our key areas of focus for the year ahead. Tackling educational underperformance is a high priority. The region is very diverse with some areas having specific challenges with a historical legacy of poor performance in education, for example many of the ex-coalfield areas. If we are to achieve our vision then we have to address these challenges and find solutions. To do this I aim to establish a number of task and finish groups. Each group will be made up of system leaders who will consider the specific issue, identify successful and effective practice and share their learning with others. We will also be working with Teaching Schools to facilitate the development of programmes to support targeted themes within the region. We will keep you informed of progress and outcomes of these groups throughout the year.
Continuing to support MAT and sponsor development and growth as well as encouraging more sponsors to come forward will also be an objective for the year. Following our very successful events for MATs at all stages of development we will be offering similar programmes this year and will include preparation for health checks. We will be offering support for SAT’s to become MAT’s and also programmes for those MAT’s wishing to become sponsors. An important area of focus will be governance and as a HTB we will review governance arrangements before any future growth can be approved. It is important to ensure that there is separation between members and directors. The board of directors should have an appropriate mix of skills.
Many of our primary academies have already hosted primary roadshows for maintained schools considering becoming academies and we will continue to deliver a number of these over the coming months. We will also continue to host our forum on a half termly basis for our leading trusts and this group will continue to help shape developments within the region.
Thank you for your help and support last year. With my two new Deputy Directors, Carol Gray and Julie Taylor, I am hoping as a team we will be able to visit more academies and have a greater presence across the region. If you have any concerns, issues or positive case studies to share please do not hesitate to contact us.