Welcome to Key Voices - a podcast by The Key. We will be bringing you a summary of the latest education news and interviews, alongside timely and important developments in education.
Key Voices #144 - Leading a trust through a cyber attack and reflections on the role of the CEO with Sir Dan Moynihan
This week we talk to Sir Dan Moynihan, CEO of the Harris Federation about leading the trust through a major cyber attack last year. We also talk about some of the systems that underpin the Harris Federation’s school improvement and efficiency models, as well as hearing Sir Dan’s reflection on the role of the CEO.
We talk about:
How the cyber attack happen and how the story unfolded including how they got support to negotiate with the hackers
How prevalent such attacks are and how all schools should assume they will be targeted
The challenges the team at Harris faced and the support they got to recover including how the precautions they had taken had allowed them to open safely with all IT systems down
Sir Dan’s own experience of being in charge during such a difficult time
Additional steps the trust is taking to protect itself in future
How Harris uses a team of subject specialists to support school improvement on the ground as part of its turnaround process
How they have managed to find efficiencies through centralisation and simplification
The need to retain agility even as the organisation becomes larger and the importance of feedback from the schools about the central services they provide.
The role the CEO has in constantly articulating the vision and mission of the organisation, recruiting talent, enabling action and dealing with difficult problems
You can get more detail about The Harris Federation’s experience of a cyber attack here.
You can learn more about The Harris Federation here.
Key Voices #143 - Inclusive leadership with The Difference
This week we talk to Shaun Brown, Programmes Director at The Difference and Mohamed Abdallah, Head of The Difference Inclusive Leadership Course about their pioneering inclusive leadership training. We discuss the theory that underpins the learning and how to overcome some of the barriers schools can face when being truly inclusive in their approach.
We talk about:
Mohamed and Shaun’s experiences in mainstream and alternative provision
What The Difference does as an organisation
Why the inclusive leadership course exists and how it is different from other training available
The theory that underpins the course and an understanding that all pupils have wellbeing, learning and safeguarding needs
How behaviour practice and behaviour systems should ideally fit together and align
Some of the ways in which participants have implemented strategies from the course and the impact it has had on their schools
How the pandemic may have provided an opportunity for schools to rethink their approach to behaviour and inclusion
You can find out more about The Difference here and the Inclusive Leadership Course here.
Key Voices #142 - The role of trusts as talent architects with Mandy Coalter
This week we talk to Mandy Coalter, Founder of Talent Architects about her recent paper on the role trusts can play in making schools great places to work. She also explains how policymakers should consider trusts more when making policy that impacts the education workforce. Mandy also talks about how schools and trusts are broadening their understanding of what can be achieved for pupils when you take a strategic approach to recruiting, retaining and developing your people.
We talk about:
Mandy’s career and why she founded Talent Architects
How trusts can create additional capacity for school improvement
The role policymakers can have in shaping the sector and how they need people with education expertise to help them make the best policy
The vital role trust and school leaders play in shaping the culture in their own schools and trusts, and building their employer brand
The need for more joined-up thinking in education policy so improvements in one area are not cancelled out by changes in another
The changing role of HR professionals and how transformative they can be when they work right at the heart of an organisation
Why education can be slower to change employment practice than other industries
Practical ways to become an employer of choice
HR issues on the horizon for trust leaders and how to balance day to day issues with longer term strategic plans
You can read Mandy’s original paper for the Confederation of School Trusts here.
Key Voices #141 - Pupil Learning Experience and Well-being with Edurio
This week we talk to Iona Jackson, Head of Research at Edurio and Anna Menzel, a university student who got involved with Edurio’s research when she was still at school. We hear about what they discovered during the course of their surveys and their thoughts about what makes a difference to pupil well-being. Anna also shares her insights into being there for her friends as a “first responder” to their problems and her reflections on mental health while at school.
We talk about:
Why Edurio decided to design and run the survey
How Anna got involved with Edurio in the first place and how she inspired one of the questions in the survey
The main findings of the survey, including what it tells us about how well, safe, happy, lonely pupils are feeling and how that changes depending on various student and school characteristics
Some of the factors that might be driving pupils to feel more stressed and anxious
Edurio’s finding that a higher proportion of pupils are now feeling lonely and who they go to for support
Some of the challenges of balancing growing older and building resilience with unhelpful and negative stress
The importance of the role of the first responder and how schools can support pupils in these roles, and indeed all pupils, to listen to their friends when they need them
“Looking back at my exams now that I’m out of school… they always felt like the be-all and end-all and they never were.”
You can download Edurio’s Pupil Learning Experience and Well-being Review
Key Voices #140 - Creating a culture of flexible working in your school as part of school improvement strategy with Asma Maqsood-Shah
This week we talk to Asma Maqsood-Shah, Principal at High Hazel’s Academy in Sheffield and part of United Learning Academy Trust, about how she overcame her doubts about introducing flexible working at her school and how creating a flexible culture contributed hugely to the school’s improvement journey. We discuss the initial issues the school faced, how they adopted flexible working and what some of the benefits have been.
We talk about:
Asma’s background and career to date
The school’s history, context and issues with staff turnover, absence and morale
Why Asma was initially concerned about encouraging flexible working amongst her staff
The importance of developing a rationale around flexible working and a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to flexible working requests
How flexible working fitted into work the school was doing to improve alignment, engagement and leadership
Some of the challenges Asma and her team overcame around cost, articulating equity of access
The benefits and improvements staff, pupils and parents have seen as a result of adopting a culture of flexible working
What further developments there might be in the future
You can learn more about the benefits, practicalities and how to overcome the challenges associated with flexible working here and here
WomenEd also have a range of case studies on how to make flexible working work.
You can watch the original Teaching Vacancies webinar referenced in the introduction here. You can also check out the Teaching Vacancies service here - which makes it easy for you to search for and post jobs that are flex friendly.
Key Voices #139 Getting into governance with Governors for Schools
This week we talk to Hannah Stolton, Chief Executive at Governors for Schools and Nisadha Bandhara, Chair of Governors at Webster Primary School in Manchester. We discuss what makes a good governor, trends in governor recruitment and Nisadha’s own experience taking over the chair at her school. Hannah and Nisadha also share advice for prospective governors and make the case for volunteering.
We talk about
The work of Governors for Schools
Nisadha’s experiences of governor recruitment and becoming Chair of a Single Academy Trust
Governors for Schools’ new ‘All Pupils Every Ambition’ campaign
The skills Nisadha has brought to the role and what she has learned from being a governor
The kinds of skills governing boards are looking for in new recruits
How Covid-19 has impacted governor recruitment
The benefits and challenges of remote governance
Advice from prospective governors
You can see some of the work going on at Webster Primary on their instagram page here
You can sign up to Governors for Schools Webinars here and learn more about the ‘All Pupils Every Ambition’ campaign here
Excellent SEND Podcast
I have learnt an enormous amount from this podcast. I have been on many training sessions Re. SEND, but have never acquired so much information in one session. The level of Adam's knowledge and experience is vast!
Many thanks to Adam and The Key.
Very interesting and informed
The topics are varied and the calibre of guests is excellent - some ‘big hitters’ in Education but also lots of more personal conversations with professionals working on the front line of schools and education.