“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each”
The story is always about moral purpose. It is always about the young people we are responsible for, it is always about their learning and development and it is always about us going the extra mile to ensure they can achieve their dreams. We are seeking to develop a strong values-based multi-academy trust with like-minded leaders. Building brighter futures is our single most important aspiration.
As educational leaders we find ourselves at one of the most critical points in the history of public education. Changes happening now under Government policy mark a radical departure from the last 150 years of state public education.
The levers in the Education and Adoption Act, alongside the dramatic decline in local authority funding make it impossible to provide the level of support and challenge previously offered, this combined with very real funding pressures to school budgets means that the process of academisation will accelerate over the next 12 months. As a result, the Government’s policy intention that almost all schools will become academies providing support and challenge for each other through formal partnerships will happen.
At such an important juncture and with such a changing educational landscape it is crucial that school leaders take control and navigate through the terrain and ensure they do what is right for their school and its community and most importantly the pupils and students. The school’s destiny must remain in the hands of its leaders, governors and parents. This is why now is a good time for all of us to be considering our strategic futures.
The Futures Trust is a multi-academy trust established just over a year ago. We currently comprise two secondary schools with two primary schools joining shortly. We aim to develop a strong values-based multi-academy trust committed to building brighter futures for everybody within the communities we serve. We want to attract similar thinking schools driven by mutually enforcing core values. We are passionate about raising the horizons and ambitions of the pupils, students and families we serve. We want to make a difference to their lives by providing them with an exceptional educational and personal experience that helps and supports them to develop their own individual journeys, and in the most profound sense, through their own abilities to make a difference to themselves and others. We want our pupils and students to have the best chances in life, be confident and competitive, highly valued and able to contribute fully to the community they live in. We value and recognise the importance of academies working in partnership with their communities and helping to ensure they actively build commitment from those communities whilst at the same time are accountable to those communities they serve.
Our goal is for each academy to be judged outstanding, to be seen as a beacon of exceptional practice across the locality and to be the school of first choice in the local community. This can only be realised through outstanding school leadership. As the Trust grows, school leaders will be able to share their expertise and build the skills necessary to achieve this goal. School leaders will be able to shape the ethos and direction of the Trust, the quality of educational provision it provides as well as the opportunities generated through genuine collaborative partnership. We believe that from the outset The Futures Trust offers the opportunity to bring together a group of leaders driven by a passion, integrity and commitment to shape the future and enable children, who face many barriers to their learning, to be successful. We believe that all pupils and students, regardless of their starting points, can achieve if they are taught well and are supported effectively. Our belief is underpinned by 3 clear values:
- Learners First – teachers and leaders totally focused upon the educational benefit of our students
- It’s About Learning – students, teachers and leaders focused upon developing and improving their learning and development
- No Barriers – no excuses, only support to ensure students, teachers and leaders maximise their achievements.
We are committed to the principle of excellence through collaboration and partnership, a common desire to learn from each other, share experiences and be mutually supportive. From this shared commitment and belief in mutual support individual academies will be strengthened. By joining together and working collaboratively, we can help each other create sustainability and security and capitalise on and develop the professional talent that exists in our schools and academies.
Whilst The Futures Trust is passionate about collaboration we are sensitive and respectful of the history, richness and uniqueness of every school. This is why we are called The Futures Trust and not named after the founding school, so that joining schools could retain their unique brand and identities. Unless your school is in very severe difficulties, joining The Futures Trust would mean retaining autonomy whilst working in partnership with similar academies and their leaders centrally supported by specialist functions.
This is an exciting time to join The Futures Trust. In the next 12 months leaders will have the opportunity to shape, mould and develop this new learning community. It is time to lay the foundations – build a brighter and securer future. It is a time for colleagues to be confident and secure that they are working with others who share their values and beliefs.
In difficult times, with an expectation that more must be done for less, The Futures Trust is already in a position to offer specialist services at a reduced cost from that of local authorities. This includes:
- Ofsted preparation
- Training and professional development services
- Finance systems
- Economies of scale and collective purchasing
- HR provision and support
- Energy supply (every school’s second highest cost after staffing)
- Catering services
- Premises/estate management
- Data management
- IT services and support
- Legal services.
Imagine a learning community in which school leaders and teachers collaboratively plan to spread expertise and tackle challenges together, are totally focused upon teaching and learning and the progress their pupils and students make especially against rising national expectations, in which shared expertise enables succession planning, retention of staff and innovative solutions to recruitment challenges, that governors come together to share strategic thinking, to combine skills and to support each other during challenging times, and that the funding of specialist expertise in areas such as data analysis, finance, HR, legal, health and safety) are all in place to ensure pupils and students can be all they possibly can be.
If you are interested in learning more about The Futures Trust, our values, aspirations and beliefs as well as the process of academisation please contact us. We are happy to meet with head teachers, senior leaders, governors and parents. Should you decide to join us, indeed make us stronger, on our exciting educational journey we will provide your school with a dedicated and experienced project manager who will help you every step of the way through your academy conversion.