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Reflections on a year

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So what’s been going on in the world of education? As of January 2019, as many as 50% of all pupils are educated in MATs. At the start of the year, the government launched its Recruitment and Retention strategy, which was followed by an EdTech Strategy released in April. Ofsted launched its new framework in May. Schools have also heard about the proposed changes to RSE legislation, which will come into force in September 2020 and have led to some backlash from parents. School funding continued to be a significant issue and Philip Hammond promising schools funding for ‘little extras’ inflamed the situation further. 

At The Key, we’ve seen some important developments over the past year. As you will have noticed, we launched our new brand  back in February, which is the same month in which we launched Key Voices, our free podcast open to school leaders and governors across the country. We were also very excited about the launch of our ‘Leaders Like You’ campaign in March, which provides a platform for our members to showcase their leadership experiences and everyday tips.

On The Key for School Leaders we were delighted to have reached 11,000 member schools. 

We launched our polls, asking our members a series of important questions on key issues, such as ‘Do you know your curriculum intent?’ (68% of respondents said they did) and ‘Have you ever experienced any backlash from parents about the age at which you start teaching sex education (A third of respondents said ‘yes’).

Curriculum intent, implementation and impact quickly became a major search term on our site - going from 0 searches in January to being the third most popular search term on the site today. There were other topics which proved unexpectedly popular, such as ‘alcohol at staff Christmas parties.’

We launched a campaign to support school business managers in partnership with ISBL - if you haven’t yet downloaded your free guide, you can still do so here.

Elsewhere on The Key, here are a few more things we’ve been up to: 

On The Key for School Governors, we launched campaigns to support chairs of governors and newly recruited governors through our Governor Essentials guide. 

Our Safeguarding Training Centre celebrated its first anniversary with an incredible 1,200+ schools now using the service. 

We’ve also launched a new dashboard and policy management features on Compliance Tracker allowing MATs to stay in control, and curated materials to support middle leaders on the CPD Toolkit

ScholarPack, our fantastic MIS for primary schools won Business of the Year and came highly commended for Innovation in Education & Training at the Lincolnshire Tech and Innovation Awards. We also launched its brand new blog, exhibited at Bett and grew to more than 1,250 schools.

Lastly, but very much not leastly, our Facebook Groups continue to go from strength to strength. Primary School Leaders now has more than 22,500 members asking for guidance and offering support, while Primary School Governors has grown to 1,500 members. We were also very excited to launch a new MAT Leaders group for central staff and trustees. Please join our friendly communities to discuss your challenges and mutually celebrate successes, and if you have a Twitter profile, remember to follow us @TheKey_SL where we now have more than 14,000 followers. 

Thank you for working with and supporting us throughout the last 12 months and we wish you all a very restful, well deserved break.

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