Since 2009, The Key has developed strong links across the education sector. For example, we are partnered with around 70 local authorities and academy chains that help schools take advantage of our services, and we work closely with professional associations and other organisations. We have even closer relationships with the members of our partnership board, who help us improve our work so we can serve school leaders and governors more effectively.
This month, the board gathered in the Marcus Beck Library in central London to discuss autonomy, collaboration and accountability in the sector.
I presented some thoughts on what we can learn from how members are using The Key for School Leaders. We’ve already shared one finding here, on what the articles they’re reading can tell us about accountability. The next two speakers reflected on the changing educational landscape from two different perspectives. Dr Albin Wallace from The Education Fellowship shared experience from a multi-academy trust, highlighting how the schools in the trust work together, and work with other schools. Andy Kent, of Cheshire East Borough Council, then brought in the local authority perspective, looking in particular at how his borough works with academies.
The meeting was chaired by The Key’s adviser Michael Bichard, a former permanent secretary of the education department. He guided discussion of the three presentations, asking the members of the board to focus on what they see ahead. They identified important challenges, such as how to support academies, how to encourage middle leadership, and how to give schools the data they need to make better decisions. One point that came up over and over was uncertainty – where will education be headed after 2015?
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