Key Voices #74 – Leading academy trusts: why some fail, but most don’t, with Sir David Carter and Laura McInerney

“Those lessons, like speaking with parents when you need to get on the front foot, how you set up your governance. How were you supposed to know that if you are an academy trust leader… and no-one was sharing learnings about what had failed?”

This week we speak to Sir David Carter, Executive Director of System Leadership at Ambition Institute and Laura McInerney, Co-founder of Teacher Tapp about their new book Leading academy trusts: why some fail but most don’t.

We discuss why things might go wrong in trusts and who gets to learn from those failures, but also how those running trusts can avoid some of those pitfalls too. We examine how a trust needs to demonstrate clearly to parents, pupils and staff how they will benefit from selecting, attending or being employed by their organisation.

We talk about being a CEO and the many challenges of the role but also the rewards of doing the job well. We consider how CEOs and boards, but also regional and national schools commissioners, might be able to tell if trusts are likely to be successful. David and Laura also gaze into the future to think about what kinds of innovation or consolidation might happen in the sector over the next 5 years.

"The difference between being a head, executive head and a CEO is still not that well understood... being a CEO is not just being a head on speed, it’s a very different job"

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