Key Voices #98 – Supporting trusts during the pandemic with Leora Cruddas

“However hard it’s been, and it has been very difficult most of the time, schools never stopped, not once, to put themselves first. At every moment they have done their civic duty. I think they are exceptional. I think they are a national treasure.” 

This week we talk to Leora Cruddas, CEO of The Confederation of School Trusts (CST), about her views on the role of trusts in the education system and how CST has been supporting its members during COVID-19.  We think about the various ways in which schools in trusts have potentially fared better over the past year and consider some of the longer-term consequences of the pandemic. 

We talk about: 
  • Leora’s career journey and what motivates her 
  • Why CST exists and how it supports its members 
  • Why schools benefit from being part of a strong and sustainable trust and how schools in trusts have in many cases fared better during COVID-19 
  • Some of the myths around multi-academy trusts, and the negative impact of some media reporting on cases of poor practice in trusts
  • Risk and contingency planning in trusts and local authorities 
  • Exactly how much has been required of schools during this period and how they have prevailed at every stage 
  • The long term social consequences of COVID-19 and the need for schools to work in partnership to address them, while not compromising their core role 
  • Constructive ways to plan in a rapidly changing context
  • Leora’s greatest hope for the future


Leora ends the podcast by reading some extracts of a poem by Maya Angelou called ‘Continue’ you can read it in full here

You can learn more about CST and its work here

“As we were going into a global pandemic and a national crisis, what CST members needed was an organisation that pivoted to speak directly to them and act directly for them, so that’s what I decided CST had to become.”

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