Wayland Academy joined the Inspiration Trust on Wednesday 1st April 2020. Prior to officially joining the trust, our education teams worked with Glen Allott, the Principal, to provide support and make sure the transition between multi-academy trusts was seamless.
During the first year of joining Inspiration Trust, Glen Allott and his senior leadership team, were supported by Louise Jackson, Inspiration Trust Executive Principal.
What support did you receive when joining Inspiration Trust?
The initial step in joining the trust was for me to meet the central team and those at the heart of the trust. We had open discussions about how the process would work and together planned the transfer and timescale. We had a highly ambitious plan for a rapid transfer and we were successful in completing this due to the outstanding central team at Inspiration.
As Principal, I announced the transfer to staff and this was followed by meetings with the team and CEO. The team at Inspiration Trust rallied to offer us support and guidance. This included:
- Human resources were brilliant and guided me through the process. They reassured our team and resolved any misunderstandings before they became issues.
- The central business team seamlessly supported the transfer of contracts, site issues, rebrand and outstanding repairs.
- IT Support were able to transfer all records and emails onto our new system over the Easter break, meaning that there was no impact on our provision.
- Senior leaders and middle leaders participated in a detailed induction process.
- Subject specialist leads provided excellent guidance and support for our curriculum leaders.
What did you see change in your school?
A notable change was the branding and identity of the school. Our rebrand, new website and updated uniform resulted in the feeling of a fresh start - this had a significant impact on our school culture. We have calmer students and improved learning.
The level of collaboration we now see is the most significant change. Curriculum leaders and senior leaders are now part of a collaborative community which focuses on their area of expertise, shares good practice and provides challenge.
Our sequenced, knowledge-based curriculum is a further example of significant and successful change. The curriculum is now far more refined and following the support of the trust, teacher pedagogy has improved through quality CPD.
How did the Executive Principal work with you to support your transition?
Due to the limited leadership staffing at Wayland, we used the Executive Principal as a member of the leadership team as well as a teacher of English. They became an integrated part of our team.
The Executive Principal supported the implementation of trust processes and routines that align with the trust practice. The Executive Principal is also a conduit to trust expertise and allows links to be made quicker with colleagues, in our case SEND. We were able to use trust expertise to review our provision, plan how it could be improved, implement an action plan and review in a significantly reduced timescale.
What advice would you give incoming schools about making the process easy/how to prepare?
Joining a new trust is an opportunity to put the things in place that are most needed and to request the support which has been lacking in the past. It’s an exciting opportunity.
I would say that preparation for the transfer is key. Change is inevitable when joining a new trust and staff need to be prepared to adapt to new approaches and ways of working. This is the case from the Principal through to teachers, site staff and cleaners.
A new school needs to be clear about what their strengths are; what they see their KPIs as; and knowing the areas for improvement.
An example from Wayland Academy would be leadership capacity. We were able to recruit an additional Assistant Principal for Raising Achievement immediately - it has made a huge difference.
What has been the highlight of your first year with Inspiration Trust?
Being part of a team that is on the same journey!
Joining Inspiration Trust has opened a pathway of like-minded ideology. We have always wanted to do everything we can to improve the life chances of students at Wayland Academy and now we have the support and backing to do that.