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Yet another Secretary of State for Education

Another Secretary of State for Education. They come and go so quickly don’t they? Each arrives determined to make a mark. They are so “passionate” about the role. They have “enormous respect” for the profession and they see education as such an important force. And then they get a job elsewhere and become an expert in that area as well. Sorry to be so cynical but I was thinking about the forgotten passions that we’ve been encouraged to embrace during my days as a senior leader. Literacy and numeracy hours, specialist schools status, National Curriculum levels, KS3 SATS, AS and A2, diplomas - that was a cracker, the Deeps and now new “more demanding” GCSEs and “new” linear A levels. And of course there’s academisation. No doubt Ms. Greening will have her own exciting new projects.

In one way it’s good that Governments keep looking for ways to improve the system. We should never be complacent. The trouble is that a good initiative was never embedded in a year. If something is good enough to be introduced then guarantee it ten years so we can truly see if it has made a difference. In the end I become increasingly convinced that a government should just expect schools to have teachers who teach interesting lessons which prepare pupils for life, systems which ensure children behave well towards each other and to the staff, support staff who feel valued and enable teachers to teach well and senior leadership teams which enthuse others and take tough decisions when necessary. I’m sounding like Sir Michael Wilshaw…..

I see people doing the above across our three academies. At Arnold Hill, Farnborough and Rushcliffe there is a determination to get the basics right. Different environments, different circumstances - but more unites than divides. We all want to get the best for the children in our care. Examination results are an important part of this. We will all be judged upon the figures that emerge in August. I am re-assured by the fact that, whatever the results, employees across the trust have tried their best. That is so important to me. No one can do more.

I hope everyone associated with the Trust has a relaxing break. It’s been quite a year.

Phil Crompton

CEO: Trent Academies Group
(Arnold Hill, Farnborough and Rushcliffe working together)