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Leadership Group Meeting 27th March 2024

By Becky Ford, Headteacher, Woodston Primary School, OWN Trust

The Leadership Group came together for the final meeting of the Spring term at Nene Valley Primary School. Everyone was feeling the impact of a short, but very busy term, and looking forward to the Easter Break. Preliminary informal discussions allowed an opportunity to reflect on the successful recruitment of a new CEO for OWN Trust. There was unanimous agreement that the process had been rigorous and transparent and the work of the trustees and Central Team should be commended. Preparations are underway to support an effective transition across the Summer Term and leaders are feeling highly positive as they move into this next stage of development for OWN Trust.

The meeting followed the usual format with leaders catching up on actions from the previous meetings and providing updates. Items covered included, Quality of Education reviews; the length of the school day; information on the websites regarding British Values, and ensuring all pupil data was accurate and up to date, amongst other things.

The main focus of the session was an in-depth look at the OWN Trust Behaviour Toolkit and, in particular, the updated Suspensions and Exclusions Policy. This has received a significant update to ensure it reflected OWN Trust's commitment to working in partnership with Peterborough City Council and is aligned with the latest DFE guidance. As is the case in many schools, leaders are increasingly having to extend alternative provision and put measures in place to adapt to the ever-changing behaviour needs of pupils presenting in our schools. Our policy and approach demonstrate how we will ensure our schools are safe and happy environments that place the well-being and learning of pupils and staff at the heart of things.

In addition to considering this item in depth, we also revisited the DFE document 'Commissioning High-Quality Trusts' and considered where OWN Trust sits in relation to the 'Trust Quality Descriptors'. OWN Trust leaders pride themselves on continuous improvement and routinely review progress towards ambitious targets that align with these documents. We do this to ensure that our local communities receive the high-quality education they deserve but also to support other neighbouring schools effectively.

The Trust had recently undertaken two key pieces of work as part of the growth strategy. These included the EPM ‘Readiness to Grow’ review and a meeting involving leaders from across the Trust with the Regional Commissioner to explore capacity. Leaders spent time discussing the highly positive outcomes of these reviews and considered next steps. All indicators demonstrate significant strengths and the potential to grow successfully. This is testament to the tenacious work of our current CEO whose legacy will enable the new CEO to take us from strength to strength. Exciting times!