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OWN Trust Development Day 10.02.24

By Fiona Schneider, Marketing and Communications Officer 

The OWN Trust Development Day takes place each year, along with the OWN Trust Annual General Meeting, and involves Members, Trustees, Governors, Senior Leaders, and other staff who give up their Saturday morning to focus on how the Trust is developing and future plans. We are always very grateful to those who hold voluntary roles within the Trust for offering their time and expertise to support the Trust and the children.

This year we returned to the Delta Marriott Hotel near the East of England Showground for the meeting. There was time before events got underway to chat with familiar faces and catch up with colleagues. The Development Day provides an opportunity for Members, Trustees, Governors, Senior Leaders, and staff, who are rarely under one roof at any one time, to network and share information.

The morning’s formal proceedings began with a welcome from the CEO, Stuart Mansell, followed by a presentation on Our Passion by the headteachers: Colin Marks (OWPS), Neil Reilly (NVPS), and Becky Ford (WPS). It was interesting to see how the leaders of each school are working together to make the most of the collaboration and sharing of good practice that being in a trust offers. Their main focus, linked to ‘Opportunity, Work Together, Nurture’, centred on developing a shared culture of improvement. This involves gaining a full understanding of the needs of ‘our family’ (both staff and pupils) before creating an action plan for embedding OWN Trust’s values and vision in all of its schools. The presentation ended with an activity for Local Governors to discuss their role in both challenging and supporting schools to bring ‘Our Passion’ to life.

This was followed by a presentation on the Marketing for Growth Plan by Fiona Schneider, OWN Trust Marketing and Communications Officer. It outlined the steps that are underway to drive the expansion of the trust and the marketing tactics that will be used. Stuart Mansell then developed this theme further by explaining how EPM is supporting the Trust in assessing our Readiness for Growth. This will cover seven key pillars and identify any areas for development to ensure we have strong foundations to sustain future growth.

 The AGM then took place in the form of a public meeting and enabled Members to check on the work that is driven by Trustees and senior staff. The Members asked incisive questions of the Trustees and offered their praise and enthusiasm for the work that had been undertaken so far.

 After a short break, we were delighted to welcome the SENCOs from each school – Laura Hurrell (WPS), Linda Harries (OWPS), Carly Pearson (NVPS), and Lucinda Robinson (WPS) – who gave an in-depth and informative presentation on SENCO provision within the schools. In addition to explaining their comprehensive OAP (Ordinarily Available Provision) document and how it is being implemented in schools, the SENCOs also gave us a picture of the growing SEND needs within the schools and nationally. A video clip demonstrating the richness and variety of SEND provision within the schools was then shown, and it brought to life just how much support is already on offer.

The meeting closed with remarks from our dedicated and hardworking Chair of Trustees, Mary Foreman. She thanked all contributors for their presentations, expressed her gratitude to the Governors, Trustees, and Members for their extensive and invaluable voluntary roles, and paid tribute to Stuart Mansell, for whom this was the last Development Day and AGM before his retirement at the end of the academic year.