02 March 2023 | Trust blog
A fundamental principle of our cooperative identity is Democracy. In our context, this is based in participation and the fact that all stakeholders in our family of schools – our staff, students, parents and carers all have a valid and important voice that is heard and respected.
Within our curriculum and pedagogical development, we are truly unusual that we develop everything from the classroom experience; through our communities of practise and work done from those at the chalk-face. This is then complemented through research and evidence, pupil voice and wider support. I am hugely proud that this how we are shaping our provision into genuine excellence since it is based on authentic co-creation. The work of teachers and leaders to agree and codify one approach to Phonics and early reading has been transformational and we are now seeing the first fruits of this approach. Our current work on the 14 to 18 curriculum is being driven by middle leaders who are totally committed to ensuring we provide the right choices for every pupil and that we don’t cave in to wider system demands that may well not suit all of our children.
With parents and carers, we are building forward from the dislocation caused by the pandemic. We have to really focus on our communication, the language we use and how we truly engage and serve our community. From listening events to the work of the LSB volunteers to hear and amplify the stakeholder voice, we have made great strides and there is still more to do here.
I have worked across a range of schools and indeed Trusts and I can genuinely say that we are the most open and democratic organisation I have ever been part of. That doesn’t mean we vote on everything or that sometimes decisions will be made that may not be understood or agreed upon by all; the truth though is that there are rich and varied discussions at all levels which mean the sum is truly greater than our parts with DMAT.