08 February 2023 | Trust blog
I appreciate the strong engagement you have had with the Trust Update as we have considered the behaviours which are codified in our new myTalent appraisal framework, that are fundamental to the way we act and interact as colleagues within our family of schools.
These behaviours are rooted in and stem from our Trust values, drawn from the International cooperative movement. I am immensely proud to lead our Trust which seeks to ensure economic, social and cultural benefit to all and centres our education mission as much on curating character as it does on excellence in academic outcomes. Put simply, we are greater than the sum of our parts and our mission for social justice is crucial to what makes us unique and special as Educators.
I want to focus on solidarity- which feels particularly apt given the Strike action undertaken by many colleagues this week. I am a proud member of the NEU myself (other Unions are available!) and was equally proud to join colleagues in Exeter on Wednesday to stand up for Education and ensure that our voice, in protection of children, colleagues and community, is heard. The dispute may be driven by pay awards, but I believe it is much more than that. It is about ensuring we have a profession with the salary, respect and opportunities to recruit and retain the very best into education; our children deserve the best.
Solidarity is a key value to me and to us. It means building self-confidence to help all stand united, it brings dignity to us as a group and drives principles of how we organise ourselves and the partners we work with. Underneath the cooperative values are the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility, and caring for others and this finds voice within solidarity.
This value applies to all stakeholders; the key players that make up our Trust. Solidarity in the classroom has an important connotation: students tend to align with their partners regarding specific issues such as interests, topics, agreements, and activities. When there is solidarity, learners establish more equity among themselves and this permits them to achieve working relationships. For our parents, carers and wider community it means adopting an optimistic, open and supportive relationship with each school and ensuring that we have respectful and constructive dialogue. Ultimately, our schools are not buildings. They are the young people, staff, parents and carers united in a journey of growth and development. This community aspect of solidarity is key; we are only ever stewards of the schools we serve and lead but the true owners are our communities and this is an area where we need to continue to engage and build that sense of purpose and unity.
Solidarity is based on connection- upon knowing and caring for each other, in optimism and positive regard and in helping each one of us to be our best selves and doing our best work. Solidarity is a bond that unites and a relationship that endures. Solidarity is communication, it is hope and it is shared purpose. Thank you for your solidarity as one team, within one profession, for a better future for the children in our care.