“Being part of my school (Blue Coat) and The Cranmer Education trust drives me to want to achieve my own potential. What we stand for aligns completely with my own values – doing our utmost to make a positive contribution to young people, supporting and developing their teachers at each stage of their career, and playing an active role in the communities that we serve.
I’ve benefitted from a vast array of development opportunities, including bespoke mentoring and coaching from experienced colleagues through our forward-thinking line management structure, delivering Teaching and Learning masterclasses and leading Continuous Professional Development, piloting whole school initiatives, and working collaboratively across the CET to provide learning experiences for young people, their teachers, and trainee teachers.
My wider career development has also been supported by the CET as I was enrolled on a leadership course for aspiring Senior Leaders, and encouraged in being appointed an assessor for the RE Quality Mark and given the necessary resources to complete this aspect of my work. These opportunities enabled me to develop the leadership skills, knowledge and confidence for the position I now hold.”
“The Trust has a sense of moral purpose, and values. It serves all members of the local community. I was born and raised in Oldham myself and it’s a satisfying experience to be able to change so many lives for the better.
I’m proud to be able to give back to those who gave me so much; through my school (Blue Coat), through being able to work collaboratively with teachers in our partner primaries in my subject specialism (and teach Yr 5 and 6 pupils computing algorithms without using computers), through helping to train new teachers through our teacher-training arm Manchester Nexus, and more widely through our Teaching School Alliance, the Northern Alliance. I’ve developed as a teacher, and as a person.”
“The vision and values of the Trust match up with my own; helping young people become everything they can be, and everything they are meant to be. These core values of the CET make me proud to work here due to the impact you can make with the students.
The pupils are the reason you come to work in the morning. It’s a cliché, but everyday is different. It’s what makes it interesting. It’s a privilege to work within a Trust that has impacted on the future of so many young people and will continue to for years to come. The Cranmer Education Trust and Blue Coat School have always created pathways for progression from all stages in my career development.
The NQT training with knowledgeable professionals in all areas is second to none. The first thing that is instilled in you is that you are valuable, your contribution to the Trust counts, and that you are making a difference to the students in your care. Effective CPD that values the individual needs of staff has been key to my development.
There has always been stepping stone to the next stage. There is a staff workforce that is collaborative and pulling in one direction to help better the lives of children in Oldham and the Greater Manchester area. This along with positive relations within the CET and other local schools for collaborative practice has helped me along the way. Opportunities are in an abundance within the trust.
The door is always open for the next stage in your career, providing you make the most of the chances available. You are never pigeonholed to a specific area. Having experience in a curriculum leadership position, as well as a pastoral leadership position, is a prime example of this. You never know which path you will take, but with effective mentoring and advice on offer, you find what’s right for you.”
“The Trust recognised my strengths and have invested in them and where there are areas for development they continue to invest in that improvement. My vision and way of thinking has always been valued. I’ve been allowed to grow into the leader that I want to be; integrity is a non-negotiable. The pupils, their progress but above all their happiness is the most important thing to me and I’ve never had to compromise those values. As a Trust grows there might be that apprehension that names will become numbers, but I think the drive has always been about developing person-centred approaches to support pupils and staff. It makes me proud that even in the most strategic planning meetings there is always a place to discuss an anecdote or explore a case study; a reminder that ultimately, it starts and position I now hold.
The Cranmer Trust’s investment in my development was obvious from that very first day in September; I felt that I had really been listened to in my interview. I had shared my interest in SEND and as a result they ‘buddied’ me with the SENDCo. This link meant I was offered very early opportunities even in the first year to develop a curriculum for our SEND department.
It can perhaps be described as a 360 approach to professional development here in that it comes from all directions and considers that you also develop by contributing to the journey of others. It was the opportunities that the Trust gave to me coach and develop others through CPD or through growth of a department which has enabled to cultivate the leadership skills needed for my current role.
After my first year, I was involved in the delivery of CPD as well as the piloting of whole school initiatives. With this came the opportunities to work with a team of staff spanning all leadership levels, disciplines and responsibilities. This collaboration was fundamental to my development as it meant working with other professionals who modelled great practice and that ambitious strategic overview and vision. Obviously, this incorporated a formal process of coaching and mentoring but those informal opportunities to discuss and share ideas with colleagues was integral to that growth.
As we develop new initiatives, it is really important to work with other professionals outside of The Blue Coat and the Trust facilitated visits to other schools including primary schools to ensure there was a more holistic approach to my work. The school provided time and space for my own research and when I started as the SENDCo, they funded the NASENCo qualification (a Masters level qualification completed at Manchester Metropolitan University).
You quickly learn that professional development isn’t always about external CPD- although the school has always supported this- and more about those day to day discussions and work opportunities with a forward thinking and dynamic workforce. For me, I think the most important thing is that I always feel that I am being ‘moved forward’.”
“I am proud to be part of the CET and I believe that every child, in every school, should have the same opportunities and I feel this is strong within the Trust. I was encouraged to take part in the Teaching Leader’s Programme (Ambition School Leadership) and have completed my first year (Sept 17 – July 18). This has enabled me to develop as a leader / leader of the future and have the confidence and self-belief I may not have previously had. I am driven by the team spirit at Mayfield and the ‘family feel’ in school. We work together to achieve. I was delighted when my trainee was appointed to Mayfield to start in September”.
I have been trusted and supported in developing my role. I have had some freedom in developing maths knowledge and skills, and been enabled to implement them across school, with the complete backing of school leaders and the Trust, at all levels, including Mark Couper-Barton (HT) and Julie Hollis (CEO). Colleagues have embraced changes and new working practices with enthusiasm and openness.
The Trust has invested in me as a teacher and as a maths leader through Maths Hub training. In 2017-18 I was a class teacher for 3 days a week, and on the fourth I developed as a nationally accredited Mastery Lead. I’ve also been given the opportunity to train teachers and TAs, and to develop systems, policies, strategies and parental engagement”.
“I have had excellent support and guidance from The Cranmer Education Trust, and our School Improvement Partner, a Primary Consultant commissioned by the CET. I have also benefitted from working collaboratively with our partner schools Blue Coat and St George’s, and with schools beyond the Local Authority which the Trust has brokered. I have been trusted to lead and given positive opportunities, and challenge. I felt empowered to tackle some big issues in our school within existing projects. In our recent inspection I was able to address confidently lines of enquiry that were predominately English-based, knowing I had everything required.
What I particularly like is that we are still encouraged to be Mayfield, despite the need to standardise some key things across Trust schools. We have maintained our identity. I’m really proud of the fact that Ofsted verbally fed back that we have ‘some of the best teaching of reading seen’ and that the inspector ‘could not believe the quality of topic books’ and ‘the amount and quality of writing opportunities.’ Above all our children are strong, confident, proud and energetic young people, that we are really proud of.
My school and the Trust have really developed me. I was encouraged to lead on the Writing Strategy with Heathfield. (i.e. Review policies and provision, identify strengths and areas to improve, support staff professional development, for working on my own leadership development, develop strategy for Mayfield and the Trust). I have worked with colleagues from Blue Coat to implement Accelerated Reader at Mayfield, to standardise across the Trust.