The CEO of the Brooke Weston Trust has spoken to all staff across our schools about our core values and guiding principles.
Dr Andrew Campbell toured the ten schools and spoke to the central team, reinforcing the importance of each individual’s job role and the part they play in ensuring that our children get the best education possible.
He said: ‘Schools are completely different from any other kind of organisation and anyone who is whole-heartedly committed to what school is about is doing a job that is unique. It doesn’t matter what your role is. You’re in a place where you create hope.
‘Firstly and most importantly you help keep our students safe. You help young people develop the skills to be resilient and overcome things. Academic skills are only part of the jigsaw. It is about giving them the personal qualities, or life tickets, as well as the learning opportunities, to be able to progress in life.
‘You are the experts in your community of young people and families. You know your children, their needs, challenges and how to deal with them. We do have things across the Trust that we share in common, and they underpin our operation, without getting in the way of our schools’ own identities.
‘We need to be ambitious both for our young people and also for each other as adults. High expectations is easy to say but it doesn’t mean we have to be perfect. If we can be 80% of our best we would be out-performing every other organisation in the world. Promoting excellent teaching and support is a value that is hard to disagree with. Working together is another core value. You deal with complex things and need to collaborate, so creating a culture where you are not frightened to ask, or to offer, is massive.
‘If we do all these things then you, as a staff member, make a massive contribution. If we do these things every year then each cohort that we send to the next stage of education or life, as decent people who will do their best in the world, then you have done a huge thing. You hold the power to create, sustain and magnify ambition for people. It is a huge responsibility and privilege. Without ambition and passion to learn all the other things don’t happen.
‘If you are ambitious for the young people in this school I absolutely commit that I will support any professional ambition you have. I want you to be absolute torch-bearers for these young people but you also deserve to be listened to about your career aspiration as, without you, we have nothing.
‘As a group of schools we are educating nearly 9,000 children. There are two questions that underpin our operation. The first is: ‘Is this good enough for my child?’ Any of us can look at anything in this school, whether it is the cleanliness of the hall, the quality of teaching, the toilets, the outside facilities, the smile they get at reception, and ask ‘Would I be happy if my child was here? If you were to say I wouldn’t like my child to use that toilet, eat that food or be in that lesson, it is not good enough for anybody else’s.
The second part; ‘to care enough to challenge enough’ helps make the first one happen. We can challenge children to be the best they can be, and challenge each other to do the best we can. It is not a sign of a fractured team, a criticism or a disloyalty to point out that something could be better, or to ask for help to make something better. Caring to challenge is about all of us wanting to make things the very best we can within the values that we care about.’
'Please keep the flame of ambition burning brightly. If you have got anything you think we can do better, or anything you would like us to do for you then get in touch. Let’s do a great job again this year. I am very proud that you are part of the Trust.’