Keep it in the family!
Every school and college has its own unique personality.
At Glove we work with a number of “stand alone” schools – or SATs as well as Multi Academy Trusts and it’s fascinating to see that whilst they have the same overall desire for better student outcomes, they differ in so many ways. This can be down to a number of factors: the location, the size, their management and their pupils.
One thing they all have in common however, is how much they can learn from each other.
It’s something we actively encourage when we start to look at marketing strategies for our clients: forming alliances and working relationships with other educational establishments can really enrich the experiences of the pupils and add to the expertise of the teaching staff. It’s a form of the Belbin Management Theory: work with people with different skillsets to yours. Put your ego aside and let them add to your repertoire!
At our client Bright Futures Educational Trust, the member academies vary hugely. The Trust includes a sixth form college, an all girls’ grammar school, a SEN high school, primary schools, inner city schools, rural and coastal schools. They all learn from each other on a regular basis.
Recent events and activities where the academies within the MAT have collaborated have include leading the Olympic Heroes homecoming parade, creating and delivering a Shakespeare festival, raising funds through a 24 hour music-a-thon and taking part in a number of STEM events.
While these are fantastic for the students – and a real gift from a marketing point of view – it is also the academy leadership and staff that benefit. A good MAT will give a real insight into the dynamics of each member academy, and also the challenges they may face. By joining forces and advising each other, the leaders in the MAT can use their own experiences to help each other and strengthen each individual school – thereby strengthening the MAT itself.
So if you are looking to join a MAT, make sure in your “due-diligence” you look at the other schools in the ‘family’. If they are totally different to yours – then maybe that’s all the better for you! Maybe embrace the differences as well as the similarities and increase the benefits for all.