February 2017 Newsletter

Welcome to the third edition of the BTSA monthly newsletter.

I was recently asked a direct question: “You’re the new Chair of the Teaching Schools Council – are you any good?!” 

As I thought about the possible responses (not all of them polite) the questioner followed it up with a left hook, “And are you as good as the previous Chair?”  The words of my mother that silence is golden came into my head and thankfully, I kept my thoughts to myself.

But it did get me thinking. Teaching school alliances, as well as MATs, have been given the huge privilege and responsibility for helping to drive the school-led agenda forward at a time when more is expected, with less resources. It is not easy.

But a lot is expected of us and we should expect people to ask us the question, “Are you any good?”

As we prepare to play a major role on the Strategic School Improvement Fund, and a whole host of other opportunities on the horizon, our working relationship with RSCs and the DfE, with Ofsted and LAs, as well as with each other will come under greater scrutiny. I have no problem with that. What keeps me awake at night, however, is how the question will be answered in years to come as we look back at the role we have played. As we view the legacy of what these years of opportunity have offered, how will we be judged against our mission to ensure that “Every child goes to a great school.”

One of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits is, “Begin with the end in mind.”

What I really worry about is how I will answer the question in years to come, “were we any good?”

Andrew Warren
Director of BTSA and Chair of the Teaching Schools Council

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