Our finance, HR, IT, marketing, governance and estates ‘offerings’ are not, strictly speaking, ‘services’. We prefer to refer to our business framework. That is because, whilst we do have a central team of people who work, expertly, in all those fields, they’re not a ‘back-office’ or an attempt to strip-back particular functions from being done in schools. Heads continue to have management of their budget, schools aren’t waiting for a central office to sign off orders or payroll – that happens within your school. Secondary schools have IT managers and teams on premise, because you need them there. You need your HR person to pick up operational day to day as well as recruitment, we cannot do that remotely. But we do have a robust framework for all our business areas. Schools are all using the same finance system, the same HR and payroll MIS, we are all linked through our IT systems.
We have central staff who are experts, they really are: chartered HR and finance staff, the very best IT and marketing media experts. Our headteachers tell us that what makes their ability to focus on school improvement is the fact that the business, compliance and legalities are really well staffed, established and robust with clear structures of accountability, expectation and policy. It means we can be very effective. It means we can call upon a network for support because we all work to the same method and are all using the same systems.
Our headteachers also tell us that key to the synergy between them, their business teams and the central trust functions, is the relationships. And what they mean by that is the fact that the trust vision and values are genuinely reflected in the way we do things around here: we have central systems for effectiveness, consistency but we balance that with the need to foster responsibility, creativity and commitment at school level. And we are all unequivocally committed to building a system which enables children and young people to thrive.
Cranmer Education Trust, c/o The Blue Coat School,
Egerton Street, Oldham
Call us on:
0161 785 5082
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