A half-term message from our National #TrustLeaders Networks Director

Sarah Ray, National #TrustLeaders Networks Director

“Art is a constant agent of transformation and is indeed the soul’s drive to health.” Cathy Malchiodi

As we head into the autumn half term after the turmoil of the last seven weeks (and, for many, the turmoil of the summer too!), I have been thinking what to write. I could have written in detail and with data about the daily challenges of ensuring that your trust teams can safely and sufficiently deliver learning to those students both in school premises and virtually at home. With increasing positive Covid cases amongst adults and children, this has been a constant and anxious juggling act for leaders. I hope that you and your teams are keeping well in body and mind.

Forum Strategy is aware that #TrustLeaders are carrying a heavy load and are often currently diverted from your strategic leadership ambitions. So, as we head into half term, we want to encourage you to take a break from your work and gain sustenance from some form of art. It maybe music, movies, mediation, nature or narrative. It’s your choice. We would love to hear what you decided and what you gained. Feed your hopes and dreams, for yourself and those you lead.

My daughter Pearl played the Blood Brothers’ theme tune on Monday night. I thought how apt the words are for us all. Leading through a pandemic has created constant news and will be an unbelievable story for all generations to recall.

‘Tell me it’s not true, Say it’s just a story, Something on the news, Tell me it’s not true, Though it’s here before me, Say it’s just a dream, Say it’s just a scene, From an old movie from years ago, From an old movie of Marilyn Monroe’s.’

Dr. Claudia Nagel spoke at our June 2020 #TrustLeaders seminar about Leading through the Paradox of Covid19. She encouraged leaders to replenish themselves, stay healthy and so, take care of others. Here’s her paper: COVID19 – you lead out of the paradox , which is worth revisiting a few months on.

On the subject of art, my movie recommendation is Enola Holmes. Her brother Sherlock Holmes said of her, “Perhaps she wants to change the world?” to which, she replied, “Perhaps it’s a world that needs changing” We know from a wide variety of research projects that our children’s priority is the environment. How can we help them be able to ‘change their world?

You have to make some noise if you want to be heard,” says Mrs. Holmes to her daughter. One of our new CEO strategy groups is exploring how trusts move forward and become beacons in the face of environmental and sustainability concerns – responding to those calls from this generation of children and young people who want us to help them prepare for and shape a better world that will outlast the pandemic. (see below for more details)

Finally, some suggested reading ­from Gary Burnison, the CEO of Korn Ferry.  He asked his team what they would have done differently if they knew that a pandemic was coming. Overwhelmingly, they said one of two things: (1) spending more time with friends and loved ones and (2) taking that big trip. No one mentioned the material things—or making some investment at the right time. It was all experiential—particularly around people and emotions. Paper

Forum Strategy has launched 3 new CEO strategy groups to help CEOs focus on some key long-term issues:

These are an opportunity for all #TrustLeaders members to engage with peers and leading thinkers on key medium- to long-term challenges facing trusts and young people.

Pupil and Staff Wellbeing – 3rd November 2pm – 3.30pm: BOOK HERE

Remote learning and working – 30th November 9.15am- 10.45am: BOOK HERE

Environmental sustainability – 7th December 9.15am 10.45am: BOOK HERE

Dates for your diary next term – National #TrustLeaders online gatherings  Book

National CEO Network – 19th November 2020 (9.15am – 12.30pm)

National COO Network – 10th November 2020 (9.15am – 12.30pm)

Chairs of Trustees Roundtable – 2nd December 2020 (4pm – 5.45pm)

You may not be able to take a big trip, but we do hope that you can spend time with people you love and experience some enriching art to nourish your health and feed your hope.


You can view Sarah Ray’s speech to CEOs and COOs at last month’s National #TrustLeaders conference here:


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