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Chief Operating Officer Network & Study Visit (REAch2 Academy Trust)

28 September 2022 @ 9:30 am - 2:30 pm

This event is for members of Forum Strategy’s national COO network. Membership will need to be active as of September 28th 2022.

COOs work alongside their CEO and teams to drive change and progress in their Trusts, as well to bring about system and civic initiatives for the benefit of staff and young people. Could we move faster and more easily if we collaborate more effectively, embrace the opportunities of innovation and find a meaningful way to learn and work together as a national COO collective?

Forum Strategy’s National #TrustLeaders COO Network has been meeting for just over two years and involves active members from Trusts all over the country. We are the first and only national network specifically for COOs and have led work exploring the evolving role of COO and sharing practice on how different Trusts approach the leadership of business support services. Now we want to build on this further.

Government commitment to academy trust development has been made clear and we know Chief Operating Officers hold key responsibility for the success and effectiveness of their Trusts. The national COO network presents a significant opportunity for colleagues to identify the big issues we all face and collaborate to address them more effectively. To work in isolation is to work slowly. The list of opportunities and challenges facing our organisations has never been greater, and COOs are central to success across these issues. Effective collaboration improves outcomes for everyone.

At this meeting, we will facilitate discussions around key priorities for the coming year and start the process of collaborating and connecting with each other for better solutions. We will be joined by Charlie Tebbutt, former COO at the Beckfoot Trust and Forum Strategy Associate and Katherine Alexander, COO at REAch2. We will also be joined by our valued partners, Wrigleys Solicitors, who will be on hand to answer your questions around legalities and legislation throughout the day.
Please note Wrigleys are part of a paid for partnership with Forum Strategy – we select our partners based on their expertise in their field as well as shared values and ethos with Forum Strategy.

1. We will meet in person at REAch2 Academy Trust, so you will see first-hand how the country’s largest primary trust works behind the scenes. Through coming together in person, you will make the connections and develop partnerships that can be more difficult to do in an online environment.
2. We will look at how an established trust (REAch2) has organised its central team to deliver better business services at lower cost. You will consider what next steps you might consider for your own MATs.
3. We will consider the external agendas facing us all from Government Policy and legislation to the economy and cost of living. We will think about which issues we all face and discuss how we can tackle them together.
4. Finally, we will look at a case study demonstrating the power of collaboration and networks. Using the example of describing what Civic and System Leadership looks like for Trusts in Bradford. Most importantly, we will look at how collaboration can drive greater efficiency and ideas and experiences shared between Trusts so that we all benefit.

At the end of the session, each delegate will have a fresh sense of their own strategic priorities AND a determination to benefit from and contribute to the work of other COOs in the room from Trusts around the country in the coming year. Forming a collective commitment to system improvement and practice sharing.

Individually COOs are critical to the success of their Trusts, collectively we have the capacity to do so much more so much faster. That’s COO power!

Please join us at REAch 2 on 28th September to meet the people that could become your closest colleagues for years to come.


9.30am  Arrival and Coffee (attendees aim to arrive for 9.30am)
9.45-10.15 Session 1 – Opening Remarks – Alice Gregson & Charlie Tebbutt
10.15-11.00 Session 2 – Building a MAT Central Team – Katherine Alexander
11.00-11.15 Session 2 – Q&A and activity – Charlie Tebbutt
11.45-12.00 Comfort break
12.00-12.50 Session 3 – Key strategic and system challenges facing trusts in the year ahead (including legal considerations led by Wrigleys Solicitors) – Alice Gregson with Graham Shaw & Alacoque Marvin
12.50- 13.20 Session 4 – A MAT Collaboration Case Study – Charlie Tebbutt
13.20-13.30 Session 5 – Summary and Next steps
13.30 – 14:15  Lunch and networking

To book onto this event, please complete the form below before July 30th 2022.

Booking Form

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28 September 2022
9:30 am - 2:30 pm
Event Category:


REAch2 Academy Trust, Burton-on-Trent
Henhurst Ridge Academy
Burton-on-Trent, DE13 9TQ United Kingdom
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Forum Strategy