MAT Development: the evolution of a MAT-wide school improvement model through growth

Cementing a strong school improvement model at Flying High

Origins of the school improvement model.

The Flying High Trust is a primary-only trust of sixteen schools working across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. As with many multi-academy trusts, the origins of Flying High can be found in the national leaders of education initiative – which was launched by the National College in 2007. Chris Wheatley, the CEO of Flying High was – like many of today’s academy trust Chief Executives – one of those designated as an NLE to provide intensive leadership support for schools in challenging circumstances. The initiative was unique at the time in that, rather than taking successful heads out of their schools and parachuting them into schools needing support, it encouraged successful leaders to remain in position at their original school, whilst providing consultancy style support to other schools for an agreed period of time. The NLE model was very much focused on school improvement without putting the quality of other schools at risk; and, indeed, evidence showed that NLEs’ own schools generally tended to achieve continued improvements despite the NLE’s work elsewhere.

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