National #TrustLeaders Symposium 2022 The Key’s Reflection

The only constant is trust leaders’ unwavering belief and passion 

By Kieran Dwyer, Head of Sales, The Key 

It’s always a pleasure to attend a Forum Strategy event and to get the opportunity to connect with Forum members, and the recent National #TrustLeaders Symposium 2022 event was no exception. The day was jam-packed with inspiring talks and storytelling, thought-provoking group discussions, and insightful conversations with individual trust leaders.

There were many takeaways from the day, but one thing that really stood out to myself and my colleagues from The Key was the unwavering belief and passion that trust leaders harbour. From trusts playing a critical role to the cohesion and collaboration of rural communities, to making a profound difference to children that grow up in challenging circumstances in an inner-city setting – there is no end to their vision and ambition. Despite the differing circumstances and challenges that each leader was facing in their trust – there was one thing that united everyone together – an overwhelming drive to do the right thing for the benefit of the next generation. 

Another key takeaway from our conversations is that the sector is brimming with exceptional talent. From a headteacher that’s headed towards making a profound impact, to the dedicated colleague who has supported them over the last 10 years – everybody had a story to tell. Interestingly, we’re also starting to witness generational changes in trust leadership. We heard from CEOs who had previously been Heads, who spoke of the difficulties in separating themselves from the day-to-day in schools and focus on more strategic aspects – for which they find events such as the Symposium hugely valuable. On the other end of the spectrum are the CEOs who are heading towards retirement and are focussing their efforts on setting up future leaders with the very best possible tools and talent out there.

Despite the many positives emerging, it’s clear that a lot of change is on the horizon. Concerns around being able to balance the need to grow the trust, while maintaining the quality of their support for existing schools remains a recurring challenge for leaders. There was certainly a sense that many leaders do not have as much headspace as they would like to be able to focus on longer-term strategy and change management, especially for those who have grown very quickly. However it’s clear that having time to properly set up the environment, the tools and the leadership support that enables the acceleration of successful change is critical. 

It’s clear that events such as the Symposium provide leaders with a much needed time for reflection, collaboration, support and forward planning and it was an honour for The Key to be part of this.

The Key are part of a ‘paid for’ partnership with Forum Strategy. We also choose our partners based on their expertise and ethos.

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