25 November, 2020
Marking the end of its tenth year, OAT has come together once again for its annual conference. However, unlike previous years, this time the conference was help virtually via OAT TV, in an effort to reach as many members of the Trust family as possible.
Through a dedicated website, viewers were able to tune in to various channels. Each channel was hosted by specialists, for specialists, whether that’s in a particular leadership function, area of school life or a subject. Viewers were sent “what’s on guides” in advance to plan which channels they’d be tuning into, and everything was recorded and made available on “catch-up” so that delegates did not need to miss a single thing.
Experts across the education sector shared their thoughts on best practice, and attendees had the opportunity to ask questions. Speakers included Tom Bennett, the UK government’s ‘behaviour tsar’ and author of several books on teacher training, and Ashley Lodge, lead on mental health and wellbeing product development for Pearson UK. There was also education author, speaker and consultant David Didau; prior national schools commissioner Sir David Carter; writer, lecturer and broadcaster David Crystal; and education adviser, writer and speaker Mary Myatt, amongst many others. All channels were hosted by highly experienced members of the OAT network – at a head office and school level.
The annual event was also a chance for the Trust to reflect on the year that has passed, celebrate its achievements and how the Trust should look to the future. CEO Nick Hudson, founding Chairman Peter Murray and Chief Executive, James Murray from Ormiston Trust shared their thoughts and reflections. Click here to view the video on OAT’s journey.
Despite a challenging year for schools nationwide, the Trust has some remarkable achievements to be proud of. From prestigious awards in teaching, wellbeing and careers, to name just a few, to creative initiatives that were innovatively implemented in light of restrictions, academies across OAT have proven they are more than capable of overcoming obstacles and growing stronger as a result.
Pupils and staff also went above and beyond throughout the pandemic to ensure academies were well supported. Staff worked together to keep schools open to vulnerable children while delivered engaging and creative online lessons, and then ensured schools could safely re-open in September. Meanwhile there were incredible efforts to provide for local communities, with academies manufacturing PPE equipment for frontline heroes and creating and delivering food hampers for families.
For over ten years OAT has worked across England, including in some of the most disadvantaged communities, providing the best possible education to children and young people. OAT has now grown to 40 schools and over 30,000 students, with its commitment to being the Trust that makes the biggest difference as strong as ever.
CEO at Ormiston Academies Trust Nick Hudson said:
“Over the past year, OAT academies have shown they are ready to adapt and change under shifting circumstances, demonstrating Trust-wide innovation, determination and commitment, and this year’s annual conference has been no different. I’m extremely proud to be a part of OAT in its tenth year, and as ever I’m so impressed by the continued hard work across the Trust, which is what makes it a truly exceptional place to be.”
National Director of Teaching and Training Tuesday Humby said:
“It’s always great to be able to come together and celebrate OAT at our annual conference, and this year is particularly special, as we commemorate ten years as a Trust and look back over some of the highlights.
“We’re also really pleased that on such an important year we have been able to bring so many experts together and have made the conference available to more people than ever. Here at OAT, we pride ourselves on our ethos of collaboration and partnership, and this is a prime opportunity to for everyone to share in that.”
Chairman of Ormiston Trust, Peter Murray said:
“Our people are our greatest asset. We are thrilled that we have managed to not only continue the tradition of our annual conference but do it in a way that reaches far more of our brilliant staff.”