22 November, 2019
In its ninth year, senior leaders, teachers, governors, staff, partners and pupils from across Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) joined together for a two-day conference – Leading for Advantage – which sought to share best practice within the network.
Marking another successful year for the growing educational Trust, the conference in Nottingham provided a unique opportunity for senior leaders across OAT’s 38 schools, new schools looking to join the Trust and partners, to debate, discuss and share their experiences.
This year’s conference theme ‘Leading by Advantage, aimed to tackle the range of challenges around ‘disadvantage’ that schools can face – whether it is determined by geography, background, or issues that are common to all. The Trust explored ways to further tackle inequalities and advance students’ opportunities, so that it can continue to make a difference to its students’ lives by fulfilling their potential.
OAT welcomed a number of VIP guest speakers across the conference, including education adviser, writer and speaker Mary Myatt; Manchester Communication Academy’s Dr Patsy Hodson; and Alex Quigley, National Content Manager at Education Endowment Foundation.
The conference was hosted by two pupils, Ashley Moran and Thomas Gotobed, and there were presentations from OAT school leaders, including Simon Gilbert-Barnham from Ormiston Venture Academy and Mark Stanyer, Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy, sharing experiences and best practice. Delegates also enjoyed pupil-led performances across the two days from Ormiston Horizon Academy and Ormiston Victory Academy.
It also saw OAT’s first special school, Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy, launch its #iwill social impact project. The pioneering initiative, entitled Difference Is Normal, is led by the Mandela class at the school. Together, they are doing all they can to promote disability awareness, including amongst their peers across the Trust.
OAT is one of the longest established educational Trusts, supporting schools since 2009. Today, the Trust educates 29,000 students across six English regions, in 30 secondary schools, 7 primary schools and 1 special school. Its mission is to become the Trust that makes the biggest difference, both inside and outside the classroom, and leading for advantage is key to achieving this aim.