Is Collaborative Working the Future?
The DfE expects MATs to be sharing resources and expertise, including staff, across their constituent academies for the good of the pupils within the trust as a whole. But collaborative working is not just restricted to academies within a MAT, there is no reason why schools cannot help each other out and why academies could not offer their services to local schools for the good of the local community.
If you have an expert in one particular field, whether that be a curriculum subject, in behaviour management, or an extra-curricular activity, think about ‘selling’ their expertise to others, you could either make a charge that not only covers your costs but also leaves a small profit.
Alternatively, you could swap expertise without incurring any expenditure. Always remember that the emphasis is on putting the pupils at the heart of the matter, so make sure your willingness to help other schools is not to the detriment of your own pupils.
Another way of collaborating and saving costs, once we are out of lockdown, is to arrange bespoke training sessions across your MAT or get together as a group of local schools. This is beneficial in several ways:
- cost of course/tutor can be shared amongst attending schools/academies
- no staff travelling expenses
- more time efficient
- staff may be more comfortable attending a course in a familiar environment
- where delegates are all from one area they understand/experience the same local pressures
All it takes is a few phone calls to see if other schools are interested in the same training course, then approach a recognised trainer.