We learned some amazing things about the Oasis Multi Academy Trust this week when we spoke to John Murphy, CEO.
John trained as a primary teacher and became a primary head before taking on two schools for boys who had been permanently excluded. After heading up a school in special measures, John became an academy principle for Oasis. Oasis’ family of schools now numbers 47 schools across 4 regions. The regions contain between 11 and 14 schools. Each academy is an independently funded state school and there is one governing body which controls the whole organisation.
Local Authorities have failed with these schools for tens of years.
Oasis has been a charity for 30 years. It doesn’t just run academies in England, it runs street schools in Mumbai, food banks, credit unions and hospitals across the globe. They felt that the concept of a multi academy trust was another service into the local community that they really wanted to be part of.
Oasis has very deep beliefs and values which give it its strength. They have not been aggressive and taken over schools – rather, schools have come to them to ask to be part of their movement.
How does school-to-school support work?
There are 5 main functions:
- Regional families of schools have principle leadership team meetings on a half-termly basis
- Regional conferences to share good practice
- Regional improvement networks
- Explicit school-to-school support sharing curriculum
- Shared values and culture
All of the people working for the Oasis Multi Academy Trust are working hard for each other. You don’t have to do that in a Local Authority structure.
This doesn’t mean Oasis only works within its own organisation – they make a point of working with anyone from whom they can learn. For example, there are established partnerships with Teach First, Teaching Leaders, Future Leaders and Pixl and there are open data sharing agreements with all Local Authorities.
How do successful schools directly help less successful ones?
There could be an exceptional leader in a less successful school…
Tweeter of the week:
Beth Knight: https://twitter.com/planetbeth91
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