Where does staff engagement start?

With today's difficult recruitment climate, retaining talented staff is more important than ever. Effective policies around wellbeing, workload and flexible working all help to improve staff morale and help retention, but at what point does staff engagement really start? The onboarding process? The interview process? Or even before candidates have ...

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Strategic thinking around recruitment

Recruitment in the education sector can be a challenge, particularly in the current economic climate. Retaining talent and attracting quality candidates to your setting shouldn't just start when you have vacancies, it's part of a long-term strategy. Your strategic thinking around recruitment should include: What will your team look like in a year's...

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Do you audit your approach to income?

The Academy Trust Handbook requires all trusts to have a programme of internal scrutiny to provide independent assurance to the board that its financial and non-financial controls and risk management procedures are operating effectively. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that internal assurance in a trust needs to focus mainly on expendit...

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The 2023 version of thinking outside the box

"If you're don't like change, you'll like irrelevance even less." So goes a quote I read several years ago and became one of those screenshots that I keep on my phone. Brutal, but true. And as school business management continues on its inexorable curve of seemingly getting harder, it's ever more important that we can find creative ways of approach...

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Eyes Wide Open? Growing your trust with thorough due diligence

As part of the Schools White Paper published nearly 12 months ago, the Government set out it's plan to have to have all schools "in a strong multi-academy trust or with plans to join or form one" within the next eight years. Whilst recent news has talked about this target likely to be missed, the move to greater academisation appears one way. But s...

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Due Diligence case study - OWLS Multi-Academy Trust

Keystone Knowledge recently partnered with OWLS Multi-Academy Trust to conduct due diligence on a new school joining the MAT.  Read about it here. Download PDF File Here

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How to change the narrative on internal scrutiny and deliver 5 key benefits.

With the recent December 31st deadline to submit details of your internal scrutiny to the DfE (Department for Education), you may feel that internal scrutiny is not your favourite subject amongst the myriad of daily and monthly things to consider when running a school or trust. But what if you could change the narrative around internal scrutiny and...

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Keystone's KCSIE 2022 digest

The new Keeping Children Safe In Education report was released earlier this year. Although there weren't any major changes to the report, there some important additions. Our experts have gone through the updates to bring you this digest. Child-on-child sexual violence Sadly, child-on-child sexual violence and harassment is still prevalent issues in...

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Should you engage a school consultant?

From caretakers to CEOs, schools are full of incredible people who feel a commitment to help educate the minds of the future. One of the common themes of people who work in schools is that we all want to be the best that we can be. Whether that's having books that balance, having wonderful staff who facilitate great teaching or having clean buildin...

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How to avoid email scams and phishing

 Nobody wants to fall prey to a phishing scam let alone the disruption and issues they can cause to your school or trust. There's a good reason that such scams will continue, though: They are successful enough for cybercriminals to make massive profits. Phishing scams have been around practically since the inception of the Internet, and they w...

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Behind the Education Headlines in August

Schools consider how budgets will stretch budgets this year In August, schools considered three or four-day weeks as a way to stay within budget in the face of massive pressures in the wake of unfunded staff pay increases and rising energy costs. Schools also considered shortening the school day and reducing the number of clubs and enrichment oppor...

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Keystone's free social media use policy template

Social media is something we can't live without, but it's important to sure that our staff and students use it responsibly. Our free social media template will set out how everyone can use social media safely.  Click below to download your free copy.   Keystone-Free-Social-Media-Policy 49 kb Download Files

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Four reasons you should engage a retainer this year!

Retainers can be a fantastic way to get support and advice from professional experts – without the cost of their salaries. Here are four reasons you should consider a retainer this coming school year. The best (and sometimes not so best!) thing about working in education is that no two days are the same. There is always a new project to oversee or ...

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How to research candidates online

 In paragraph 215 of the new KCSIE guidelines, which came into effect on 1st September, schools and trusts carry out an "online search (including social media) as part of their due diligence on the shortlisted candidates." Conducting in conjunction with adequate DBS checks, a search should only be used to find any "incidents or issues" involvi...

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Keystone’s Guide to the ATH Update 2022

The long-awaited updated Academies Trust Handbook has been released! Luckily there haven't been many changes to this edition but here are the amendments that you should know about and how they affect you. These changes came into effect on the 1st September and you should be aware of them as the 2022/23 year begins. Budget Forecast Return OutturnSta...

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