Is being compliant with the ATH enough?

Is-being-compliant-with-the-ATH-enough
Keeping up to date with legal and regulatory compliance can feel like a full-time job as the changes to the ATH can be never-ending. While it's a relief to be able to say, "we're compliant", is that really enough? Why being compliant matters Compliance takes many forms. It covers aspects from regulations around; providing parents with information o...
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Behind the Education Headlines in May

February-headlines
Cost of Living Crisis The rate of inflation in April was 9%, up from 7% in March. This represents the highest rate of inflation on record. The rising price of oil and consumer goods have contributed to this and there doesn't look to be an end in sight. Schools are always an important hub in the community, but there are needed even more so. We have ...
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30 Hits

Creating a culture – not just a fad

Not-just-a-culture-blog
At Keystone, we talk about culture, both internally and externally. Workplace culture is a huge aspect of a positive, efficient school. It's just as important as having good salaries but is much harder to quantify and even harder to change. Having a good workplace culture can increase your staff retention, boost productivity, make recruitment a lot...
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110 Hits

Keystone's digest of the Schools Bill

Schools-white-paper-blog
The DfE released the new Schools Bill which outlines the government's plans to "help spread opportunity, level up the country and boost our economy". This follows on from the school's white paper which laid out the ambition to have all schools in a MAT by 2030. The draft bill compromises of 15 different sections, ranging from academy trust int...
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141 Hits

The importance of good governance

importance-of-good-governance-blog
Although the role of governors has changed drastically over the last few decades, they still remain absolutely vital for schools to run effectively. More and more emphasis is being put on the accountability of the governors to run the school correctly. Although not strictly from an academic background, governors set the strategy for the school or M...
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122 Hits

Behind the Education Headlines in April

February-headlines
 DfE to stop reporting Covid absences The government has returned to Pre-Covid updates on the absence. The DfE removed their "questions on pupil absence due to COVID-19" which means that there will no longer be a record of absences caused by Covid. Schools will now include any Covid related absences under the 'illness' code on the register. Ho...
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111 Hits

Keystone's digest of Ofsted's five year strategy

Schools-white-paper-blog
Ofsted have released their 5-year strategy. We've read the report, so you don't have to. The report recognises that Covid has significantly disrupted both children's lives and their education. Covid has also impacted both pupil and staff physical and mental health while increasing safeguarding concerns. Their strategy promises to raise standards in...
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106 Hits

Protecting your IT provision

IT-provision-blog
At the 2022 Bett show, the education secretary Nadhim Zahawi announced that all schools would have access to high-speed internet by 2025. He also promised an additional £150 million to help schools upgrade their Wi-Fi connections in 55 EIA (Education Investment Areas). Similarly, the schools white paper laid out the DfE's plan to create a "strong e...
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148 Hits

Behind the Education Headlines in March

March-headlines
 Schools White Paper The biggest school's headline in March was the release of the schools white paper. The paper was Nadhim Zahawi's first as education secretary. The paper laid out the key ambitions of the government: Every school should be part of a MAT by 2030 Up to 6 million "tutoring courses" by 2024 – with tutoring becoming a permanent ...
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Keystone's guide to naming your MAT

MAT-names-blog
When Keystone was set up, we knew that we would primarily provide support to schools in a range of areas, such as HR, health and safety, auditing, and trust growth support. Over the past 12 months, we've been approached by a few school business professionals who are looking at setting up new MATs. Nominative determinism is the idea that people tend...
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211 Hits

Digest of the schools white paper

Schools-white-paper-blog
The government released their white paper on schools, "Opportunity for all: strong schools with great teachers for your child". The white paper is Nadhim Zahawi's first as education secretary. We've read the report and here are the key things that you need to know.   Multi Academy Trusts  Perhaps the most controversial aim laid out i...
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How Keystone audits a trust

HR-audit-blog
 What is an HR audit? An HR audit is an objective look at how your school or trust's HR department operates, including the policies and procedures in place. An audit can either be internal (with the trust's own HR team conducting it) or you can instruct an outside company to conduct it for you. Unless the audit has been triggered for a specifi...
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172 Hits

Supporting Teacher Well-Being

Supporting-teachers-wellbeing-blog
Teachers are at the front line of both teaching and pastoral care for students, but what can you do as a school business professional to support them?   Teachers mental wellbeing has been poor According to NASWT's Teacher Wellbeing Survey, 91% of teachers say their job has negatively affected their mental health and 64% say that it has im...
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203 Hits

Behind the Education Headlines in February

February-headlines
TikTok fight leads to surprise Ofsted visit Concerns over the safeguarding at Northampton International Academy have been raised after a TikTok video showed three students punching and hair pulling two other students. The academy has had many ups and downs with their safeguarding in recent months. The school was rated 'good' in their last full Ofst...
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231 Hits

Summary of State of the Nation Report

State-of-the-Nation-Blog
The Social Mobility Commission has just released their State of the Nation 2021 report which details how social mobility has been impacted by the pandemic. Social mobility is the link between your income and your parents' income. There is a strong relationship between high inequality and low social mobility. If there are high levels of inequality i...
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245 Hits

How to improve the dynamics in your meetings

Meeting-Dynamics-Blog
Good meetings help get things done. They harness the skills and experience of those around the table to solve problems, ask intelligent questions and improve strategy to get things done. Bad meetings do not get things done. They waste people's time, exacerbate tension, entrench partisan behaviours and frequently cover the same ground repeatedly wit...
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267 Hits

Imparting Schools' Values and Visions into Day to Day Life

Imparting Values Blog
All schools, whether they are trusts or maintained schools, have a set of values that they aim to follow. The DfE and the ESFA tend to focus on the quantitative side of schooling with an overwhelming emphasis on exam or assessment results. Although these are incredibly important and help set us up to succeed in the professional world, they aren't t...
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The Benefits of Joining a MAT

Benefits-of-joining-a--Blog-Post
Converting from an LA school to an academy in a MAT or joining a MAT as a standalone academy can have many benefits. Buying in bulk leads to greater economies in scales  Joining or starting a MAT can lead to economies of scale and greater efficiency. MATs can contain as many as 70 schools which makes them a considerable 'buying block' when pur...
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228 Hits

Keystone's Guide to HR Retainers

HR-Retainer-Blog-Post
The last 12 months have shone a spotlight onto how schools are run. An increase in staff absences, brought on by Covid, has brought HR to the forefront as schools struggle to manage staff-pupil ratios, maintain face to face teaching and support staff who are anxious about returning to the classroom after remote learning. If your trust HR team or sc...
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Keystone's Year in Review

Keystone Knowledge Year in Review The Keystone team have gone above and beyond this year.
 2021 was a tough year for many and the Keystone staff had their share of struggles. Despite this, they went above and beyond to give our clients an exceptional service with measurable outcomes for pupils. Our vision is for every child to receive an outstanding education, underpinned by excellent school and trust management – and we like to th...
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314 Hits