How Keystone audits a trust

 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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Supporting Teacher Well-Being

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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Behind the Education Headlines in February

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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Summary of State of the Nation Report

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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How to improve the dynamics in your meetings

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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Imparting Schools' Values and Visions into Day to Day Life

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

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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Keystone's Guide to HR Retainers

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

 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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Acronyms in School Business Management

Keystone has recently taken on a new marketing executive who has come from outside of education. The first thing she said was, "It's amazing how many acronyms there are. It's like you're talking another language made entirely out of letters!" Schools strive to be as approachable as possible. We aim to use clear and simple language in letters and le...

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Digest of the ‘Schools’ Views On The Perceived Benefits And Obstacles To Joining A MAT’

In November, the government released a report entitled 'Schools' Views on the Perceived Benefits and Obstacles to Joining a Multi-Academy Trust.' The research comes from 700 schools across the UK. 300 of these have either joined or set up a MAT within the last 3 years, 300 are maintained by the local authority and are not interested in joining...

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Doing the right thing for everyone

The last couple of years have helped to show the general public how schools are more than 9am to 3pm providers of education to children. That they are centrepieces of communities, the facilitators of childcare that enable parents to go to work, one of the first lines in safeguarding, and essential contributors to the social development of our young...

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Moving Beyond Compliance

Keeping up with the changes to school and trust legal and regulatory compliance can sometimes feel like a full-time job. Changes to the Academy Trust Handbook (formerly the Academy Financial Handbook) and other requirements can feel like they are never-ending and it's often a relief to be able to say: 'yes, we're compliant with the latest regulatio...

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Top Tips for Positive Mental Wellbeing

 How would you rate your mental health? The last 19 months have been fraught for many. It is hardly surprising that the nation's health has suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic as people had to shield, work from home and not socialise. Our worlds were turned upside down with lockdown, with many of the day-to-day activities we all took for gra...

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Case Study - Ashby Hastings Primary School

Ashby Hastings Primary School opened its doors to pupils for the first time at the start of September, welcoming an EYFS class and ready to provide an outstanding education to local children as it grows over the next few years. Keystone worked with Symphony Learning Trust to manage the new school project from creating the presumption school bid to ...

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