The Best From Everyone - page 40-41

Outstanding People and Leadership
and other senior roles and provided them with developmental opportunities, including interim
Principalship and promotions to SLT. It has been particularly pleasing that, when we have put
our internal candidates up against external applicants, they have performed well. We want to
encourage talent but likewise always want to ensure we appoint the best candidate for the job.
Another highlight of the year was our United Teaching programme, which made a strong start
and saw almost all of our graduates secure roles in schools across the Group. We are looking to
build on this by developing our offer to attract and retain staff through careers fairs and further
developing our mentoring scheme.We know it’s not just about getting new teachers in; we need
to really support them in the next stages of their career.
All of us in the Central team really enjoy the ‘Back to School’ initiative in which we each spend
a day at one of our schools working with someone we wouldn’t normally have contact with.
It’s something that every Central Office staff member undertook during the year and was an
invaluable opportunity to go out into individual schools, meet staff and students in their own
environment and see what is happening elsewhere in the Group.
During my own visit, I spent a day with Sheffield Park’s Attendance Officer Vicky Corke going
out into the local community and meeting with local families. The experience was extremely
enlightening and it helped to put my own work into perspective by hearing about the lives of
the individual students our schools serve and the challenges some of them face merely to get to
school in the morning.
Our ethos of “the best in everyone” is something that we all try to live up to each day. But it
is the work of people like Vicky and her colleagues in our schools that gives me the greatest
incentive and inspiration to keep doing so.
Outstanding People and Leadership
Lindsay Batchford, Head of HR and Deputy Director of People
One of the things I love most about working in United Learning’s Central
Office is that it encompasses people from a range of departments who are all
contributing, often behind the scenes, to the success of our schools. To run an
organisation like ours requires skills and expertise from professions such as
HR and Technology but also in lesser high profile roles such as our Purchase
Ledger and Payroll team who also work incredibly hard and are just as vital to
the smooth running of the Group.
During this year, being named national HR Practitioner of theYear at the HRAwards was obviously
a highlight. I was thrilled to have won but overall what was most important to me was that it
recognised United Learning and the value we place on our people. I think the award has really
put us on the map as an employer and reflects the great work that we have done to develop and
support head teachers around the country.
This year marked the second year of our group-wide business partnering scheme, which gives
schools a ‘go-to’ person for HR, finance and technology. Head teachers really appreciate this
initiative as, in addition to their own internal networks and valued people, they now have a lead
advisor on each practice area with whom they can work closely. In this way they can build and
develop a strong relationship with someone they trust and who can act as a sounding board,
critical friend and link to the central functions. It’s a two way relationship; schools get better
advice and we get instant feedback about how we are doing too.
Our talent spotting initiative has also had a successful year and is a continued priority for
2015/16. Across the Group, we identified a number of teachers who were ready for headship
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