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Central Team view

Jez Wilsdon joined the Central Trust Team as Head of Development in July 2020, here's his perspective on his experiences to date:

Back in the summer of 2017 my involvement with the Grand Union Partnership began as one of the original Members. I wanted to get involved because I was inspired by the CEO's very clear focus on making a tangible difference to the life chances of the children at each school in the Trust.

In July 2020 my involvement with the Trust switched from being a Member to joining the Central Trust Team as Head of Development. My previous leadership roles in Further Education Colleges provided me with opportunities to develop a set of skills that align well with the key elements of this new role.

Previously, I have led teams that have successfully supported improvements in teaching, learning and assessment and curriculum design. I’ve also overseen the management of a range of wider support services, including human resources, IT Development, exams, student services and additional learning support. Along the way I’ve helped prepare colleges for Ofsted inspection (typically achieving good our outstanding outcomes) and led projects linked to a wide range of quality kitemarks, such as Matrix accreditation and Investors in People. I’ve also led on the design, development and roll out of a middle leadership programme.

Since joining the Central Trust Team I’ve been working with Headteachers and their teams to introduce a new teaching, learning and assessment strategy across the Trust. This was launched in September and brings together a common set of teaching, learning and assessment standards, an opportunity for teachers to self-assess themselves against these standards, a revised approach to observation and wider review activities and staff development. It has been great to see school leaders and teachers engaging with these processes and they’re already helping us to better understand, and take further steps to enhance, the quality of education we deliver. We’ve also been working on a set of curriculum design principles at Trust level that mean that whilst we each school continues to evolve its approach to curriculum design all schools are aiming to deliver on the core principles that we’re all signed up to. In developing commonly held Trust principles for key aspects of what we do, we encourage individual school teams to be creative and develop their own identity whilst recognising that the review and evaluation of the impact of the approaches they use will be in line with these Trust level principles.

Our new 3 year strategic plan identifies a number of key projects for us that will help us to grow, both in terms  our capacity to promote school improvement and numerically, with respect to the number of children and schools that benefit from being a part of the Trust. Our refreshed vision, mission, values and ethos remain sharply focused on making a difference for the children in our schools. The Grand Union Partnership is an exciting, dynamic and fulfilling place to work- we’re a great team to be part of.