Shining a Light on Great Management

“Working with Edurio has helped us harness the power of national benchmarking”

Discover how one trust is leading the way in supporting families

3 Insights From Ted Wragg Trust on Nurturing Great Leaders

“Working with Edurio has helped us harness the power of national benchmarking”

Discover how one trust is leading the way in supporting families

In a quest to redefine the role of managers and foster a supportive environment, Ted Wragg Multi-Academy Trust is spearheading a transformative approach to management.

Ted Wragg Trust Logo

We spoke with Tamsin Frances, Executive Director of People, Strategy & IT at Ted Wragg Trust, to learn more about their work. In this spotlight, we delve into three ideas that can benefit the leadership strategy in your school or trust.

This spotlight will focus on:

  • Advice on how to build a comprehensive management strategy
  • Redefining the key role of managers through a “How can I help?” culture
  • Resources that managers can use to manage workload

Before we review the leadership strategy at Ted Wragg Trust, let’s first reflect on why this matters.

Why does great leadership matter?

The Edurio national data set shows that feeling appreciated by their leadership is the element of staff experience with the strongest relationship with resignation. The less a staff member feels appreciated, the more likely they will consider resigning. 

Tamsin eloquently summarised the importance of great leadership in the sector, 

“We know the biggest issue in the sector is workload, but if you do not get the management style right, that is when you reach a breaking point: a high workload plus a lack of effective support to get you through that.”

Furthermore, our data show a gap in staff experience between line management and leadership. 68% of staff responded that their line manager takes their professional needs into account always or most of the time. However, only 39% are completely or very confident that the leadership actively work to address their professional needs. 

statistic on how school staff view leadership at their school or trust
Developing a comprehensive leadership strategy

Ted Wragg Trust is committed to bridging the gap between staff and leadership through a comprehensive leadership development strategy. This includes training managers in core habits, developing individual success plans, and fostering a culture of trust. By aligning leadership with the challenges faced by individual staff members, the trust aims to create a more supportive work environment. 

To empower managers, Ted Wragg Trust has identified three core areas for training:

  • Building strong relationships, 
  • Enhancing personal effectiveness, 
  • Supporting the highest standards.

The organisation is piloting a training program this year and next, with the intention of a phased rollout across the entire organisation over the next two years. These training sessions will equip managers with the skills and habits necessary to create a positive and impactful work environment.

Beyond training, the trust is actively building vulnerability-based trust throughout the organisation. This involves addressing mission and values, celebrating diversity, and recognising achievements. By focusing on creating a fantastic culture, managers are empowered to cultivate a sense of belonging and connection among team members.

Here is how Tamsin explains the work of helping managers create a culture of belonging:

Great leadership practice
Redefining the appraisal process: How can I help?

A fundamental shift is taking place in the appraisal process at Ted Wragg Trust. Instead of traditional line management meetings, the focus is now on planning for success. Managers are encouraged to ask, "How can I help you be successful in your job?" This approach includes timely feedback, regular meetings, and providing clarity on priorities. 

Ted Wragg Trust aims to redefine the manager's role as a supporter and facilitator rather than merely a directive authority figure. This shift addresses the critical connection between management style and wellbeing, particularly in high-stress situations.

Resources to manage workload

Ted Wragg Trust pays particular attention to equipping managers with the skills to help staff handle workload and navigate unexpected challenges. It is clear that the education sector often grapples with significant workload pressures, a potential catalyst for stress and wellbeing concerns.

To address this, the Trust recognises the importance of explicitly supporting managers in developing skills for workload management. In our conversation, Tamsin emphasised that, despite a considerable emphasis on pedagogy for teachers, there is a need for dedicated training on managing workload effectively for managers.

Below are some tangible resources that Tamsin recommended for managing workload. To access the resources in an editable format, fill out the form and have them in your inbox today:

  • Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy is a practical and impactful guide to managing workload and boosting productivity. The key thesis of the book is that each morning, you should tackle your most challenging task; everything else in your day will seem more manageable.
  • Important/urgent matrix. This matrix can be used in meetings to help staff members structure priorities during times of high workload.
  • Weekly Round-Up. This resource can be used if staff need a structure for planning their week ahead, and it also serves as a reflection on the week that has passed.
What's next?

Hopefully, learning about the leadership strategy at Ted Wragg Trust has been helpful, and you have found something to take away and apply to your setting. Consider the following steps:

  • Reflect on the data from your staff to see whether they are likely experiencing a disconnect between their line management and senior leadership.
  • If you are not collecting data on leadership dynamics, learn about the data you could gain by running the Staff Experience and Wellbeing Survey at your trust or school.
  • Learn more about trends in staff retention across the UK and the differences in experience by role in our report - Staff Retention by Role.
  • Dive further into the people strategy at Ted Wragg Trust on their website.

About Ted Wragg Trust

Ted Wragg Trust is a Multi Academy Trust with 16 schools located in Exeter, Plymouth, Crediton and East Devon. They are an ambitious and inclusive Trust with the goal of strengthening their communities through excellent education.

Ted Wragg Trust Logo

Ted Wragg Trust have been using Edurio data for three years to chart the experience of their staff. Their data has allowed them to develop a leadership strategy that is anchored in a nuanced understanding of their staff's needs and challenges.

Want to learn more about how Edurio work with schools and multi-academy trusts? We would love to hear about your school improvement goals and see how we could help — you can also send us an email at hello@edurio.com.

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