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Strategy Group Developments

29 Mar 2019   |   Dom Fenner, Organisational Development Lead   |   Wellspring Academy Trust

The four Strategy Groups (Recruit and Retain, Workforce Wellbeing, Professional Learning Community and System Influence) have been tasked with developing thinking and strategic plans.

 Each group comprises of colleagues from the School System (from different settings and geographic locations), the Trust Support Centre and the Trust CEO. Each Strategic Group appointed a Chair, as follows:

  • Carrie Green – Recruit and Retain Strategy Group
  • Amy Portier – Workforce Wellbeing
  • Verity Watts – Professional Learning Community
  • Sarah Wilson – System Influence

The Strategy Groups were formed in June 2018 and meet on half-termly basis. To date the Strategy Groups have developed the following Trust-wide plans.

Recruit and Retain Strategy Group

HR Toolbox
Consisting of recruitment brochures and recruitment events material as well as HR recruitment documentation (template adverts, job application, shortlisting forms, interview questions, etc.) outlining the culture and values of the Trust. The HR Toolbox is available to Academy Leaders and Office Managers, accessible on Wellspring Digital.

Staff Induction Portal
Staff induction portal is now live on Wellspring Digital (HR section)!
All Academies/Support Centre Team will have access for induction of new starters from Easter.
The Induction Portal covers key compliance aspects of working in education and it’s designed to enhance induction experience, not replace school-specific induction.

Recruitment Activities
Opportunities for sharing best practice and costs of recruitment events (regional leads agreed). Developing a map of strategic relationships relevant to recruitment to enhance access to talent pool for all academies/Trust.

Apprenticeships Strategy
The Group agreed Apprenticeship Levy Coordination Process Map to enable effective use of apprenticeship levy funding. The levy funding can be used on upskilling existing staff and appointing new apprentices. The WAT Payroll Manager will be able to clarify funding available for each academy. Additional funding may be granted through Chief Information Officer were required to maximise levy spend.

Workforce Wellbeing Strategy Group

The Wellbeing Charter
The Wellbeing Charter is live on Wellspring Digital.
The Charter outlines the core standards agreed by the Strategy Group to proactively address staff wellbeing as agreed by the Strategy Group.

The Wellbeing Policy
The Wellbeing Policy is now live on Wellspring Digital

Wellbeing Champions Network
The network to consist of a Wellbeing Champions from each Academy. The Wellbeing Champion role and training package were developed and agreed by the group available on Wellspring Digital ( Lisa Forge – Psychological Welfare Lead, Phoenix Park Academy will lead development of the network.

Trust-wide Wellbeing Survey
The group agreed a Trust-wide wellbeing survey to support monitoring of wellbeing across the Trust and identifying strategic focus for the group.

Professional Learning Community Strategy Group

Enquiry Walks
2-3 enquiry walks/year for groups of max. 5 people with a specific focus. First one was held in January 19 at Greenacre School. For more information about participating/holding enquiry walk at your school contact Amy Hinchliffe on Positive Regard will co-ordinate.

Wellspring Digital
Wellspring Digital intranet platform is now live! ( The link to Wellspring Digital will be available on Academies individual websites. The platform will enable singular access to Trust-wide networking opportunities, CPD, information, resources and aims improve communication across the Trust.

System Influence Strategy Group

Feedback to the DfE
The group has provided feedback to ministers through a range of networks on matters including funding, qualifications, recruitment and retention. The group has also responded to formal consultations on SEN, CiN and exclusions.

OFSTED Consultation
The group are currently formulating a Trust response to the consultation on the new EIF. If principals would like to support this work there is an open document for thoughts and suggestions in the Strategy Group folder.

The Wellspring Voice
The group will shortly be launching the Wellspring Blog; a platform through which the Trust can comment on topical matters and share its vision and values. Mark will be launching the platform in the very near future (with Jonny’s support)! If you would like to contribute, please contact Sarah Wilson for further details.

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