How to make your Multi-Academy Trust Attractive to Potential Partners
Introducing Glove Consulting
If you went on a first date you’d do your make-up or straighten your tie, or both, and wear trousers even if it was all on-screen, (lockdown online conferencing has taught us so much!) You’d also want to make sure you presented an authentic you – in character, tone, perspective and values; when dating, it’s no good throwing on a wig or meekly nodding without expressing an opinion.
If you are a school thinking about forming a Multi-Academy Trust or you are a Trust with a vision to expand, then you are getting ready for that first date and for going steady (yeah, yeah, no-one says that anymore!) If you’ve ever got your sister to do your hair or WhatsApped a picture to friends, asking, ‘Thoughts?’ then you have an idea of the power of consulting a ‘critical friend’ for support.
Glove Consulting holds an increasingly large portfolio of Multi-Academy Trusts and understands that each is unique in need, identity and vision. Glove Consulting offers bespoke educational improvement and development services for your school or Trust – making sure you are attractive to potential partners.
Strategy is important, but Glove Consulting favour a famous quote from management guru Peter Drucker: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. This is particularly apt for a new school or Multi-Academy Trust, both at formation and growth stages: a strategy should evolve from your core – a defined vision, clear values, and a strong culture – your genuine self.
Glove Consulting work hand in hand (hand in glove?) with Blue Apple Education to develop a way forward for you with each of the following components.
Defining and communicating the unique character of your school or Trust is crucial. Ask, ‘What would it be like to be a part of us?’ Communicating clearly and honestly, with integrity, wearing good shoes and a smile, is the key to ensure long term and successful partnerships because it allows others to appraise you transparently and objectively.
Promise them a good time
Potential partners need to see the benefits of joining you. Consider how you can support them, the returns from their contribution, added funding and partnership benefits, a positive reputation. Think about new branding, marketing support and a highly effective website, for example. Defining, crafting, and communicating your offer to make sure it is highly desirable out there is crucial.
Personality matters far more than appearance, of course, but who goes on a first date without ironing their shirt or polishing their shoes? In the world of education, professional is often attractive, but remember to stay real – wear your best trainers and roll up your sleeves if that’s how you roll. The benefits of appearance go beyond being attractive to potential partners and include securing funding, good staff and pupils who will thrive within your world.
Not just a pretty face
You need evidence to back up your ‘new look’ as a new Trust or school looking for partners. Detailed and in-depth case studies about improvement and achievement, with key performance indicators, are important.
At Blue Apple Education we work to ensure your branding, your materials, your profile, all reflect accurately and purposefully, your personality as a school or Trust. If you have already spent time working on what makes you tick, who you are in terms of values and style and core philosophy, then you will be well-equipped to show us what makes you remarkable; this is exactly what we need to create a marketing package that works.
Once you have your partners and all is working well, don’t forget to keep investing in those relationships. Don’t rock up one day with your beard unshaven or yesterday’s mascara running down your face; don’t suddenly book a holiday in Ibiza when you promised you’d do Blackpool… By all means develop, grow, get stronger, but hang on to your core values as a school or Trust. As the poet Robert Browning almost said: Grow old together – the best is yet to come.