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Series 2 – 2019-20

#EdInfluence podcast (series 2) - for education leaders

06 November 2019

Trusted by thousands of education providers across the country and an approved partner of the NGA, NAHT, CST, ASCL and ISBL, we are a national law firm helping our clients and partner organisations shape and influence education policy.

Providing insight and advice to education leaders in a collaborative and innovative way – our aim is to help you do what is right for your pupils and staff.

#EdInfluence draws on our own experiences and those of our clients and partners, to uncover the insights and beliefs of people who are truly invested in shaping the education space right now and those that are passionate about making a difference in the way in which we educate our children and young people.

Join our sector leading lawyers, Mark Blois and Nick MacKenzie as we cut through the policies, politics and red tape to engage in honest, humanised conversations with some of today’s most inspiring leaders.

Season 2 overview

In the second series of our EdInfluence podcast Education lawyer Nick MacKenzie facilitated discussions with sector leaders which focused on managing schools as businesses and developing successful multi academy trusts. 

 The latter half of the series shifted focus to consider the challenges posed by the COVID 19 pandemic and how schools can  move forward with optimism. 

Guests include Stephen Morales, CEO of the Institute of School Business Leadership, Emma Knights, CEO of the National Governance Association (NGA) and more. 

When speaking about the series, Nick said:

“What has been fascinating is hearing about the incredible things that are happening right now within schools and academies – for example, how Shireland are harnessing technology to support learning, how co-founder of Games Workshop Ian Livingstone believes in the notion of learning through play. We hear how Paul Whiteman is passionate about removing the fear from data and installing confidence in the teaching profession, and our client Hugh Greenway talks about the purpose of education and piloting Ofsted's new inspection framework.... everyone will enjoy listening to these real stories…”

Catch-up on series 3

Catch-up on series 1


Laying the foundations for the development of a national long-term education vision and plan 

Carl Ward, founder and Chair of the Foundation for Education Development (FED) shares with us how a long-term education vision and plan can best serve the needs of our country and its people. Carl outlines the thinking behind FED’s ambitious three-year objective to unify our country’s approach to life-long learning focus and discusses the need for research, the ideas and voices of our young people and the regionalisation of education.

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What makes a great school? 

We're joined by Alastair Falk a former headteacher currently working as an education consultant to talk about what makes a great school. Topics discussed are: three broad roles of a great school, hearing the voice of parents and pupils, learning from the online experience, the role of schools in social and economic regeneration and the importance of networks and raising your ‘head up’.

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Rising to the challenge - looking forward with optimism (part 2)

The final part on Covid-19 where five leading voices share examples of meeting this challenge and ideas for long-term positive change. Resilience, adaptability, collaboration and civic role of schools continue as key themes. Guest speakers are: 

  • Joy Madeiros - Global CEO, Oasis (01:12)
  • Graham Feek - Deputy Chief Executive, Greenwood Academies Trust (12:16)
  • Justin James - Chief Executive, Lion Academy Trust (23:50)
  • Dan Morrow - Trust Leader & Chief Executive, Woodlands Academy Trust (40:55)
  • Stuart Gardner - Trust Leader, Thinking Schools Academy Trust (52:35).
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Rising to the challenge - looking forward with optimism (part 1)

Resilience, adaptability, collaboration and civic role of schools are key themes in this first of two episodes on Covid-19. Five leading voices share examples of meeting this challenge and ideas for long-term positive change. Guest speakers are:

  • Leora Cruddas - Chief Executive, Confederation of School Trusts (01:12)
  • Luke Sparks - Executive Director, Dixons Academies Trust (09:20)
  • Debbie Clinton - Chief Executive Office, Academy Transformation Trust (22:10)
  • Richard Gill - Chief Executive Office, Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (32:15)
  • Hugh Greenway, Chief Executive, The Elliot Foundation (43:26).
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Developing a successful multi-academy trust 

We're joined by Sir Steve Lancashire, CEO of the REAch2 Academy Trust to discuss the continuing development of the largest primary-only multi-academy trust in the country. We explore a range of issues including the Trust’s origins and history, its approach to governance and the Trust’s ‘Cornerstone’ and ‘Touchstones’ strategies.

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Academy trusts - the role of members

We welcome Emma Knights, CEO of the National Governance Association (NGA), to discuss the publication of the latest version of the NGA’s guidance on the role of Members in Academy Trusts.

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People power 

We are joined by Ambition Institute’s Associate Director of Research and Evaluation Vivien Niblett to discuss their research ‘People Power’ and what can be learnt from multi-academy trusts about how to develop and retain educators.

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The future of school business leadership - leaning in 

Stephen Morales, CEO of the Institute of School Business Leadership joins us to discuss the future of school business leadership and the need for pedagogical leaders, governance leaders and business leaders to lean into each other.

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Digital strategies and tech transformation

We welcome Graham Feek and Steve Sanderson from Greenwood Academies Trust to discuss the implementation of an innovative digital strategy and the Microsoft Office 365 platform throughout their 35 academies.

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