There are plenty of opportunities here, all of which rely heavily on an excellent, robust and reliable IT infrastructure that has been fully developed and informed by the Trust’s and individual schools’ vision for education.
So, how exactly do you keep these key people happy? What needs to be in place to ensure that they can get the most out of IT when it comes to delivering their part of the strategy?
The Finance Director
For your head of finance, it’s all about the implementation of a single Financial Management System (FMS) that can be accessed by staff (with appropriate permissions of course) from any of the Trust’s schools, providing a single point of data entry and up-to-date financial information. Having this information at their beck and call enables the financial team to make key decisions on allocation of resources, which means the Trust gets the development and investment in the areas it really needs.
The Operations Director
Speed and efficiency is paramount for this person. IT can help them speed up the take-on of schools coming into the Trust. Hosting back-office and curriculum systems securely in the cloud and integrating seamlessly with the MIS and Active Directory, for example, means bringing new staff, students and whole institutions into the Trust becomes much more simply. For completely new schools – such as Free Schools, UTCs and Studio Schools – everything can be provisioned and configured in advance of the physical schools being available so that brand new staff and students can access their systems from home in preparation for the start of the new school year.
The Education Director
Will be able to use IT to support collaboration and sharing of best practice throughout the Trust schools. Having the ability to seamlessly link to each school within the Trust, and to external organisations, makes it easier to share resources and connect with educators and experts outside of the classroom.
The IT Director
The spearhead of your bulletproof IT strategy. On so many occasions, we see IT become a standalone function which is totally technology driven and sometimes seen as an ambition blocker. Keep the IT Team close at hand and they’ll ensure that development of technology completely supports and progresses the trusts’ overall vision.
And for you, the Chief Executive a high performing, educationally informed IT solution is imperative to support the delivery of your vision – and ensure that you can confidently answer any member of staff across the trust with ‘IT can support you in whatever way is required – just ask them’.