Teacher Booker were pleased to attend the recent 2017 MATs Summit, and delighted at the overwhelmingly positive response to our vision and approach to changing the landscape of educational recruitment.
Marooned by a placid lake in the Cotswolds, the 200 strong delegation featured MAT CEOs, business managers and head teachers alongside industry experts from a wide range of fields. All were united in a conversation to understand the major issues facing the education sector and how best to tackle them. A strong thread running through the event was the vital role of collaboration and innovation in opening up new avenues of opportunity and spaces for development.
The first day began with a series of keynote addresses, chaired by Laura McInerney of Schools Week. Particularly memorable was Stephen Tierney’s powerful defence of a MAT system that retains its humanity and keeps its focus on strong outcomes for all of its pupils, even at the risk of a diminished rate of expansion. His talk emphasised the proper use of data and technology to facilitate this. Richard Boughey, director of educational services giant EES, led a roundtable discussion on developing adaptive solutions to three of the principle harbingers of doom in the education community: workload, funding and staff retention. Having found his own values to be in step with those of Teacher Booker over a casual coffee with our founder and CEO, Vamsi, Richard pointed to Teacher Booker as a prime example of such a solution.
It was gratifying and warming to find this philosophy espoused by so many impressive figures in the education sector, given that they are the core values of Teacher Booker and our embodied in our overall strategy and day-to-day practice. Our stand in the exhibition was constantly abuzz with discussions of how MAT leaders could realise our approach in their own institutions and how Teacher Booker could build and grow in response to their needs and suggestions.
The second day yielded a fantastic round table, hosted by Vamsi, and introduced by national labour supply expert and close friend of Teacher Booker, Professor John Howson. Titled “Staffing Structures and Supply Cover Solutions”, the Professor opened with a detailed description of the current state of affairs in terms of teacher recruitment in the UK, motivated by fresh and accurate data gathered by himself. With this accurate portrayal of the problem, Vamsi proceeded to discuss how this and other problems in the sphere of education could be solved using approaches to product development harvested from the tech industry. Discussion was stimulating, with many participants making insightful suggestions on how this approach could be put to use in building and improving school structures. Discussion spilled out from the conference room to downstairs over coffees, with Teacher Booker proud to have found even more new partners in our cause.
With our exhibition stand busy until the close of the conference itself, Teacher Booker packed up to head back to London, our heads still swimming with excitement at the plethora of new opportunities and partnerships in our crusade for a fairer system of teacher recruitment.