Herts & Essex Multi-Academy Trust
Herts & Essex Multi-Academy Trust comprises The Hertfordshire & Essex High School and Manor Fields Primary School.
Ian Chapman, Executive Deputy Headteacher, joined us to discuss how he and Ross Woodall the Trust’s Strategic Leader of IT used the brand-new One Platform membership to develop and deliver a multi-faceted, annual online safety professional development programme tailored to all stakeholders which the whole trust workforce has benefited from.
Joining The National College
Ian said: “As part of our Trust we have both Manor Fields Primary School and The Hertfordshire & Essex High School, educating around 2000 students.”
"Like everybody, we take online safety very seriously and as a result, professional development is a huge priority for us, mainly, in part due to this being an ever changing and continually evolving landscape,” he continued.
He added: “As you can imagine keeping up to date with everything can be really challenging.”
At The National College, we take the hassle out of CPD delivery and management with a unique, cost-effective option for educators: one provider, one platform, and one price.
Ian revealed: “Using this platform has enabled us to keep abreast of everything, not only the statutory requirements, but other important topical issues and threats. It's so thorough that it provides peace of mind, knowing that everything is covered.”
“It is really helpful as it helps us develop our priorities, it’s amazing.”
He said: “We made contact with The National College, received a free trial and looked at all of the resources.”
“I just thought it was brilliant. We thought it was such a good thing and we wanted to buy into it,” he added.
He explained: “Due to the flexibility of the system, we are able to set deadlines for the training to be completed. This is great as it means anyone can do it whenever they’d like to."
Engaging with parents and carers
Our One Platform membership includes the most comprehensive online safety package on the market, ready to roll out across your whole-school community, including parents and carers.
Ian revealed: “We run sessions with our governors, teaching and non-teaching staff. Now, we have started to roll the training out to our parents and carers too.”
“We send the weekly Wake Up Wednesday guides to parents and carers in our newsletter and to staff via our weekly bulletin. This regular contact means they're really on board with it, which in turn helps to build a culture of safeguarding across the Trust” he said.
He continued: “I think that online safety can be an area which parents and carers struggle with, but the guides contextualise the latest online risks and dangers for the whole school community.”
“We’ve found that it opens up that dialogue at home too, which is brilliant,” he added.
High-quality professional development for all staff
Reflecting on the quality of our professional development, Ian said: “The quality of the webinars and courses is brilliant. It’s fantastic, it covers absolutely everything.”
“It’s very easy to access and it’s quite digestible because all the modules are broken down into smaller sections,” he continued.
Our members also gain access to CPD management software unlike anything else on the market: an online space where they can take full control of planning, directing, recording, and reporting on all CPD activity across the Trust, in just a few clicks.
Ian explained: “You can look at the reporting section and see who has engaged with the training too, which is great for evidencing their career development.”
“We’ve used the user groups and watchlists to categorise our staff members and make sure that we are delivering the most appropriate to training to each individual,” he said.
He commented: “The interesting thing is that once people have watched one webinar, they want to watch and learn more. Everyone has really bought into it and are keen to improve their skills.”