How did the Queen Street Group originate?
In June 2015, a group of 10 Trust leaders met to discuss how more-effective peer support might be developed between Multi Academy Trusts which share similar values, so that the capacity and effectiveness of each Trust might be enhanced. The discussion group broadened until around 20 Trust CEOs were meeting once each term during 2016–17 and 2017–18. At this stage there remained no formal membership, with those initially involved contacting peers they felt would be interested in joining the discussion and adding further viewpoints.
In 2018, it was decided to establish the Queen Street Group as a not-for-profit company with a charitable purpose, “to advance education for the public benefit”.
There were several advantages to this:
- The voluntary group of Trusts already in place, like-minded in their ethical commitments, became more firmly established;
- Creating a formal entity of this kind was ‘light touch’, cost-effective and added clear value, while also representing a formal commitment on the part of each participating trust to share insight and develop expertise on a regular basis.
Establishing QSG in this way: enables clarity of vision; encourages organisational development, both collectively and within each Trust; underscores a common adherence to ethical standards and high-quality pupil education; and stimulates thinking ahead as to how school improvement more generally might develop.
Queen Street Group member Trusts and their CEOs
|Astrea Academy Trust||Rowena Hackwood|
|Avanti Schools Trust||Nitesh Gor|
|Big Education||Liz Robinson|
|BMAT Education||Helena Mills|
|The Brooke Weston Trust||Dr Andrew Campbell|
|Cabot Learning Federation||Steve Taylor|
|Communities Academies Trust||Philip Hamilton|
|Creative Education Trust||Marc Jordan|
|Dixons Academies Charitable Trust||Sir Nick Weller|
|Education South West||Matthew Shanks|
|The First Federation Trust||Paul Walker|
|Future Academies||Paul Smith|
|Lead Academy Trust||Diana Owen|
|Ormiston Academies Trust||Nick Hudson|
|South Farnham Educational Trust||Sir Andrew Carter|
|Star Academies Trust||Mufti Hamid Patel|
|Summit Learning Trust||Catherine Anwar|
|Unity Schools Partnership||Dr Tim Coulson|
|Ventrus Limited||Gary Chown|
|The White Horse Federation||Dr Nicholas Capstick|
What does the Queen Street Group stand for?
The Queen Street Group’s object, purposes and principles
As agreed by members in December 2020.
Our object in our Articles of Association:
“To advance education for the public benefit”.
2.1 To improve the quality of education and opportunity for all pupils in our schools through mutual intellectual, moral and practical mutual challenge and support, and the implementation of best practice in the ethical and effective leadership of multi-academy trusts
2.2 To engage regularly with policy makers and regulators to ensure that the practical perspective – both of those responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the schools’ system and the views and experience of our pupils- is understood and reflected in their strategies and operations
3.1 Ethical leadership and moral purpose
We seek to lead our Trusts in the best interests of all our pupils, especially the most disadvantaged, and so help to build a more just and equitable society.
3.2 Thought grounded in practice
We are intellectually rigorous, positive, and constructive in how we seek to influence the development of education in Trusts and across the system. Our distinctive contribution is that our voice is grounded in the day-by-day practice of leading and managing successful groups of schools.
3.3 Open and transparent
Through our website and publishing, both physical and virtual, we are open in the way we form and share our views.
3.4 Eclectic and inclusive
All our members have a voice in how we operate. Our sub-groups provide networks for leaders across all areas of Trust operation to share knowledge, develop professionally and influence policy.
3.5 Multiple voices entwined in common purpose
Our Trusts are diverse in many ways, including geography, context and size. Each is accountable to its own Board and stakeholders. We seek to reflect and concentrate the impact of these multiple voices, not to condense them into a single viewpoint. We share a common conviction that all schools can benefit from being part of a Multi Academy Trust.
3.6 Proactive and focussed
We have no ambition to grow into a mass-membership organisation, nor do we feel the need to react to every shifting change or event in the educational world. We are proactive in focussing on the issues that experience in leading successful groups of schools tells us are of importance.
How do we go about meeting our object of advancing education for the public benefit?
QSG is a dynamic and rapidly evolving organisation. Our activities are detailed in the Annual reports published on this website and include:
CEOs’ meetings on a regular basis.
These provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, sharing of problems, and discussions about how to improve practice in Trusts and across the system. Guests are invited in order to share their thinking and engage in discussion.
These currently comprise Education, Finance, HR and Executive Assistant areas of expertise. The groups consist of and are chaired by senior expert leaders in these fields from each of the Trusts, who together with two CEO members share ideas, assist one another with solving problems and develop ideas for improving practice.
As a group of thoughtful practitioners, QSG is well-placed to develop thinking that is grounded in practice. Our Policy Groups are formed as needed to focus on particular areas, currently :
- Strategic Imperatives in response to the pandemic
- 2030 Education, looking at the wider re-imagining of education in the light of our experiences over the pandemic, especially the contribution that Trusts can make.
- Diversity: how Trusts can improve both equity and performance by promoting diversity.
We want to use the thinking that emerges from these activities to improve continuously the quality of education for pupils in our schools, and more widely across the system. We do this through our meetings with policy makers, officials and other system stakeholders, through our engagement with other educational bodies and through publication of think-pieces and blogs.