Multi Academy Trusts: How can schools benefit from working together

If I told you there was a system to transform your school communities and student life, and proactively intercept safeguarding concerns, would you want to see it?

The ability to share provisions gives Multi Academy Trusts a great advantage through building common policies, sharing expertise, and learning directly from each other. Multi Academy Trusts that situate in the same area can also benefit greatly from sharing and streamlining safeguarding information to help prioritise and allocate resource better. Whilst Multi Academy Trusts are connected via management, with a programme like The Student Voice, schools can work together and utilise this advantage more effectively to safeguard their students.

Multi Academy Trusts and the proposed issues they face

Students that finish at one school at 3pm may gather in a local area, or around the gates of another school that has a later school day. Whilst their interest may be socialising, there may be causes for concern when rumours of bullying, theft, or safeguarding issues start surfacing.

The equivalent of 530 10 to 15 year olds are suffering theft everyday (The Telegraph, 2019), with just 1 in 8 children (13%) in this age group reporting it to the police (ONS, 2019). Those who said they had been subjected to violence jumped to more than one in 20.

Students travelling through local areas, sharing the same walks, buses or trains to and from school may have the same negative experiences to share but no way of reporting their concerns, nor the confidence to speak up about these contextual safeguarding matters.

How to Become PRO-active, not RE-active

Empowering students to take ownership of their community and improve their student experience will shape a student body of highly engaged individuals through a positive, proactive approach, and encourage others to speak out about their experiences as they can see they are being listened to.

Through The Student Voice, students can anonymously share information about issues in your school, aswell as in your community, for example: locations where children feel unsafe, reporting locations and incidents of knife crime, phone theft, drug dealing, and physical assaults. This system gives children the courage and ability to safely report safeguarding issues that concern them.

How MATs can work effectively together and with local authorities, and what that means for the future

Gathering vital reports on hotspot areas, times of day these incidents are occurring, and what age or year groups are experiencing this, means schools and local authorities can work more effectively together to intercept and prevent crime in the area.

The Student Voice will not only develop safer schools, but also safer communities as the system allows for information to be shared between Multi Academy Trust schools in the same catchment area, and with police and social care. This will allow for proactive safeguarding measures to be in place and the ability to track the effectiveness of measures put in place.

The Student Voice has the potential to dramatically improve the way in which education, police and social care can work together to successfully provide safer communities for young people, and educate students to become responsible and active participants in building safer communities.

‘Just 1 in 8 children (13%) aged 10 to 15 years old are reporting thefts to the police.’

ONS, 2019