The Laurus Trust’s vision is simple: to level the playing field for all children and young people and to provide them with the opportunity, regardless of background or circumstance, to thrive and succeed.
The work of staff here has continued unabated throughout the Covid crisis to ensure that no child is left behind and that their future prospects are not diminished by the pandemic.
Having adapted extremely quickly to online learning platforms during the first lockdown, the Laurus Trust has certainly risen to the challenge caused by repeated school closures, minimising disruption and keeping its students’ education on track.
Attendance rates for remote lessons continue to be incredibly high and staff have been quick to ensure that everyone has access to the necessary technology.
Hundreds of devices have been distributed across the trust to ensure inaccessibility is no barrier to learning and the IT team continue to update old tablets and laptops for those that may need them.
Staff are also continuing to support vulnerable children and the children of keyworkers in school and are maintaining the lines of communication with all students whether they are at home or in the classroom.
The foundations being laid now will allow for a smooth transition when schools eventually return and plans continue for this and the longer-term goals of the trust, where expectations for students remain high.
The work being carried out across the Laurus Trust is also inspiring others, including teacher and senior leader Sean Harris. After three years as North Area Director for the Ambition Institute he is returning to the classroom.
He explains how his discussions with Trust CEO Linda Magrath and David Woolley, Headteacher of Didsbury High School (right), have helped his decision:
“I have been inspired and humbled in many of my discussions over the last year with school leaders. David and the team at Laurus are an exceptional example of how school leaders and teachers have continued to serve children brilliantly.”
Sean first worked with the Laurus Trust last year in his role at the Ambition Institute and was struck by how senior leaders were still focusing on children’s education, continued school improvement and teacher development beyond the global pandemic.
Sean continues: “I was enthused by Linda and David’s uncompromising ability and desire to think beyond the fire-fighting of the current climate that schools are working in. It reminded me of what is great about the teaching profession; a desire to keep getting better and a commitment to learning.“
The ability of the Laurus Trust staff to forward plan and think ahead has certainly helped them meet the challenges of the past 12 months capably and effectively.
And now, with lateral flow testing underway across all trust schools, there is already a hint of the light at the end of the tunnel. As they prepare to welcome students back with open arms as soon as they are able, Laurus Trust staff continue to demonstrate that as well as continuing to level the playing field in the here and now they are more than ready for life, and education, after Covid.