There was a real buzz in the room as two hundred colleagues from five schools gathered together to celebrate the imminent launch of the Mercian Trust.
Philip Sturrock MBE, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, gave the opening keynote address. He stressed that the Mercian trust brought together a family of different schools, each with their unique identity, their individual strengths. The Mercian will not hand down instructions from on high, turning its schools into a series of clones. Diversity underpins this Trust; it is seamless collaboration that makes it work.
The idea of working together informed what the Mercian CEO had to say. In his address, Tim Swain spoke about how the Mercian was initially an answer to change in the landscape of education. Now it had become an agent for change as the Schools planned ways to help all their pupils prepare to enjoy life to the full. Participation was the key to enjoyment.
The delegates certainly seemed to get the message. As the programme moved to group discussion, there was a sense of excited anticipation as colleagues shared stories and anecdotes, ideas and initiatives. Their faces told the story of fresh impetus for the challenge of their work. Education is not primarily about acquiring information; rather it is about the possibility of transformation. The Founder schools of The Mercian Trust believe that they are on the threshold of something important.