30th March 2021

Reimaging the Future – A Think Piece

As I write this, it is a year to the day since I was sat in front of the television listening to Boris’ message that our schools were going to close to all children but key workers and that all learning was to take place remotely.

Even the best storyteller could not have written the story of our education system over the last twelve months. Together, we have changed our operating models literally overnight, learnt to work and teach in ways it would ordinarily have taken us years to master, respond to ever changing Government guidance and set up mini field hospitals to deal with lateral flow testing. The strength of our organisation has really shone through and I feel privileged to work with such an amazing team of people who have made all of this happen whilst keeping a smile upon their faces and keeping the interests of others at heart.

It has been great to see our buildings full of staff and students again over the last few weeks. Despite the difficulties and trepidation, it brings a calming sense of normality and a belief that things will eventually return to normal. Much is being written about the future of education at the moment. Some of it is positive and useful and some of it paints a negative picture about the journey and challenges ahead. A lot of what is written talks about a ‘lost generation’ of children and the need to ‘catch-up’.

If, as an organisation, we believe this to be true then it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Personally, I choose to take a different perspective on this. Some children might be worried, frustrated, disillusioned and in need of skilled support but, they are not lost. Yes, they may have missed some learning but, this does not render them permanently behind, incapable of learning new skills or unable to develop the social skills and emotional resilience they will need for their future success. I believe that instead, we should be celebrating the fact our students have faced, and overcome, multiple challenges, acquired new skills outside of those taught in school and learnt a lot about themselves along the way.

So, let’s work together to talk about ‘reimagination’ rather than ‘recovery’. As an organisation our successful response to the challenges ahead must focus upon three things; what we teach, how we teach it and support for those who need it. Ensuring we deliver a broad curriculum that centres upon building skills, knowledge and creativity. Delivering precise and responsive teaching that meets the needs of all our students. Providing high quality care and additional provision that is proactive to the needs of our children and families.

If we all focus on doing these three things really well and utilise all of the good practice and learning from the last twelve months, then Together we can do this. Together, we are Minerva.

Bev Matthews

Proud CEO 

Bev Matthews CEO Minerva Learning Trust