The Greenwood Dale Foundation Trust was founded in 2009 by Sir Barry Day, OBE and specialises in working with schools in challenging circumstances. The Trust has a positive track record of delivering significant improvements in these schools and currently sponsors 27 academies educating over 16,000 pupils across the East Midlands.
As the Trust has grown, the use of EVOLVE since October 2013 has been vital in ensuring the safe and efficient management of over 2000 external events each year.The aim of the Trust is to improve the educational standards and life chances of all these young people and we run a wide range of enrichment activities that directly support all aspects of the curriculum. Personal development is also very high on the agenda and pupils at all our academies have opportunities to take part in a progressive range of adventurous activities that build their leadership and communications skills, confidence, motivation and self-esteem. All these programmes provide invaluable training and encouragement that enable our pupils to reach their full potential in the classroom and to develop themselves as confident and ambitious young people.
As the Trust has grown, the use of EVOLVE since October 2013 has been vital in ensuring the safe and efficient management of over 2000 external events each year. The EVOLVE system allows the Senior Leadership Teams at our academies to retain direct control and responsibility of all their off-site activities. All the Principals have delegated authority to approve local events that make up the majority of the visits and activities undertaken by the pupils. However, as an additional safeguard, the residential and overseas visits are referred automatically to our external partner for further scrutiny and authorisation. This approval system works extremely well and ensures that responsibility and accountability remain primarily with the Principals. The additional benefits of EVOLVE include reducing bureaucracy and the time taken to arrange and approve visits, whilst ensuring total oversight by the Central Team of all external activities and events taking place across the Trust.
The support from all the team at eduFOCUS has been outstanding throughout and it would be impossible to manage the scale and complexity of our extended opportunities programme without the EVOLVE system.The EVOLVE system also provides the perfect mechanism for storing Risk Assessments and it creates an indelible record of all arrangements, decisions and the approval chain. The increased efficiency and greater confidence generated by the system amongst the staff, have resulted in a significant increase in the number of external learning opportunities across our academies and it has also helped with the management of monitoring visit inspections, staff ‘post-event’ evaluation and pupil records of achievements. We also hold an annual EVOLVE conference for all our Off-site Visit Coordinators that provides an excellent opportunity to update everyone on the latest developments available on the system, including the benefits of EVOLVE +, and to create a users’ forum.
Overall, the use of EVOLVE has completely revolutionised the management of all our external events and visits across the Trust and has played a very significant part in maximising the off-site learning opportunities for all our pupils and staff. The support from all the team at eduFOCUS has been outstanding throughout and it would be impossible to manage the scale and complexity of our extended opportunities programme without the EVOLVE system.
Written April 2015