Why Aligned autonomy?


Alignment without autonomy creates a culture of mimicry and rule following, without personal accountability. Our staff need to feel empowered to originate and innovate in their daily practice.

Autonomy without alignment denies the pooling of capacity and talent for the common good. It places staff in the position of competing, rather than collaborating. It runs the risk of undermining compliance and consistency in key areas where these are essential to effective and efficient operation.

Why choose alignment?

  • To fulfil our identity as a family of schools, working towards common goals
  • So all pupils and staff can benefit from the best collective practice and resources
  • Staff can be deployed to train and support where need arises, creating opportunity for progression and development
  • Efficiency in operation and maximising value of central services
  • Building capacity through reducing unnecessary workload

Why encourage autonomy?

  • To ensure that all staff feel ownership and personal accountability for the impact of what they do
  • To nurture innovation in practice and for continual self-growth
  • To avoid perpetuating a dependence on ‘the Trust’ to provide the answers
  • To provide room for flexibility and responsiveness to meet emerging needs

The process

Aligned autonomy consists of a ‘backbone’ which is to be adhered to in all academies. It deliberately evolves slowly, to enable consistency over time and for effective implementation. However, a component may be dropped from one year to the next if it is not having the needed impact.

Anything not outlined on the backbone is for staff to innovate and personalise, as long as it remains within the Trust and academy mission, values and improvement priorities.