Focus-Trust appoints new Curriculum and Professional Learning Lead

Newly created role to work collaboratively with all schools and strike the right balance of curriculum coherence and autonomy
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Focus-Trust, a primary schools trust based in the North-West of England and West Yorkshire, has appointed former Primary English Lead and Senior Leader, Anna Hackett as its new Curriculum and Professional Learning Lead.

As an integral part of the Central Team, Anna works with primary schools across the Trust through a tiered approach to professional development: an approach aimed at developing primary curriculum design, subject integrity and subject leadership skills.

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Anna will also be instrumental in building on Focus’ existing reputation as an academy trust with a strong culture of collective efficacy and ensuring ongoing improvement as it looks towards the future following what has been a challenging few years for the sector as a result of the pandemic.

Anna HackettAnna Hackett
Anna Hackett

With over 15 years’ experience in Education, Anna began her career as a SEND Support Assistant in a secondary school, this gave her a good foundation for working with children and ignited her motivation to find a way to value every voice. She then went on to be a primary school teacher in a school in Huddersfield where she progressed to being an English Leader and then Assistant Head for Teaching and Learning.

Commenting on the appointment, Chief Executive Helen Rowland said that the Trust would ‘benefit immensely’ from Anna’s wealth of experience across education.

Welcoming her to her new position, Helen Rowland said, “Anna’s expertise and experience will really complement the existing skills that we have within our Central Team here at Focus-Trust.”

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“Her passion for the role empowers teachers and children alike to find their voice and stand up for their ideas and values. This mirrors our shared commitment of ‘Learning together, making difference’.”

“Anna’s role demonstrates our continued dedication to ensuring all schools in our Trust have access to high quality collective professional development. In our experience, collective efficacy allows us to celebrate, share, grow and nurture the very best practice across all of our schools.”

Focus-Trust's Education Director, Michael Rowland, said, ‘’I am delighted to welcome Anna to the Central Team. Her appointment marks another exciting chapter for Focus-Trust.

“With her passion and expertise, our RPL (Responsive Professional Learning) offer will go from strength to strength and benefit all staff across the Trust. Our offer has never been stronger, and I am excited for what the future holds.”

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Commenting on her new role Anna said, “I feel very privileged to be in a position that gives me an opportunity to make a real difference. My past experiences have motivated me to be where I am today and to ensure the approach I take is one built around honesty, support and integrity. I work best alongside others, being open and honest as we solve problems and celebrate everyday glimmers together.”

“Each of our schools has autonomy over their curriculum and pedagogical choices – this is something I love about Focus-Trust. To maintain this individuality and work collaboratively, we need shared principles in curriculum design, subject awareness and leadership. This has formed the spine of our Professional Learning offer starting with our Deputies’ Conference in April, with guest speaker, Emma Turner.

“One of the many challenges that come with being a primary school teacher is having the depth of awareness of all subjects. Over the next term, teachers and subject leaders will attend subject-focussed Teaching and Learning Community days (TLCs), where we will collectively unpick what makes each subject tick. I don’t claim to have all the answers but it’s exciting that together we can find out.”

“I am delighted to have joined the team, and very much looking forward to contributing to our continued success over the coming months and years.”

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Focus-Trust is a primary schools trust based in the North-West of England and West Yorkshire with a vision of providing ‘great schools at the heart of our communities’ where children thrive, achieve and succeed.

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