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Sustainable growth in multi academy trusts – NAPE 053

Since September 2015, Mark Lacey has served as Chief Executive of the Diocese of Salisbury Academy Trust. The trust comprises of eighteen academies, across Wiltshire and Dorset. The Trust serves 3,500 pupils and has a clear and active growth strategy as it seeks to drive forward improvement of its academies, the vast majority of which entered the Trust under sponsored arrangements.

The Diocese of Salisbury Academy Trust has a vision for the growth of thriving learning communities, that provide everyone with the opportunity to achieve more than they ever thought possible. Christian values and service are at the heart of all we do, as we help young people to develop excitement in learning.

Mark served as Headteacher in a large challenging primary school in South Bristol. Appointed to headship at the age of 30, Mark led the school from inadequate to good. Key to the success of the school was the relentless focus on creating and maintaining an empowering vision for all members of the school community. Alongside this, development of people was key, and the school developed its own programme of coaching for all staff as well as being recognised as a Gold Level Investor in People.

Mark also led the development of the Malago Learning Partnership, a collaboration of 9 local schools. As Chair of the group he guided the development of a highly successful school improvement strategy, an in-depth joint practice development programme and a range of curriculum and assessment programmes. In 2012 he led his school through the academy conversion process. He has also served for a number of years as a governor at a secondary school within the partnership. which achieved its first ever ‘good’ inspection outcome during this time.

In addition to his work in school, Mark was very much involved in the development of the Local Leader of Education of education programme in Bristol through the National College, working in a coaching role with Headteachers to support them in the development and growth of leadership capacity; working with Headteachers to find solutions and ways forward within their own organisations.

Mark has a Business Degree from the University of Bath as well as a Masters, with distinction, in Educational Leadership and Management from the University of Worcester, the latter of which focused on the effective features of collaborative partnerships between schools. Mark has four children of his own and is very active in the work of his local church.

Twitter: @thedsat

Linked In: Mark Lacey

Mark was involved with new research produced by PrimarySite. It questions how easy it is for multi academy trusts (MATS) to grow and how Covid-19 has made expansion harder.

Sustainable Growth in Multi Academy Trusts interviewed and surveyed MAT leaders and experts to get their insight on how MAT could grow. It identifies five important challenges: lack of available schools wanting to join MATs, a risk averse culture, competition from other MATs, a shortage of senior leaders with the right expertise, and limited access to funding to support growth. The research also found that managing immediate issues linked to the pandemic needed to take priority and would slow the growth of MATs plans for growth.

You can view the report by clicking here.

Physical Literacy Programme with Beth Tweddle – NAPE 052

As Britain’s greatest ever-female gymnast, Beth’s impressive achievements include being an Olympic Bronze Medalist, a triple World Champion, a six-time European Champion, a Commonwealth Champion and seven-times consecutive National Champion.

Along with her unrivalled success Beth has competed at three Olympic Games; Athens 2004Beijing 2008 and London 2012 – where she won Bronze in the Uneven Bars.

In recent years Beth has shared her passion for learning and education through her business Beth Tweddle Gymnastics. Following the success of these in person classes Beth has now created an online resource for schools.


Beth and the team are passionate about ensuring all children are still given the opportunity to have fun and stay active in school. Following government guidelines, we are launching a brand new Beth Tweddle Physical literacy programme.

This is a 10 week scheme of work, aligned to Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 outcomes across Science, PHSE and Physical Education, and is centred around the development of physical literacy and our Beth Tweddle Values. 

The complete 10 week programme can be used for the whole school and each week is centred around one of our Beth Tweddle Values, such as Teamwork, Determination, Aspiration and Bravery. Your weekly pack will consist of videos and resources provided exclusively from Olympic Medallist and World Champion Gymnast, Beth Tweddle MBE.

For more information email

Chartered College of Teaching – Education in times of crisis – NAPE 051

Today I chat to Lisa-Maria Müller about her recent report for The Chartered College of Teaching –

Education in times of crisis: The potential implications of school closures for teachers and students. A review of research evidence on school closures and international approaches to education during the COVID-19 pandemic by Lisa-Maria Müller and Gemma Goldenberg

Full report is here.


Lisa-Maria is the Education Research Manager at the Chartered College of Teaching, where she works on linking research and practice. She works on various research projects, member consultations and evidence reviews on a range of topics such as teachers’ levels of research engagement, CPD and career progression or the potential implications of school closures on teachers and students, and regularly contributes content to the member platform MyCollege. Before joining the Chartered College of Teaching, Lisa-Maria worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the Universities of Cambridge and York on two projects relating to foreign language learning. She is a qualified teacher and has worked in secondary schools in Austria and England.




Teacher training in England and Wales with Dr. Jane Dorrian – NAPE 050

‘Teacher training in England and Wales – The potential impact of curriculum 2022 on QTS’ was an article written by Dr. Jane Dorrian for NAPE’s professional journal – Primary First.

On this podcast we discuss the themes of this article in more depth.

Jane worked as a Year 5/6 primary teacher in south Wales before specialising in early years. She then became an LEA Advisory Teacher and during this time she completed her doctorate which explored the professional identify of early years practitioners. She joined University of Wales, Newport as a lecturer in 2005 and moved to Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2012. During this time she taught on Childhood Studies and Teacher Education programmes as well as undertaking research. She is currently a Staff Tutor in the School of Education, Childhood and Sport at the Open University.

Twitter @DrJaneDorrian

For more information about the Wales curriculum

The National Association for Primary Education speaks for young children and all who live and work with them. This includes parents, teachers, governors and all those interested in primary education. NAPE is a non-political charity and works tirelessly to support teachers in the classroom. NAPE leads the Primary Umbrella Group of thirty primary subject associations and unions and gives teachers and schools a voice at governmental level at consultative meetings with ministers for schools.

For full details of how they can support you please visit their website at


Marcus Orlovsky – NAPE Patron – 049

Marcus Orlovsky is a financier turned tech turned education facilitator: host of TEDx conferences around Europe, working with students across UK and a National Association for Primary Education patron.

‘At Bryanston Square, I am combining my skills and knowledge to make a difference in education, from the facilities to what goes on in them, and it’s something I’m passionate about. I built a small organisation to work on bidding for large Government contracts under what was then the Building Schools for the Future programme. We bid for some 48 projects, all highly sought after contracts, and won 42. Later, I also assisted some Local Government procurement directors on around £1.5Bn of contracts from the private sector. 

In addition to my speaking engagements, I now work in and around schools and their students, although I still get involved in a few building or renovation projects. I fund the work we do with students around the country through commercial work for private sector clients.

My time is taken up with projects and with helping drive change. I am often asked to speak at conferences and seminars, where my main focus is on achievement and removing blockers. Some call it motivational speaking. I also get asked to speak to commercial organisations at conferences and seminars where the matters are remarkably similar. I’ve been lucky enough to have received great reviews.’

YouTube channel: inspiring resources Marcus Orlovsky

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