A Thought Piece by Emma Lovell 2 April 2020

We’ve been inspired by the dedication and hard work of our staff right across the trust during this challenging time, as they work tirelessly both in their academies and from home to support our pupils and academy communities.

Over the coming weeks, we will be shining a light on some of the excellent work that is taking place within the trust, by catching up with staff working from home and in our academies.

This week we caught up with Emma Lovell, Regional Coordinator for the North, to find out what she has been up to.

Emma, your role usually takes you into different academies every week. How have you found working at home?

I have found this new way of working interesting. I’ve been able to look at different ways to communicate with my colleagues, ensuring that we stay connected. Technology has played a big role in my working life over the last couple of weeks, and I feel that I have learned skills that will be really useful in the future.

Have you been back into any of your academies in recent weeks?

I popped into Blackley E-ACT Academy in Manchester to help the team there. The academy is doing everything it can to ensure that vulnerable pupils are still able to access the support that they depend on. Blackley has a high proportion of children that are eligible for free school meals, so we needed to make sure that all of those pupils had a lunch available to them when the academy was closed.

It was great to see all the staff at Blackley pulling together and helping out where they were needed. People were getting stuck in, even in areas that they wouldn’t usually work in. I was so impressed by how well the staff knew pupils and their families, and by their strong desire to help the community in a difficult time.

I am so proud to be a part of a regional team where staff support one another and work together to make sure our academies and communities are supported.

What does the average day look like to you at the moment?

This is an unusual time for us as a trust, and a time where we all need to be flexible – so each day is different! I have been keen to help out my colleagues and lend a hand wherever I’m needed.

In my role, I try to support my colleagues with everything from regional coordination and administration to just being a friendly face (via video!) or being there for a chat if someone needs support. I’ve been coordinating with my colleagues in the North through constant communication via phone, Microsoft Teams calls and email.

Do you have any tips on working from home?

I think it’s important to try and maintain your working pattern and to separate your work from your home life.  It’s also important to maintain a good level of communication with your colleagues and friends. Finally, I would say that it is important to make time for yourself when you can.