Director of People
Our Director of People, Alison Alexander goes through what a typical day this new term looks like.
Firstly, we (casual HR staff along with Susanna Taylor, Finance Director and myself) are knee-deep in implementing our new HR/Payroll system, so having signed up the services, we are working closely with project teams to ensure the new systems are ready for September payroll and we have new contract templates and pre-employment medical checks fit for purpose. We are working closely with James Radburn, our Digital Lead on ensuring the technical set-up of our new HR system works alongside our other trust software systems.
Staff wellbeing is always central to what we are trying to achieve in HR and I am preparing some feedback for staff and a report for our directors and trustees from our staff wellbeing survey.
Like most of us, there are always lots of emails, calls and Teams messages to respond to throughout the day and I think it’s important to try and provide as timely replies as possible, to enable others to do their job effectively. This might be dealing with issues from our Heads, Office Managers, our suppliers, companies wanting to work with us, other stakeholders on various employment issues and HR Heads from other trusts/network contacts sharing good practices and bouncing around ideas.
Directors meet weekly together with the CEO to discuss strategic planning, share and review current issues across schools and the trust.
Natasha Ratcliffe, our Marketing Manager reports to me and we usually try and catch up at least fortnightly. She has been sharing the marketing plans she has been working on with schools to try and further drive up admission numbers. Also, she has been busy helping the Teaching Alliance promote their new qualifications/courses offer and promoting our jobs and trust on social media.
I’m responsible for overseeing the service provided to us by WCC HR Consultancy and ensuring they are providing us with the best quality service and squeezing the pips on getting the best value from them.
It’s also a busy time of year ensuring all pay recommendations are ready to be approved by trustees and preparing the updates to this year’s Pay Policy and one of my favourite parts of my job - planning my visits to our schools.
We are just about to launch this year’s People management training programme for school leaders and I am delivering the first one for Line Managers/aspiring school leaders on our new Development Reviews next week.
One of my next projects is to explore other flexible working options that might work for school staff and we are hoping to set up a working party soon, we know this is really important for about half of our staff - watch this space!
Then at the end of the day, I usually reflect on what I have and haven’t achieved and prepare for the next day – ensuring some home/life balance including switch-off time!