Discovery Trust MAT
Discovery Trust is a well-established and respected partnership of 13 primary schools and 2 Special Education schools in Leicestershire, Rutland and Leicester City. The schools share a fundamental belief in the power of partnership and collaboration in improving the opportunities and outcomes for pupils and staff alike.
Discovery approached Nottingham Business School (NBS) to set a challenge for our MBA students and the Strategic Change Consultancy module. The trust wanted a team of students to explore what barriers or opportunities could arise from a proposed idea of franchising the wrap-around care that the partnership schools offer their students.
A team of students was assigned the challenge and had 4 working days to prepare a series of recommendations that were delivered in a presentation on the 5th working day. This work included interviewing key members of staff, using established business theory and models to back up their recommendations, and drawing on individual skills and experience to work effectively as a team.
On presentation day, the team confidently delivered a 20 minute presentation outlining their recommendations on how Discovery Trust could implement their proposed change, and helped the client visualise what success could look like.
Being in the business of education and learning, Discovery Trust understands the importance of collaboration and building a sustainable organisation that contributes to the wider educational system. Having experienced the Strategic Change Consultancy module first-hand as an MBA student, I was keen to work with NBS and provide a real-life scenario which would support other MBA students as part of their MBA study.
Developing the Trusts Extended Schools provision had been something the organisation had been looking to do over the last couple of years, but with Covid influencing the completion of certain strategic priorities, wrap around care took a bit of a back step. The idea of creating a franchise type provision seemed unobtainable in the current climate so the idea was introduced to NBS as a project to developed as part of the Strategic Change Consultancy module.
Right from the outset, it was clear the NBS student group allocated to us, had done their research, and following initial contact, they quickly got on board with our project brief. The group were always professional, listened carefully to our responses and were efficient with the time we gave them.
The end of the week presentation blew me and my colleagues away. Whilst I had hoped their recommendations would be useful to the Trust, what they provided surpassed all expectation. The group had really understood our organisational values and vision and incorporated these throughout the presentation. Their use of research to demonstrate current wrap around care status was well presented and explained and their recommendations were thorough and well set out.
To help put their recommendations into action, a plan proposal was provided in the form of an 8-step change process diagram and an accompanying action plan which made it more relevant to the Trust.
After Christmas, we envisage using the resources provided to make real changes to the wrap around care provision, based on the students’ overarching recommendations of: Consistency, Clarity and Cascade.
Our experience was a real positive one and we thoroughly enjoyed the whole week.
Louise Barber, Director of Operations
Postgraduate Consultancy Projects
The projects offer our postgraduate students a valuable chance to put theory into practice while working on a real business challenge.