David Ross Education Trust

David Ross Education Trust

Our mission is to broaden the horizons of our pupils through the provision of a world-class education.

The DRET Way - Secondary

The DRET Way - Secondary


As a Trust we have a clear vision and this handbook is a companion piece to the Trust’s Strategy Document. It delves deeper into how our approach in the secondary team is delivering against this three-year strategy for the Trust.

Nothing of what we say in this document is new, many others in education believe what we believe. We know this as we have come to this collective endeavour as senior leaders in secondary by visiting many schools and Trusts across the country. Like many of them, we have been influenced heavily by voices such as Christine Counsell, Doug Lemov and Dylan Wiliam. Indeed I am very grateful to colleagues for welcoming us into their organisations to share their approaches and ideas with us.

We have a simple-to-state approach: insisting on impeccable behaviour, development of a knowledge-based curriculum, guided instructional teaching, and meaningful music and sporting experiences as a lever of school improvement, not simply as additional activities.

I love working in school leadership and believe education is a wonderful career choice. However it is a profession that too often led to heavy workload for colleagues. I want to be clear: working hard is the norm, but spending time on ineffective tasks at the expense of work-life balance is not. This is why our schools have common practices which reduce the burden for staff, for example centralised detentions and a sensible feedback policy which prioritises live feedback in class.

Many people have contributed to this document and also to the ideas, thinking and research upon which it is based. I am very grateful to everyone for their leadership and dedication to our students.

Mark Neild
Deputy CEO and Director of Secondary 

The DRET Way - Secondary

the dret way secondary.pdf