National Award Success for Louise Barber

Congratulations to our Director of Operations, Louise Barber on being awarded the School Business Leader of the Year at the 2020 TES Awards. This is an extremely prestigious award within the profession and is fully deserved for all of Louise’s hard work and excellence in the Trust.

Here is why Louise won the award.

It’s not difficult to see why the lead judge of the category, school business leader and National Association of Head Teachers mentor Hilary Goldsmith, said that Louise Barber’s nomination ticked all the boxes.

Ms Barber, who leads a team of 13 office managers and five central support staff within the Discovery Schools Academy Trust, was praised by the judges for her presence, expertise, attention to detail and positive attitude. But it is her leadership that really shines through.

Ms Goldsmith said: “Louise has done a lot of work on innovative approaches to flexible working and apprentice mentoring; she deputises for the chief executive – she really ticks all of the hot topic boxes that are hitting the role at the moment.”

Ms Barber mentors women to take on leadership roles, and has developed policies and procedures within the trust to empower them to take on new roles through promoting flexible working and diversity.

She has also focused on her own leadership development by studying for an MBA, lecturing on school business leadership national courses and helping to develop the trust’s apprenticeship strategy.

James Brown, deputy leader of the trust, said: “Louise’s most inspiring trait is her desire to learn. Working with children as we do in our schools means that Louise is an extremely positive role model for girls and the women she works alongside.”

The head of estates and admissions at the trust, Nathan Odom, said that Ms Barber’s leadership goes beyond the areas she directly manages. “Louise is very much the linchpin of the organisation, being that one person who everyone will turn to for advice and guidance,” he said. “There is authentic respect and admiration for Louise as a person and as a leader.”

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