Athena dreams 


At Athena, we dream of becoming a leading champion for teachers, headteachers and school support staff. 

We dream of creating a world where…

All kids get to go to a great school

All trusts work together for all children

All lessons are disruption-and-distraction free, including all cover lessons

All kids listen actively and focus their attention really well in all subject tasks in all their lessons

All kids interact and respond really positively to each other and adults around school

All kids take responsibility and initiative in their learning and for helping their school to improve

All children choose and create a life dream for the future, of their own

All students are clear on the purpose of school and every subject they do 

All children experience corridors and staircases, breaks and lunches as calm and happy places

All students enjoy showing up to school every day

All students read for pleasure every day they are in school

All students are greeted by their school leaders and hear encouraging messages every day

All children who find learning difficult have access to the same rigour and dignity as others, and are not denied or deprived of great subject teaching, not segregated or secluded off.

All children who are different to the majority feel that they belong just as much, and are celebrated for the valuable different perspectives they bring to our communities

All children are seen and see themselves as leaders, leaders of their school community, their community and in future, the country and the world  


We dream of building a world in schools where..

All staff can do every day what they do best and enjoy most: teaching, learning, leading! 

All staff have access to the best thinking, ideas and practices of the best school leaders, school improvers and education thinkers in the world, in a well-curated place

All staff have a CPD curriculum for their role and chosen progression pathway

All the world’s headteachers, school leaders and school staff are fantastically well backed with well-curated knowledge-building, habit-building CPD

All staff feel their time is really well invested in school, that their life-work harmony is sustainable and that they can see themselves staying in education

All staff feel clear, supported, appreciated, involved, committed, motivated and proud of their school

All staff feel empowered to keep developing and improving themselves, their colleagues with honesty, feedback, challenge and planning together, and their arenas of work

All staff share clear principles of leadership, and see their role as bringing the best out of others, bringing clarity and energy to others around them

All staff enjoy showing up to school every day 

All staff – including catering and site staff – see themselves as teachers, and as students: as teachers and students of character, habits, choices, interactions and how to lead a great life


We dream of creating a world together where..

All subject teachers feel connected with how their subjects change children’s worlds

All subject teachers are improving their subject teaching every day

All subject teachers are building their subject curriculum knowledge every day

All subject teachers are developing how they prioritise and revisit subject knowledge in and across lessons and units

All subject teachers help all their students to love their subjects

All subject teachers know what our students struggle with

All subject teachers make subject feedback to students effective

All subject teachers help our students with their learning outside of school

All subject teachers enable students who find learning hardest to access the best rigour and dignity


We dream of building a world where..

support teams in HR, finance, IT, facilities, office/reception work really well together

HR/people operations help us with recruitment, induction, probation, performance management, progression, succession planning, secondments, promotions, retention and exit interviews

technology helps us to keep improving our schools

we develop our relationships and trust with parents, carers, families, governors, trustees and the community


Together, teachers and schools can make dreams into realities. 

About Joe Kirby

School leader, education writer, Director of Education and co-founder, Athena Learning Trust, Deputy head and co-founder, Michaela Community School, English teacher
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1 Response to Athena dreams 

  1. Rufus says:

    Hey man, beautiful and inspiring.

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