Posted on 3rd December 2020

TKAT CEO Dr Karen Roberts and Deputy CEO Elizabeth Harrison were invited to speak at this week’s Virtual MAT Expo, the UK education sector’s biggest ever virtual event.

Over 1,000 delegates joined online sessions, watched presentations and engaged with virtual workshops throughout the 2-day event. This connected Multi Academy Trust leaders with fellow professionals over 2 days of insight and collaboration.

TKAT CEO Dr Karen Roberts and Deputy CEO Elizabeth Harrison joined a select group of panellists in discussions around women in leadership and responses to the COVI9 19 pandemic.

During the first Panel discussion - "Lean in to Leadership" - panellists shared their experiences and journeys as women in education leadership, and how they've come up against unconscious gender bias.

Dr Karen Roberts said: “As a female leader, it cannot be underestimated just how powerful connecting with other female leaders is, and the support network you can get from that”

In the second session with leaders from the country’s largest Multi Academy Trusts, Dr Karen Roberts shared not only the trust’s challenges during COVID, but also the work they are doing within TKAT to improve and support staff, pupils and parents throughout the pandemic and beyond.

All panellists acknowledged the main concern has been the wellbeing of vulnerable children, and that many existing inequalities in learning experiences had been exacerbated.

Some excellent points were made about how to ensure high engagement and quality learning in challenging circumstances, with the emphasis on building resilience and strong home – school relationships.

A listener to the discussion commented:

“It was interesting and reassuring to listen to the CEOs in the largest Trusts; they have experienced identical challenges and work in similar ways to find educational solutions during Covid. Thank you.”

For more information on the event, please go to

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