Hackney Learning Trust (HLT) is part of Hackney Council’s Children, Adults and Community Health (CA&CH) Directorate and is responsible for a wide range of services:
HLT is responsible for overseeing educational improvements in the borough, but also works with schools and other educational institutions across the UK.
The Trust was originally established in 2002 as the first private, not-for-profit company in the UK to take over and transform a council’s entire education function. In 2012 The Learning Trust was returned back to Hackney Council but with a significant earned income target — almost £10M a year.
This success story explains how =mc consulting helped them achieve that target.
In order to meet the ambitious £10M a year target the Trust had not only to retain its existing schools and education contracts but also win high value new business from inside and outside the borough.
They needed a strategy to do that. Not only that, the service delivery staff were mostly professional educators or other experts in their field. Many didn’t see it as appropriate to ‘sell’ their services and even those who don’t have the knowledge or skills to do so. Service delivery staff – or at least some of them – needed to have the skillsets and mindsets to win and then retain business. They wanted help and support to do this.
=mc consulting team undertook three processes in parallel to meet the demanding timetable:
To ensure staff and managers were fully on-board we undertook an extensive engagement survey, in person and online, with key stakeholders. This helped identify the key issues especially anxieties to be addressed.
The strategy was developed with the senior management team to clarify the overarching direction and where to focus attention to secure more business more profitably.
The modular training programme and toolkit, based on the needs identified in the audit, was piloted and then further developed before being handed over to the HLT in-house trainers.
The traded services management team at HLT developed the strategy with the =mc team. This has since been implemented with impressive results — achieving and exceeding those ambitious income targets. Staff were impressed and encouraged by the thoroughness of the training programme design, materials which gave the team the confidence and competence to build successful and rewarding business relationships with customers.
HLT is now a model for many authorities throughout the UK — frequently cited in best practice case studies.
=mc consulting has worked with a number of agencies in local government and central government over the last 10 years including: London Borough of Brent, East Lindsey District Council, and South East NHS Commissioning Authority.