For the first time ever, all of the staff from all five of the Matrix schools came together to celebrate the trust’s success up to the present day and to set our collective sights on where we are going next. More than 60 staff were nominated for more than a dozen awards, each one representing our trust behaviours and values, including Best Collaborator, Best Innovator, Most Adaptable, Most Creative and Best Problem Solver.

With the conference as a whole taking collaboration as its theme, Dr Dan Perry shared illuminating examples of where collaboration is key in the medical field. As well as being a professor of orthopaedic surgery and a renowned researcher, Dr Perry is an alumnus of a Matrix school. Our second keynote was from Caroline Paige, an award-winning retired Royal Air Force navigator with a thirty-five-year flying career that includes air defence fighter aircraft during the Cold War and battlefield helicopters in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. In 1999, she became the first openly transgender officer to serve in the UK’s Armed Forces and today is Chief Executive of Fighting With Pride: The LGBT+ Military Charity. She spoke about the importance of supporting everyone in an organisation in being themselves – without exception.

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