Mr Tim Laws appointed BWT Senior Operations Manager
Mr Tim Laws has taken up his new post as Brooke Weston Trust’s Senior Operations Manager with an overview of key elements of the Trust’s business. His remit is to oversee and further integrate core functions across our Trust family of schools, ensuring that everything runs in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.
He said: ‘One of my key responsibilities is to join Procurement, IT and Estates up, as they are very much intertwined and, until recently, were not led collectively. Catering is already well established, but again, we are taking every opportunity to be as efficient as we can.
‘While we are a single entity and proud of The Brooke Weston Trust, we are also very proud that our schools have their own identities and leadership models. Therefore the biggest challenge is setting long-term strategy that is acceptable to the organisation as a whole but also our individual schools. If we are trying to generate efficiency and change the way we do something, I have to secure the buy-in of ten schools as well as other central colleagues, our Chief Executive and Board. The challenge is in winning hearts and minds as much as proving the business case.
After graduating with a degree in Business and Environmental Science, Tim worked in business then as an environmental health officer and, finally, in the Early Years Business Support and Growth Team in a Local Authority: ‘Those jobs gave me the foundation for this role. I’m passionate about delivering efficient and productive services and I also have to be professional, compassionate and understand customers' needs while focusing on the organisation’s goals.’
He became School Business Manager at Kettering Science Academy in 2014 and was then promoted to cluster business manager across five schools, a role he fulfilled for the past 18 months.
‘What attracted me to schools was the ability to see the effect of your work. For example if, in the Business Manager role, you are able to identify savings that mean the school can afford to put on a play or buy more equipment, to see that end result is exciting. You have an impact on children’s lives. If anyone works in our industry and that passion is not in them, then they are in the wrong job.'
He enjoys the customer-facing side of his role as much as the strategic planning: ‘I enjoy meeting new people, learning new things and getting new ideas. You don’t come into this job to say ‘no’ to people, you need to say ‘yes’. Principals will usually have a vision and, sometimes, this role involves explaining why you cannot get from A to B in just a few weeks but ultimately we do have to get there. If there are genuine reasons why we have to go a bit slower in order to achieve a desired outcome, the best thing to do is manage expectations early. I like to think I am pragmatic, don’t get emotionally involved and make decisions based on what is right for the organisation. I would rather under-promise and over-deliver than the other way around!’