Secondary School Improvement Solutions

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Click here to discuss with Ian Rawstorne (Director of Secondary School Partnerships) how these solutions could work for you.

School Review: Collaborative Quality Analysis (CQA)

When Zara Tippey became Principal at Corelli College, London, she commissioned EdisonLearning to undertake the CQA school review process with her Governing Body, Leadership Team and wider staff. The process enabled Zara to involve her governors and Leadership Team in a rigorous evaluation of the College’s provision, an evaluation that supported her both in building her new team and in determining an agreed set of priorities for the College’s further development.

What is it? The CQA is a school review process that is undertaken by EdisonLearning advisers in genuine collaboration with school leaders and governors. It can be undertaken by individual schools or networks of schools. In networks of schools, headteachers join the EdisonLearning advisers in undertaking the CQA process in one of the schools in their respective network.
The CQA process evaluates school provision against EdisonLearning’s Features of Highly Effective Schools and culminates in a set of shared judgements. These judgements can form the basis of a highly credible plan for a school’s further development.

Who is it for? The CQA is for any school or group of schools attracted by a research-based approach to school development that identifies how to develop a school further, whatever its current Ofsted grading, rather than simply identifying what needs improving. In the case of a new school network it can form the basis of ongoing school-to-school support while it can also provide impetus and renewed focus to an existing school network.

How does it work? There are four stages to the CQA process: desk-top analysis of key school documents; two day in-school programme of collaborative evaluation activities; leadership team / governor workshop; report and recommendations.

What are the outcomes?

  • A set of shared judgements on a school’s provision against the Features of Highly Effective Schools
  • A credible plan for the further development of the school and / or network of schools
  • A self-evaluation model that can be adopted to form the basis of ongoing school self-evaluation
  • Professional development for school leaders and governors

School Development: The Partner School Programme

Following an Ofsted judgement of Requires Improvement, Zoë King, Headteacher of St. Helena School, Colchester, co-constructed a bespoke partner school programme with EdisonLearning as part of the school’s strategy to ensure a Good judgement at the next inspection. Two advisers worked with school leaders and staff to develop leadership capacity and improve the quality of teaching and student behaviour. St. Helena was judged to be a Good school by Ofsted eighteen months later.

What is it? Partner School Programmes are needs driven, bespoke partnerships between schools and EdisonLearning that are founded on the outcomes of school review (CQA) and employ EdisonLearning’s models, tools and resources. Our partnerships are flexible to schools’ needs and budgets ranging from holistic partnerships involving regular adviser support to more narrowly focused partnerships with minimum adviser support. Partner School Programmes build leadership capacity in schools and lead to sustainable improvement.

Who is it for? Partner School Programmes are for any school or network of schools, irrespective of Ofsted gradings, that have found the school review (CQA) process beneficial and that see the benefit of working collaboratively to implement the school review (CQA) recommendations, supported by EdisonLearning’s advisers and models, tools and resources.

How does it work? Partner School Programmes are co-designed based on the outcomes of school review (CQA) and within schools’ wider contexts. An implementation plan is co-constructed to ensure rigour and impact and the plan is reviewed systematically during the course of the partnership (1 – 3 years). Partner schools are given access to a learning platform where all relevant EdisonLearning models, tools and resources are accessed. At a basic level, advisers will be engaged in familiarising school leaders with EdisonLearning’s models, tools and resources, supporting their implementation planning and quality assuring that implementation. Advisers can, however, work more regularly in schools, adding capacity to support and accelerate implementation. In school network partnerships, advisers will facilitate school-to-school support and learning through termly network days where school leaders are brought together to solution plan against common issues and share best practice.

What are the outcomes? The outcomes will be specific to each partnership programme but generically are:

  • Increased leadership capacity
  • Sustainable school improvement

Leadership Development: The Quality Framework for Leadership

Sharon Marshall, Headteacher, The Ilfracombe Academy, commissioned EdisonLearning to undertake a middle leadership development programme. An initial leadership development session was followed by small group sessions. The following HMI report made reference to the programme: “Training for middle leaders is helping them swiftly improve their subject…””…the development of coaching conversations and a greater confidence to take action where
performance needs to be improved is beginning to secure better quality of teaching across subjects.”

What is it? The Quality Framework for Leadership is a tool to support leaders in evaluating and developing their leadership attributes and behaviours. The tool seeks to define highly effective leadership and contains four elements: visionary leadership; organisational leadership; thought leadership; leading people. Each leadership element contains a set of themes with descriptors of leadership from a beginning stage through to an exemplary stage.

The Quality Framework for Leadership is the central tool in a one-day leadership training and development session, facilitated by two advisers, for groups of school leaders. This training day leads to increased awareness of what makes a great leader and to a series of individual and collective next steps for participants’ leadership development. The initial day can be followed up with further training and coaching sessions based on the respective group’s development needs.

Who is it for? The Quality Framework for Leadership is applicable to leaders at all levels. The initial training is customised for chosen groups that could include school leadership teams; middle leaders within a school; senior and middle leaders combined within a school; senior leaders across schools; middle leaders across schools.

How does it work? The day typically includes the following sessions: personal dispositions; leadership styles and behaviours; exploration of The Quality Framework for Leadership and evaluation of individual and team leadership against the framework; peer to peer coaching.

What are the outcomes?

  • Increased awareness of personal dispositions and personal leadership attributes and behaviours
  • Enhanced knowledge and understanding of what makes effective leadership
  • Indentified leadership development needs for individuals and, where appropriate, leadership teams
  • A series of next steps to support the ongoing leadership development of participants

Teacher Development: The Recipe for Great Teaching Programme

At a time when Bromfords School, Wickford, was in Special Measures EdisonLearning was commissioned to lead a teacher development programme. The school’s first HMI monitoring visit report commented on the impact of the programme: “…intensive staff training and targeted support for those who need it most is enabling staff to understand the expectations of them and what they need to do to meet them.” Bromfords School was removed from Special Measures at its next inspection the following school term.

What is it? The Recipe for Great Teaching is a research-based model for improving the quality of teaching in secondary schools. It enables teachers to make sense of the process of teaching and learning and to think clearly about how best they can activate and facilitate students’ learning. It is accompanied by a set of tools and resources to support teachers in embedding the model into their lesson planning and delivery.

The model is combined with a cycle of training sessions, one-to-one coaching sessions and lesson visits to provide a collaborative and personalised teacher development programme, typically over a school term. The programme leads to sustained improvement in teachers’ practice.

Who is it for? The programme is aimed at those teachers whose teaching is inconsistent in securing good and better learning from students.

How does it work? The programme commences with an initial training session on the Recipe for Great Teaching model that includes an evaluation of participants’ practice against the model. It then enters the first cycle of coaching sessions and lesson visits followed by a second responsive training session, followed by a second cycle of coaching sessions and lesson visits. The programme ends with a final evaluation session.

What are the outcomes?

  • Sustainable improvement in the quality of participants’ teaching
  • Increased leadership capacity of school leaders involved in leading the programme in schools

Why choose EdisonLearning?

Since 2002 EdisonLearning has worked with a wide range of secondary schools, from large inner city schools to rural and coastal schools, supporting them to build sustainable school improvement within their differing contexts. All of our partnerships and projects are designed to meet schools’ individual needs, informed by EdisonLearning’s Quality Framework for School Development.

Principles EdisonLearning has a strong belief in holistic, coherent and sustainable school improvement, founded on educational research and focused on improved outcomes for students. Our programmes are co-constructed with school leaders, building capacity from the outset. We have distilled national and international research findings into a secondary school improvement model – The Quality Framework for School Development – that is used flexibly with schools, within their individual contexts, to support and accelerate improvement.

Key reasons for Choosing EdisonLearning

  • Our secondary school partnership model is proven to deliver success in schools across the country
  • Our solution encompasses all areas of school improvement
  • We start from understanding each individual school and their key goals
  • Our approach builds capacity and sustainability
  • Our solutions are research based
  • We have a track record of successfully partnering with LAs, school clusters, dioceses and individual schools.
  • We are the national partner for NAHT in the Aspire programme
  • We are the only school improvement partner accredited to ISO 9001 quality standards

What our customers say

“The capacity of the Leadership Team has increased measurably, at least doubled, through the EdisonLearning partnership. Team members have gained confidence, skills, knowledge and understanding of their own areas and, equally important, how this fits with other colleagues’ areas
and the wider school. There is a greater sense of team.”
– Z. King, Executive Headteacher, St. Helena School

“We liked their holistic, bespoke approach. They were interested in working with us, not parachuting in with a one-stop solution. We grilled them in relation to our agenda and what they might do for us and decided they were people we could work with.”
– D. Howe, Deputy Headteacher, The John Bentley School

“The CQA recommendations were seen as valid and insightful and there is a desire for a continued partnership, building on the positive, professional relationships formed between the respective advisers and school leaders.”
– Cornwall School Improvement Pilot – Evaluation Report