School improvement – easy tips to plan it effectively
A good school is a school that is able to always improve.
Primary and secondary schools across the UK continue to be highly engaged in their school improvement plans and are looking to implement them in their day-to-day activities.
Yet this is not an easy thing to do.
Like any other strategy or plan, school improvement requires analysis of key challenges and issues, targeted solutions and implementation, and finally monitoring outcomes.
Ofsted has set out a list of standards to direct schools in their improvement and published its inspection framework that assesses whether and how benchmarks are met.
Depending on circumstances, the path to meeting the defined standards can be quite treacherous and present different obstacles.
Any improvement plan must start with the school examining its practices and determining how effective these are. The analysis should consider whether the vision set out by school leaders is clear and clearly communicated to teachers, parents and students; whether parent-teacher relationships are well managed; and whether the technology used is working efficiently to assist staff and students.
So, what happens when a school is labelled with the phrase “Requires School Improvement”?
If following an investigation by Ofsted, the institute is described as “requires school improvement”, then that means that the school must look at its processes and practices and detect any gaps, errors or shortcomings that can be filled or rectified.
All stakeholders involved would have to strategise how to tackle the issues that emerged from the analysis.
Once this is done, the school should look at the results from a second inspection. If the strategy has worked, the school should continue to use the same framework to further improve and simply adapt the initial plan to future requirements.
However, what happens if the same school gets classified as “requires school improvement” twice, or three times?
In such a scenario, the school may consider developing a new strategy entirely and proposing a new school improvement plan.
How to design an effective School Improvement Plan
Firstly, let’s go back and look at what a school improvement plan is. It may seem obvious, but for the purpose of delving into more details, let’s start by defining it.
A school improvement plan is a strategy that aims to define and illustrate the core purpose of the school. In itself, the plan should set out directions for best classroom practices and management to support teaching and learning.
If the school is looking for ideas on implementing school improvement, then a good way to approach all steps to follow would be to use a school improvement plan template.
How to source a School Improvement Plan Template and/or Sample
Templates are often included as part of school improvement plans that some institutes publish on their website, and these can be used as samples and adapted to particular needs and requirements. The research of templates can also be targeted according to school type. For instance, a primary school would be interested in looking at primary improvement examples; a secondary school would look at action plans designed for secondary, and so forth.
As well as following templates and samples, the plan should be based on central ideas that drive the strategy towards achieving the best results.
What are the best School Improvement Ideas?
While each school should aim for originality and circumstantial independence, there are a few points worth considering for every school when it comes to ideas for improvement.
Here’s a quick list of ideas known to work for school improvement:
- Follow successful examples (find samples and templates)
- Improve and support leadership
- Use the right technology and partner with the right provider
We’ve already looked at where to find best practice examples, so let’s investigate how effective leadership and technology can aid school improvement.
Leadership and School Improvement
Leadership, be it transformational or instructional and pedagogical, has been consistently identified in research findings and Ofsted reports as among the key factors that contribute to school improvement.
School leaders are often under considerable pressure to demonstrate the contribution of their work to school improvement.
Their responsibility lies in setting out a clear vision and inspiring teachers and pupils; in developing an effective action plan; and managing the strategy’s implementation.
To achieve this, school leaders and educators must use adequate technology that will facilitate, speed up, and help assess all processes.
Choosing the right School Improvement Technology Partner
When it comes to technology suppliers, choosing the right school improvement partner means selecting a product that will support the school needs at the right time and with the right tools.
In today’s environment, the only contender worthy of consideration for supporting a forward-thinking vision for education is cloud-based technology.
As remote teaching and learning are the current normal, systems that can facilitate remote access must be favoured.
- Curriculum coverage: intuitive and easy-to-use dashboards are available for lesson planning.
- Impact: integrated assessment analysis tools clearly demonstrate teaching impact through attainment and progress.
Libby Porter, Assistant Principal at Fulbridge Academy, has said:
“The assessment sheets and assessment tracker within the Bromcom MIS are very detailed and allow the senior leader to manipulate the tracker to represent the data they need to help support teaching and learning.”
- Leadership: Bromcom provides controlled access to governors for up-to-date school performance statistics, allowing them to assess impact and effectively govern.
At Bromcom, we’ve been working with school leaders and teachers for over thirty years, and we’ve learned about all the concerns and challenges around school improvement.
Our team is committed to fulfil the role of school improvement partners at its best and help schools in their efforts. With direct experience within the education sector, the team fully understands what the requirements around school development may be for each school.
We offer more details and tips on how to develop School Improvement through intelligent technology here. You can also join one of our webinars and if you’d like to find out more, simply drop us a line.
11 January 2021 / Liza Adebisi