Sustainable School Improvement
‘School Improvement’ is a phrase that is often heard within a school setting. It is the accountability concept that drives all schools and ensures that they are moving forwards in the ever-changing world of education. To ensure that Bromcom is helping schools to improve their outcomes and delivery, we have been focusing on creating tools to support school development. Before we look at a specific approach to School Improvement, we need to understand the set of standards that govern schools and MATs. These components ultimately provide transparency and focus for both schools and their leaders to aspire to achieve more within their educational establishments.
Setting High Standards
To really underpin school improvement there needs to be a core understanding of standards. The organisation whether it be at a single school, an academy, a large multi academy trust or a federation, requires comprehensive knowledge of the standards that make schools successful. To do this, a framework of excellence needs to be created to ensure the teaching and learning that the children receive is of an outstanding standard. These standards would have to be reviewed regularly to reflect the progression of the educational curriculum, but providing a common language and expectation creates a necessary culture, community and identity.
To develop the identity of the school / MAT there needs to be an evaluation of the standards set. This auditing process is designed for schools to reflect on practice and provision to their pupils and how it can be enhanced moving forwards. School improvement is designed as a constructive experience as not every aspect of the school will be focused on at once. The diagram above outlines the journey to creating a School Improvement plan.
Based on the trends that have been highlighted within the different audits; users can then develop a strategy moving forwards. Schools should adopt a structured strategy to ensure all improvement targets have clear direction and accountable steps to move forwards.
Setting the Standards Flow Chart
Celebrating School Individuality
Innovative educationalists have long tried to develop an ‘out of the box’ product that will guarantee school improvement. Schools need to be aware there is not one single product that will provide a guarantee of school improvement. Differing cohorts, demographics, contemporary issues and a wide range of other factors, all challenge a fixed structured product when developing a school. Schools do not need to be sold another hearsay idea rolled out as policy that has little or no correlation to teaching or educational research such as VAK learning styles and verbal feedback stamps.
Despite promises of several different education-based companies, there is no one size fits all for School Improvement, as it cannot be ‘boxed’ and needs to be bespoke to the individual school. Bromcom recognises, understands and celebrates that every school is different and needs their own School Improvement plan. The differences of character, organisation and priorities mould the schools and their community. Far from wanting to suppress the individuality, we aim to support a school’s voice and personality.
Formula for Improvement
To help schools to flourish, we are building an ever-growing toolkit to support School Improvement. To ensure that we are using the latest research and development within the Educational field, we have examined the ideas of leading educationalist Sir David Carter, for inspiration. Sir David Carter has a plethora of experience within the education system having roles such as regional schools commissioner, national schools commissioner and executive director of system leadership at Ambition Institute. This experience has led Sir David to develop a simple broad formula that can assist schools with School Improvement.
Sir David Carter (2020), Leading Academy Trusts, John Catt
Using this simple formula schools can efficiently adapt their current practice and improve performance to have a positive impact on the school community. Identifying the different components of the formula is key for schools and provides them with a basis to ensure that the improvement is carried out in the correct manner.
Weekly Informative Series
Within this series of blogs, we will unpick and explain each of the different components within the School Improvement Formula. A wide range of features and functions within our MIS and Vision platform can help to support the School Improvement process, so we will also touch on how these can be utilised.
You can read the first part in the series here: Developing Stronger School Improvement Strategies.
8 April 2021 / Scott Biggs