Our Approach and Process

Our Approach to School Improvement

We begin with developing understanding and ambition: getting to know your school well enough to understand, with you, where it can get to with the right support. A collegiate and collaborative process, we work with the headteacher and school leaders to prioritise the areas that we will focus on to have the greatest impact for the largest number of learners. Setting clear objectives with milestones for regular review makes the process of improvement clear and measurable for both governors and/or trustees. The objectives are captured in the school’s development plan which works in tandem with the Trust’s strategic approach. The improvement process is underpinned by relevant research and supported by our peer review and QA cycle, led by a phase expert.


We are clear that improvement is seldom a linear process and therefore we work with leaders over time to make real and sustainable improvements rather than attempting to implement a few ‘quick fixes' (this is not the same, of course, as starting with elements that require immediate attention such as behaviour or safeguarding). Our track record to date shows the lasting benefit of this approach in moving from ‘inadequate’ to ‘good’ with outstanding features as much as sustaining ‘outstanding’ across the board. We believe in making what’s already in place work rather than immediately adding additional systems and content. The spirit of ‘not more but better’ underpins our approach to school improvement.


Our Process


  • Set clear goals

    • Ambitious, credible, defined

    • Align strategy including approaches to the curriculum, teaching and learning and inclusion

    • Evaluate the quality using peer reviews, joint moderation and shared data systems

  • Grow capacity, build knowledge 

    • Targeted and high quality CPD for leaders and school staff 

    • Trust network groups both subject (core and foundation) and theme (e.g. inclusion, safeguarding) to share and develop expertise 

    • Opportunities to benchmark and moderate outcomes within and between schools

    • Sharing excellence in practice, implementation and impact

    • A clear culture of development  

    • High expectations of behaviour and personal development to support learning in classrooms 

  • Develop with impact

    • Ensure the Central offer enables leaders to focus on learning and personal development 

    • Share resources and expertise across the trust to provide a whole that is bigger than the sum of its parts 

    • Follow the plan, do, review cycle underpinned by relevant evidence and, where appropriate, deploying external knowledge and skills

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