Stoke-On-Trent Opportunity Area
School Leadership Improvement with University of Worcester
The University of Worcester School Improvement Team is currently working with 12 cohorts (55 schools) in Stoke-on-Trent where collaborative practice has become one of the main mechanisms for improving pupil outcomes at Key Stage 2. Schools working with the university follow a programme informed by the latest academic research, with a focus on facilitation and self-sufficiency. This establishes school led school improvement which builds capacity within school to school networks.
To ensure effective collaboration, the process started by focusing on building and securing trust and developing confidence between school leaders. This has resulted in a dynamic where leaders build and secure a shared sense of purpose and values, giving them the opportunity to think systematically and recognise that collaboration can transform pupil outcomes across an area.
School leaders attribute some of the success of the programme to the neutrality and impartiality the University of Worcester facilitators bring to the programme. It allows for honesty and openness.
The programme has taken place during unprecedented change in the education system and any attempt to attribute improvements in pupils’ progress and attainment to an individual programme of support is not possible. However, an evaluation of the programme conducted by academics, the 2016 outcomes and Ofsted reports all indicate that Key Stage 2 pupil outcomes are improving in Stoke, as is the leadership and management of the schools involved in this programme.
Furthermore, participation in the programme has been highlighted as a key strength in six recent school Ofsted reports.
‘Sharing research and evidence based learning and discussing how this could impact on our organisations has been very powerful and also discussing how this can impact on the Trust more widely.’
‘(The External facilitators) are extremely skilled at asking just another question to get you to think that bit more deeply or more abstractly at things another skill that I am trying to adopt with myself and also with my team.’
‘I have felt the sessions on TRUST have been significant. As a group of professionals who have had knowledge of each other however do not ‘know’ each other well has brought us together as a group and I feel very lucky to have a group of trusted colleagues that I can now turn to.’
Why did the schools originally come together to collaborate?
Stoke Festival of Leadership. Why did the schools originally come together to collaborate?
What did it take to secure collaboration?
Stoke Festival of Leadership. What did it take to secure collaboration?
What have you achieved as a result of collaboration?
Stoke Festival of Leadership. What have you achieved as a result of collaboration?
What did you do differently that you hadn't done before?
Stoke Festival of Leadership. What did you do differently that you hadn't done before?
What do you celebrate most as a collaboration?
Stoke Festival of Leadership. What do you celebrate most as a collaboration?
What is next for you, your school and the collaborative partnership?
Stoke Festival of Leadership. What is next for you, your school and the collaborative partnership?