School Improvement Strategy

The Two Counties Trust has a core purpose and vision which is: To raise the educational standards and better the life chances of students within the MAT through working in partnership to challenge and support all schools to continually improve.

The aim of our School Improvement Strategy is to deliver the vision in all of our academies across the Trust. Educational improvement is at the heart of this Trust.

The Two Counties Trust will commission a coherent package for school improvement which:

  • Is tailored to each individual school and is in response to ‘rich’ contextual understanding of the challenges faced by the individual school
  • Brings about rapid improvement and builds capacity
  • Is recognised as good practice
  • Draws upon research and is supported by an evidence base
  • Is provided by quality assured professionals who respect and build capacity and confidence
  • Maximises the use of school to school support
  • Articulates high expectations of teachers and learners

The MAT QA / School Improvement offer will be brokered by the CEO and will comprise three strands:

  1. MAT / school senior leaders / Directors of subjects with excellent track records in supporting schools to attain the highest standards of achievement
  2. External Consultants (Challenge Education)
  3. External QA / school improvement activity sourced from other multi academy trusts

Our ambition for The Two Counties Trust is to increase the number of Specialist Leaders, National / Local Leaders, Partnerships & external organisations to grow our own teams; to deliver high quality school improvement and to be able to have the very best professional development opportunities for all our staff. We will continue to quality assure our work through the engagement of highly qualified and experienced external consultants. These will report to both the individual academy/school and to the Trust

As a Trust we benefit from a wide range of expertise across our schools and we are confident that many of the solutions to school improvement activity can be found from within the organisation. A principle laid down by the Board of Trustees is that anyone deployed internally by the Trust to support school improvement should be a serving specialist with relevant up-to-date knowledge and experience. This range of expertise comprises:

  • Senior school leaders
  • MAT Directors of Subjects
  • LLE’s and SLE’s (see Appendix 2)
  • Outstanding School Based Practitioners

Specific activities offered:

    • Partnership Reviews with Senior and Middle Leadership – whole school or subject specific
    • Peer Review carried out in triads of schools with centrally trained leaders
    • Departmental links for Secondary Schools to support standardisation and moderation (see Appendix 2)
    • Support for self-evaluation, data analyses and for school improvement planning
    • Theme specific CPD – e.g. learning behaviours, curriculum review, assessment guidance
    • Headteacher appraisal 

We believe at The Two Counties Trust that School improvement is a collective responsibility and collaboration is key. We will ensure that in each of our academies there is:

  • a culture of students first – they are at the heart of all we do and every child matters – “whatever it takes” – everyone can achieve
  • a relentless, hard edged focus on outcomes and the development of the whole child
  • an ethos whereby you are only as good as your last set of results
  • high ambition and high expectations across all areas
  • traditional values: mutual respect, integrity, honesty & openness

The school improvement strategy for each school is bespoke and is decided as a result of the initial due diligence along with on-going discussions with both respective Headteachers and Local Governing Bodies. Our aim is to respond as quickly as possible to any emerging issues within a school and provide the school-to-school support that will enable schools to improve standards and outcomes for pupils. At the start of each academic year the CEO will hold the annual Standards Review with senior leaders and governors in each school. An outcome of this meeting will be the determination of which one of four categories the school sits within: Sustain, Improve, Repair, Stabilise.

Category

School Improvement Package

Sustain: confidence in performance, increased innovation in delivery, securing excellence, capacity to improve own and others’ schools/academies, looking to lead collaboration

3 days challenge & support per year: progress & data, school improvement, staffing & curriculum, self-evaluation.
Quality Assurance / Bespoke School Improvement work (includes 1 day from an external educational consultant)

Improve: proactive leadership, embedding strategies, improving key outcomes, increasing benefits from collaboration, capacity to improve own school/academy

6 days challenge & support per year: progress & data, school improvement, staffing & curriculum, self-evaluation.
Quality Assurance / Bespoke School Improvement work (includes 1 day from an external educational consultant)

Repair: embedding early improvements, increasing focus on quality assurance leading to improvements, shifting from management to leadership capacity to improve own school/academy with support

6 days challenge & support per year: progress & data, school improvement, staffing & curriculum, self-evaluation.
Quality Assurance / Bespoke School Improvement work (includes 3 days from an external educational consultant) and CEO / LLE / HT support

Stabilise: school requires significant improvement, clarify roles and responsibilities, agree priorities, high visibility, insufficient capacity to improve without direct support

Minimum of 10 days challenge & support per year: progress & data, school improvement, staffing & curriculum, self-evaluation.
Quality Assurance / Bespoke School Improvement work (includes 6 days from an external educational consultant) and Exec HT / CEO / LLE support

This will then determine the amount of support, challenge and school improvement activity that the school will receive during the year.  We aim to be a high performing MAT and will therefore be able to demonstrate the impact we are making on improving academies within the Trust. Over time we will assess and understand the impact of specific interventions and initiatives. We will track the impact of programmes on staff capability, classroom practice and student engagement/ learning.