FROM HATS TO HOTPANTS …… AND BEYOND 50 years as a Clerk to Governors

Peter Wilks

This summer, all being well, I shall have completed fifty years as a Clerk to Governors and I thought it might be interesting to recall just how much has changed in school governance since then.

In 1967 most services to schools were managed by local education authorities, the day-to-day ones largely through divisional or area offices.  When I joined the staff of the local education office that year as a section head, I thought I had my hands full with home to school transport, manual staffing, lettings, swimming instruction, a junior music school, road safety and (rather incongruously) special needs, for about 90 nursery, primary, secondary and special schools.

But then there was school governance.  The Divisional Education Officer was Clerk to the Governors (or Correspondent to the Managers as they then were in primary schools) of all the County and Voluntary Controlled schools in his area.  That meant quite a lot of meetings and they had to be shared out round the office.  I was quickly roped in and equally quickly, began to enjoy it.

In those days, at least in our LEA, special schools and nursery schools had no governing bodies at all.  For primary schools, there was a device known as Grouped Primary Schools Managers which allowed a number of schools in an urban area to be governed by a single body.  In our area, twelve schools were grouped in this way. To the best of my recollection, one Head was invited to report to each termly meeting, so each Head must have had to appear every four years!  Just as incredibly, these meetings were held in the education office rather than at a school.   They were genteel affairs; tea and cakes were served.  (I was reminded of this decades later when Michael Gove made his extraordinary outburst about school governors doing little more than eat cake!)  And the ladies wore hats.

Managing and governing bodies were largely made up of appointments by the various levels of local government, often on a party political basis.  There was then no limit on the number of governorships that an individual could hold and I formed the impression that some councillors did little else but collected as many as they could just so they could list them in their election addresses.  There were no elected staff or parent representatives.  Meetings were often held during the day, which did little to encourage participation.

There was no training for managers and governors, which gave rise to all sorts of difficulties.  I remember a chairman of managers who saw his role as doing just that – managing.  Amongst other things, he instructed members of staff to report directly to him.  In the absence of any LEA role description or code of conduct, we had to put something together locally and this had the desired effect (he resigned).  A story about a manager in another part of the County illustrated the same point about lack of training.  A local farmer (grubby flat cap and trousers held up with orange binder twine – the description probably gained in the telling) never said a word in managers’ meetings until one day, discussion turned to the gate to the school field and he burst into life.  “Now, I knows about gates”, he said.

There were no guidelines for Heads about the scope of their reports and although many presented well-balanced accounts of the life and work of the school, others were masters in diverting attention to anything but educational issues; buildings (particularly toilets) and school meals were favourites.  After a seemingly interminable saga about replacement of some outside toilets in which the managers had immersed themselves (no pun intended), I recorded in the minutes “The managers noted, with great relief, …… “.  The correspondent was relieved too.

There were no checks on manager or governor appointments.  It was with great alarm that we saw a press report about a man’s arrest for an alleged offence against a child.  Although not mentioned in the report, he was a governor at a local school.  It turned out that he had been convicted before of a similar offence, but of course we were not aware of it.  To the credit of the political party that appointed him, he was immediately removed, but had it not been for that press report ……

I went on to complete 25 years in local offices of three LEAs, the last twelve as deputy to the area education officer, and school governance was central to my work.  With the introduction of local management of schools, I transferred to other duties within the LEA, but at the same time I was asked to serve as clerk to the governors and admissions officer of our local Anglican high school.  There, we had good fun in running our own affairs during the period of grant maintained status, but I remember we looked askance at the sumptuous blue carpet with “FAS” woven into it at the Funding Agency’s riverside offices in York, at a time when we were struggling to keep our outmoded buildings wind and waterproof.   I served there for 17 years before  “retirement” to another part of the country.  But since then I have clocked up another ten years as a clerk, the last six of which have been in a remarkable institution.  When I was appointed, it was an infant and nursery school, but has developed into a group of three schools and a teaching school within a multi-academy trust.  With an inspirational leadership, progress has been breathtaking and it has been a wonderful experience with which to end my career.

Over the years there have been “how do I get out of that?” moments.  At a staff disciplinary hearing, I went to bring in the defendant and as he entered the room, the Chairman shouted “Resign, man, resign”.  Oh, dear!  On another occasion, I had to try to persuade another disciplinary panel that the lowest form of sanction (“advice as to future conduct”) was perhaps not an appropriate response in a case where a teacher had locked a child into a cupboard.  Long before the days of safeguarding, of course.

But there were lighter moments as well.  An elderly cleric was chairing an interview panel for a teaching post and welcomed a candidate with “Come in, Mr Brown, and take a seat”.  The candidate said “Well actually, Mr Chairman, the name is Smith-Brown”.  A quick as a flash, the Chairman responded “In that case, please take two seats”.  In the days when it was still permissible for a clerk to governors to act as clerk to an admission appeal panel, I explained the procedure to a mother before the hearing and asked if she had any questions.  “Yes” she said, looking down at her front, “do you think I should show a bit more cleavage?” I had stock answers to parents’ usual questions, but not for that one.

Since my early days there has been a host of improvements in school governance, but sartorial standards have not been amongst them I feel (but perhaps I am just old-fashioned, having been brought up in an office where we had to wait for a “shirt sleeve order” to be declared by the Chief Clerk before we could remove our jackets).  I mentioned earlier that 50 years ago  lady managers and governors often wore hats to meetings.  Imagine my surprise when, many years later, arriving for a summer term meeting at a primary school, I found the (lady) Chairman perched on an infant chair in a pair of bright yellow hot pants.

I also mentioned earlier that in my first job I had responsibility for special needs.  This was of course many years before statementing and all that.  I had to liaise with the District Medical Officer who was responsible for assessing children with learning difficulties and I was distressed to find that some were categorised as “ineducable” at the age of two or three.  And so these children were given places at the Junior Training Centre run by the health authority instead of going to school.  Fortunately, within a few years, legislation provided for these training centres to be transferred to LEAs and developed as schools.  With infinite skill and determination, our local training centre was transformed into a very purposeful, successful and happy school.  “Ineducable”? – certainly not.  In later years, I was privileged to serve as a co-opted governor of a similar school and I have to say that this was one of the most valuable experiences of my time in the education service.  And there were no cakes!

 

21 Apr 2017
April 21, 2017

Continued Professional Development

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Maintaining a highly skilled, motivated staff is a vital aspect to any school leader’s yearly set of objectives. But how do we aim to deliver the ‘golden thread’ that helps define a strong, professional team; aspiring to deliver the highest quality practice for the pupils and families they serve?

The climate: Who gives a VUCA?

Volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA). It can sometimes be hard to embrace the latest ‘borrow from business’ into education term. When you learn more about global examples of VUCA the not too distant Icelandic volcano event pretty much covers it. A global event, unplanned that needed solutions. This unforeseen natural event disrupted air travel in Europe for 6 days in 2010; stranding passengers all over the world and resulted in businesses which suffered everything from mild setbacks to massive losses.

In some respects, it’s school leaders and their teams that are VUCA experts. In some of our settings an unplanned volcanic eruption, and its fallout, can occur on an almost daily basis. Perhaps VUCA offers a less emotive term than ‘British spirit’ or a more exciting term than effective leadership and management in action, and becomes more tradable as a term for people looking for new ways of describing the same thing. Continued Professional Development should look to be the lighthouse in an excited ocean of possibilities. A strong, effective tool that guides and supports our journeys to delivering our shared moral purpose: Ambitious for Children, Embracing Change.

Rumpelstiltskin Required

Justine Greening positively describes how she sees her role within Continued Professional Development in a recent speech: ‘I want there to be a culture of high-quality ongoing professional development running like a golden thread through a teacher’s career, and I want this to be shaped increasingly through access to clearer career pathways for the next generation of teachers and school leaders.’

Increasingly, as budgets are stretched and the roles and responsibilities continue to extend within school, the challenge of turning straw into golden threads for our practitioners can appear an impossible task. But yet the potential shared resource, expertise and talent surrounds us. It is spread amongst all of our settings within the Kyra Alliance and wider. Surrounding us in a VUCA ocean are solutions, strategies research and support. Kyra and, more specifically, the Kyra CPD element aims to be about connecting with schools within your locality and wider when required. Perhaps, it is a challenge to excel at everything, but knowing where to turn within or outside the alliance effectively, that can have a greater impact on pupil experiences and outcomes, is a responsibility we can support each other with.

New NPQs

Justine Greening goes on to share a professional development route to support current and future School Leaders:

There will be new high-quality qualifications for middle and senior leaders, headteachers, and – for the first time – executive leaders.

…At the heart of these new NPQs will be a focus on evidence and an emphasis on the role of leaders helping their own staff to develop.’

These enhanced offers to support new and current Leaders have been devised from within the profession. Teams of School Leaders from MATS, academies and maintained settings have contributed and supported the development of these qualifications. Kyra will be looking to support new providers in bringing this to Lincolnshire, ensuring alliance members have a clear route to access and benefit from the most up to date professional development on offer.

Kyra CPD

Kyra CPD has two current challenges to address and asks for the support of the alliance in:

1) Maintaining a clear focus that it is the quality of teaching that can have the biggest impact on pupil outcomes. Look to codify best practice that exists within our alliance settings and help facilitate a clear route to developing this expertise further and then sharing this enhanced resource to support the development of our teachers.

2) Establishing a shared professional learning community (PLC) on some key priorities brought to light by schools within our alliance : initially ‘Pupil Premium’ and ‘Leadership of Pastoral Support’. What best practice already exists? What can we learn from research and from each other?

The opportunity for support and shared practice within our group is significant. As professional trust strengthens within our alliance and as we recognise the mutual benefits in sharing our strengths, and next challenges, it is us – as leaders within our schools – that begin to steer around volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous waters. We are the ones who give a VUCA challenge a subdued smile; whilst following the golden thread that runs through our alliance to share, support and improve teaching across all of our schools.

Learn more about being part of the Kyra Learning Network here

Martin Kyle

Headteacher

St Faith & St Martin CE Junior School

KYRA CPD Strand Lead

10 Feb 2017
February 10, 2017

From Special Measures to Good

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From Special Measures to Good:

Taking on the challenges no one else wants…

Sam Coy Headteacher

 

 

Challenge can be defined in a number of ways; one definition is the dispute of truth or validity. This definition is probably why, just over a year ago, I decided to take on the challenge of becoming head of school. The school was in special measures, in a very disadvantaged area, with a high proportion of mobility.

At only 27 years old and having had limited leadership experience, many thought I had lost my mind, many thought I was arrogant, naïve and clueless. All are probably true in different forms. However from the first moment I walked into the school I wanted to dispute the truth and argue the validity of reports that the teachers were poor, the children had no chance, the school would never achieve.

I could see potential from the very moment I entered the building. Teachers were hard working, children were friendly and their eyes flickered with curiosity and hope. I instantly felt at home. I love children and I love people. I wanted to help everyone to achieve, however I was very aware I probably didn’t have the skills required to achieve it. Selfishly, I thought I could suppress my feeling of moral obligation by going for the job and undoubtedly being unsuccessful.  I applied for the job, thinking the experience of application would give me a good bench mark and I could sleep at night knowing I had offered to help. Shockingly and looking back, with great admiration and respect, my Executive Headteacher took a risk, a huge one, a brave one!!! I had got the job…. the excitement lasted for about 30 seconds before fear set in.

Talking had always been a strength of mine but for the first time in my life words escaped me. I have recently read a book by Dave Harris called ‘Brave Heads’, he talks about the word FEAR, his definition of the word is exactly the feelings I had at this time and even more so on my first morning in post; F***, Everything, And, Run.

Luckily I managed to ignore this feeling and pull myself together, only allowing it to come back to me for brief periods on a daily basis. Nerves and the feeling that someone might find out you don’t know what you are doing never leaves you. Before starting the job, I read lots of leadership manuals and I twisted myself in knots about the right ways to lead. Then one night at about 3am (in teaching sleep is a luxury) it hit me. Leading a school is no different to leading a difficult class. You spend the first 6 weeks focusing on strengths, building trust, deciding who you can rely on and making sure that everyone begins to row in the same direction. You don’t pick fault, you don’t isolate, you set an expectation but you give everyone the chance to achieve it.

Like the sign at Burnley football club reads ‘only the person who isn’t rowing has time to sink the ship’. Luckily for me everyone began to row.

Outlined in this article are my top 5 tips for becoming a head of school in a special measures school.

Tip One: Relationships

Every interaction is important. Everything we do in school is built on the positive relationships we create with all stakeholders. Smiling wins you lots of support and when people are already down they need lifting not destroying. Focus first on all the things that are good… this develops trust and allows confident and comfortable relationships to form. Once these relationships are built, people will respond more effectively to the areas of development that are given as they are seen as support and nurture not annihilation. As every child need a champion (Rita Pierson), so does every member of staff.

Tip 2: Systems and consistency

Systems and consistency are vital for school improvement. In order to create a sense of collective responsibility, the goalposts must be the same. As educators we talk about not setting up our children to fail, we must do the same with staff. If staff have a network of clear systems, workable policies and the correct tools and resources in place; they will fly. Teachers are professionals with the capabilities to manage learning effectively, but they need to understand the school’s vision, the leaders’ expectations and the direction the school is taking. Carefully implementing these systems and structures and ensuring they are consistently followed will make staff feel more comfortable which in turn will bring about school improvement.

Additionally, and most importantly, consistency and structure across the school is vital for our children. Many children don’t have these structures at home and it is vital we make it clear to our children how we expect them to behave, learn and develop.

Tip 3: Leading by example

Lead by example in everything you do. My dad always said to me, ‘people may not believe what you say but they will believe what you do’. This has always been something I have held close to me on my professional journey. Being a school leader is hard work but lead by example in every way. If children are struggling with behaviour… help out. If the school canteen is short of staff… put on an apron. If someone is sick… clean it up. If a class needs covering one afternoon… teach and teach well. You won’t be able to do this forever but for the first few months, staff need to see you can do what you are expecting them to. Also doing this helps you to know your school inside out. Lead from the front… own the journey you are expecting others to make.

Tip 4: Belief and positive growth mind set

‘Success is never final, failure never fatal, it’s courage that counts.’

Growth mind-set to lead school improvement is imperative. I’m not saying don’t have doubts, fears or feelings of hopelessness – these feelings are important and in my opinion should be embraced. But use these negative feelings to drive you forward. Above all have a steely determination that you won’t fail. Know inside that you will achieve and present that message to your staff. It’s fine to cry in the office once everyone has gone home, but during the working day present to your staff and children the persona that it will be ok, that you will achieve and that together your team will get what it deserves. Use positive language, talk about why and when you will be graded good. Highlight constantly the direction you are going and allow this to fuel and ignite passion in the staff. If you believe and lead by example, they will believe as well.

Tip 5: Trust in others’ abilities

It’s difficult when going into a special measures school as naturally people assume everything is going to be bad. From my experience this is not true. Trust in the abilities of others, harness raw skills and talent and use the experience of others. The people in the school know the community and the families –  use them, as this information is the key to setting your vision. Prior knowledge in any form is a weapon. If you know the facts you can make strategic judgements.

Teachers and other staff in your school will have a wealth of skills and as an effective leader we must find them out, trust in them, deploy them effectively and develop them to get the best possible outcomes for children. Don’t be too quick to make judgements as they can often be wrong. Find out about your staff and when you’re confident in their strengths… tell them. Then trust in them by giving them responsibility to lead. This can be in their classroom, a subject, an initiative or as part of your Senior Leadership team. People very often rise to the challenge if supported to do so. If they don’t, reflect on yourself and make adjustments to make sure they do… just like you do with the children in school.

Above all remember why you do the job. Every child deserves a chance.. Children should be at the heart of every choice you make but remember staff will only make these choices work if they believe in them as well. Be a creator, not a dictator.

 

Early Reflections on Peer Review, with CfBT’s Schools Partnership Programme

  • Helen Barker, Headteacher of Sturton by Stow Primary School (Helen.Barker@sturton-by-stow.lincs.sch.uk)
  • Ian Tyas, Headteacher of Ingham Primary School
  • John Beaven, Headteacher of Pollyplatt Primary School
  • Ben Stephenson, Headteacher of Marton Primary School
  • Alyson Bristow, Headteacher of Newton on Trent C of E Primary School
  • Charlie Hebborn, Headteacher of Scampton C of E Primary School

We are a group of six small primary schools in rural Lincolnshire, all different in size, structure and character.  After 3 years of working in partnership we were looking for a deeper level of collaboration that would enable us to further our own school improvement, as well as supporting the developments in schools across the partnership.  Before embarking on Peer Review as an official programme we had engaged in reciprocal learning walks, sharing of data and improvement plans, and other similar activities, but were frustrated at the absence of rigour and hard edged accountability.  We were concerned about becoming too comfortable with one another, but also that our own styles and interests could prejudice our feedback to one another.  We wanted a framework, and quality assurance; but ultimately we wanted to be able to tangibly drive improvement across our partnership of schools for the benefit of all of our children.

“Before embarking on Peer Review as an official programme we had engaged in reciprocal learning walks, sharing of data and improvement plans, and other similar activities, but were frustrated at the absence of rigour and hard edged accountability”

Through our alliance with KYRA we learned of CfBT’s Schools Partnership Programme.   CfBTS’s Peer Review model was co-constructed with school leaders, and builds on but goes beyond the Ofsted framework.  It involves a reciprocal cycle of self-evaluation, peer review and school led support and challenge.  We have now completed four rounds of Peer Review in a combination of different triads, having signed up to the CfBT Schools Partnership Programme in October 2014.

Integrity, trust, honesty and credibility have been at the core of our systems, agreements and behaviour.  We signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the outset, and spent a great deal of time during the period of our training considering our processes and protocols.  The existing relationship between the Headteachers and schools was a significant strength and advantage.  We are able to be frank and open with each other, and the relative ease of relationships has also influenced how the teaching teams feel about the process.

“The existing relationship between the Headteachers and schools was a significant strength and advantage.  We are able to be frank and open with each other, and the relative ease of relationships has also influenced how the teaching teams feel about the process. “

Staff teams have been encouraged and supported to have an ‘open door’ approach.  Well before the day of the Review the Reviewers visit the school to meet the staff team, where we talk about the approach we are taking, encourage staff to ask questions about the process, and generally try to put a ‘friendly face’ to the process.  This has enabled the Reviews to shine a light into all aspects of the school, and we have found that staff have been very honest with Reviewers.  This has led on to the teams being more open with each other, their Headteachers and Governors.  Therefore the Review has had an enabling impact on the relationships within the schools, improving the social and decisional capital of the group.  We see this as far more powerful than the more visible impact on the school improvement plan for example, as this development of professional capital will drive a fundamental shift in the improvement dynamics of our schools.

Other KYRA Alliance Schools have approached their Peer Review cycles in ways to suit their own needs.  We have needed to be flexible and open minded at times in our approach, as this has varied for each review to meet the different needs of the reviewed schools.  The approach has been slightly different in each case, in terms of aspect, focus or breadth.  This has been deliberate and the lines of enquiry and scope of the review have been agreed between the Headteacher and the Reviewers.  It was important to us that the reviews were ‘done with not done to’, and therefore each Peer Review must be focused on the Self Evaluation completed by the school.

There has been a positive impact on the relationship between staff and governors in every case.  This has come particularly through sharing the Self Evaluation, and even more so when governing bodies have fully engaged with the feedback and Improvement Workshops.

The process has not been ‘cosy’ though.  There has been significant challenge and searching questions prior to and during the reviews: ‘comfortably uncomfortable’ was how one Headteacher described it.  Every Reviewer has felt enormously privileged to ‘access all areas’ in another school.  We agreed a completely open approach to seeing each other’s schools ‘warts and all’, and this has been a tremendous learning experience for the Reviewers too.  Excellent practice has been identified in all of the Reviewed schools, and has already begun to be shared across the wider collaboration.  We are also sharing our findings with Michael Fullan who is leading international research on the impact of Peer Review on a school led system.

“There has been significant challenge and searching questions prior to and during the reviews: ‘comfortably uncomfortable’ was how one Headteacher described it. “

We have found that the Improvement Workshop, and the role of the Improvement Champion, is crucial.  Our Improvement Champions are talented leaders who will in the future be looking to lead their own schools.  This role is giving them opportunities for impact not only beyond their own classrooms but also beyond their own schools.  The Workshop is the discussion forum following feedback.  Each Workshop has been formatted around a number of questions that have been the outcome of the Review, and have been facilitated rather than directed by the Improvement Champions.  It is essential that a focus on improvement, rather than just the overall ‘outcome’ of the review, is embedded into the whole process.  A ‘plan for positive action’ mind set is crucial, and the Workshop, led by the Improvement Champion, is where the seeds of this planning begin to grow.

Our experience of SPP as a collaboration has been extremely powerful. It has been a significant catalyst for change and improvement in a truly collaborative culture, growing our thirst for delivering school to school support, sharing CPD needs, and identifying opportunities for research and further Joint Practice Development.   As a collaboration of schools working within the KYRA Alliance we are deeply committed to looking within and beyond our own schools, developing our leadership of the system and our accountability to one another, to ensure that all children across our schools benefit from the highest standards of teaching and learning and are inspired, supported and prepared to fulfill their potential.

“The staff and governors working together – governors hearing the teachers’ voices, and discussions between teachers and governors – was brilliant. You could see them thinking ‘We’re part of the same team’.  The whole process has been fantastic and has already been a catalyst for changes in relationships and in perceptions and that is before we get on to the great list of things we have for ideas of what to do next!”
Ian Tyas, Headteacher of Ingham Primary School

“Having the SPP Evaluation Framework has been particularly beneficial in enabling Governors and the teaching team to achieve a shared view of the school against a richer more holistic framework.”
Ben Stephenson, Headteacher of Marton Primary School

“I enjoyed the process in terms of being able to have a fresh pair of eyes on something we’d worked on for a period of time. It correlated with our views which was great and has enabled us to start thinking about the next steps.  I think I enjoyed the doing and being done process equally.”
John Bevan, Headteacher of Scampton Pollyplatt Primary School

“I thought the Improvement Workshop was excellent and extremely professionally run. Our school has received a huge amount of valuable feedback and it is now our job to implement the most impactful ones.  Thank you to the Reviewers for their honest and constructive feedback which framed each session, and thank you to the Improvement Champion who ran the evening brilliantly, kept us on task and came up with lots of thought provoking ideas in the group sessions.”
Andy Hutchinson, Chair of Governors at Ingham Primary School 

To find out more about CfBT SPP click here or contact Kyra@lincolnmountstreet.lincs.sch.uk

Theresa Peacock, Specialist Leader of Education, Research & Development.

Built into action research is the proviso that, if as a teacher I am dissatisfied with what is already going on, I will have the confidence and resolution to attempt to change it. I will not be content with the status quo… – Jean McNiff

At the very heart of Kyra’s DNA lies the harnessing of our collective professionalism, expertise, and moral purpose, to ensure no one is left behind, and every school and individual in our partnership thrives – to the benefit of all children. This means that, as a collective, we constantly engaged in cycles of action research: we adapt our practice, put it into action and then reflect on the outcomes before starting the cycle again. This leads to refinements, enhancements and new elements to increase chances of success for all. As a TSA, we have been able to formalize this process over the last 24 months so that research and development is able to benefit everyone in the partnership: adult and child alike.

During 2012-2014 we were fortunate enough to work with nearly 100 teaching schools and the NCTL to explore three key national themes:

  • Theme 1: what makes great pedagogy?
  • Theme 2: what makes great professional development which leads to consistently great pedagogy?
  • Theme 3: how can leaders lead successful teaching school alliances which enable the development of consistently great pedagogy?

We were able to develop a small cluster of schools to investigate what makes great professional development and our case studies have contributed to the research publications which are now available to read here.

From the final reports that were created by Kyra and other teaching schools, the NCTL were able to draw out:

  • Seven key messages about great pedagogy
  • Thirteen firm findings about leadership
  • Six messages about great professional development
  • Ten common messages for all three themes

You can read the summary here. 

As a teaching school we found taking part in NCTL research projects beneficial in numerous ways. We were able to build trust and relationships that allowed us to engage in deep conversation about our practice. We felt energized and motivated about engaging in R&D. Riding the wave of this positive experience of engaging with R&D, we were lucky to meet Richard Churches from CfBT. Richard Churches gave us the tools to take control of our own research projects. Around 20 members of the TSA spent the day with Richard in December where he shared key skills that will help us to add substance and rigour to own projects. This means we now have several staff across the alliance who are able to conduct random control trial (RCT) projects in education. They are able to create randomised control and intervention groups, choose the correct statistical analysis for the results and then report on them in terms of months progress impact with an acceptable degree of probability.

Staff across the alliance have been able to use these new found skills to design projects that are relevant to the children in our schools. The fact that we have been successful in winning £10,000 of grants to design our own RCTs is testament to their dedication and passion to be ambitious for the children in Lincolnshire. We currently have 5 RCTs happening across the alliance:

  • The impact of peer reading on PP learners- Bridie Bear (Monks Abbey Primary School)
  • The impact of active spelling strategies
  • The impact of video feedback on attainment- James Siddle (St Margarets)
  • The impact of the community on reading attainment and enjoyment- Laura Stratford (Mount Street Academy)
  • The impact of the classroom environment on attainment- Bill Lord (Long Sutton)

These projects have been designed to address the needs of our children, to close gaps that we have identified as an alliance, to refine and enhance what is already happening.

The RCTs that are currently running will be ready for publication in September 2015. We will be holding an event during the Autumn term so that all findings can be shared across the alliance ensuring that these 5 RCTs benefit all, help to develop our professional learning community and so that we can celebrate the success of our partners as we would our own.

Theresa can be contacted at:

Theresa.Peacock@monksabbey.lincs.sch.uk or via @treepea80