Tetney Primary School, located near Grimsby, Lincolnshire, is a school which has undergone a great deal of change over the past two years, resulting in significant levels of improvement. In November 2018, Tetney Primary School was judged as a ‘Good’ school by Ofsted, with a positive and encouraging report praising (amongst other things) the school’s strong leadership, clear direction, and its ethos of continuous improvement. However, just two years previously, things were very different at Tetney.
When Sarah Addison first became Headteacher in 2017 the school had not had a permanent Head for several months, and had recently been judged as ‘Requires Improvement’ by the inspectorate. Ofsted’s report had highlighted a number of concerns regarding the school’s provision, which included inconsistent approaches to teaching and learning, behaviour, and pupil welfare, and also insufficient pupil progress and outcomes. On top of this, pupil numbers were down, staff morale was low, and it was clear that parents were rapidly losing confidence in the school. This case study is dedicated to exploring the key approaches that Sarah and her staff team have taken in turning things around at Tetney so successfully, in conjunction with support from the LA, Kyra TSA, and Local Leader of Education, Zoe Hyams.
To find out more read the full Case Study...........Tetney Primary School
“Zoe Hyams, a Local Leader of Education, and the Headteacher of Caistor Primary School and Grasby CE Primary, was deployed to work alongside me, and since day one, her support, input and encouragement throughout the school improvement process has been invaluable.”
- Deal with the essentials straight away – if adequate strategies and procedures regarding safeguarding, pupil wellbeing and SEND provision are not in place, this must be dealt with immediately, and prioritised before anything else. Above all else, pupils must feel safe, secure, and that their needs are being met.
- Get to know your school inside out – By really getting to know the school’s key areas of strength and weakness, you can begin to formulate a focussed an effective plan to address the issues, build on the strengths, and move things forward based on the depth of knowledge you have gained. Spend a lot of time listening and looking!
- Have the right support in place – Reflect on where you need support, and then make sure you get it. Finding the right people/organisations, who will offer an appropriate balance encouragement, advise, challenge, and resources, will help to substantially increase the speed and efficacy of improvement.
- Create a shared vision for the school – Creating a shared vision which your staff buy into helps to put everyone on the same page, and provides a focused trajectory for the schools which everybody is aiming towards.
- Put together a focused School Development Plan – A clear and focused development plan outlines the concrete steps and goals which all staff will be working towards, in order to secure school improvement and fulfil the school’s vision. The School Development Plan should be referred to regularly, and progress towards goals should be continually discussed with staff and governors, with evidence of impact monitored, and recorded.
- Develop a great leadership team – No Headteacher is an island, and the main role of the Headteacher should be to lead the school’s overall development, and to make sure that staff are equipped and empowered to fulfil their roles effectively. To do this you must develop a team of specialist and skilled leaders who can take on key responsibilities, and be trusted to take the lead in those areas.
- Support your staff in their professional development, passions, and goals – Invest in your staff, and support them in their professional development and in their career goals. This will increase levels of enthusiasm and commitment, and should also result in happy, and highly capable, staff.
- Have a clear long-term curriculum in place – An excellent curriculum is the foundation of excellent teaching and learning, and should engage and challenge pupils, not only to learn, but also to develop a love of learning.
- Get governance right –Excellent governance will ensure that standards and expectations remain consistently high by holding school leaders to account, asking the right questions, and providing suitable challenge. An excellent governing body will continually support and promote further school improvement.