Improving School Improvement

Friday 28th September 2018

We’re thrilled to announce a major new Breslin project, in partnership with Ian Keating and his colleagues at the Local Government Association, with the working title, Improving School Improvement. The LGA were our major funding partner on my RSA project, Who Governs Our Schools? and it is great to be working with them again.

Our objective is to develop proposals for a system-wide approach to school improvement in light of the forthcoming Department for Education consultation on the development of a more supportive approach to working with schools in difficulties, or schools that might get into difficulty. While we broadly welcome what feels like a tonal and substantive change, we still view the Department’s mindset as reactive rather than proactive. We want to encourage a more proactive view.

To this end, we are keen to involve influential and successful School Improvement Leads and National Leaders of Education based in MATs, Local Authorities and Teaching Schools in one of a series of focus group discussions to be staged in London, Birmingham and Leeds; we’ll confirm the London date shortly but our Birmingham( Thursday 11th October) and Leeds (Thursday 18th October) events are already in the diary.

As an outcome from these discussions, we want to develop a series of practical and deliverable proposals for what we are describing as a pro-active approach to school improvement and school support, and which are relevant to all players in the current landscape: school improvement leads in various settings, teaching school leaders, executive heads and other players in this emergent landscape, including those involved in inspection and quality assurance.

We want these proposals to be shot through with some key qualities and principles, in particular around how the need for support is identified and by who, how this support is accessed, how its impact is measured and by who or what, and how outcomes are shared to the benefit of schools, locally and system-wide.

To register your interest in these events or in the project more broadly, contact

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Lessons From Lockdown
For too long, changes to the education system have been driven by political considerations, short -term difficulties and even, at times, nostalgia. Lessons From Lockdown sets out why this piecemeal approach to reform needs stop and provides an invaluable contribution to the debate that now must take place.
Rosemary Bennet
Former Education Editor, The Times