Self-Improving Schools in a context of continuous improvement Midlothian and East Lothian

Self-Improving Schools in a context
of continuous improvement
Midlothian and East Lothian
Schools Improvement Partnership Programme
Thursday 19th June 2014
‘Creating a Self-improving School System’
David H Hargreaves, 2010,
National College for Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services.
• ‘in an era of diminishing centralisation,
accelerating the rate and depth of school
improvement requires a new vision.’
• We would argue that in a continuing period of
budget austerity the need for a new vision
becomes a necessity.
• ‘Collaboration and networking within and between
schools has been cited as a key strategy in promoting
innovation, school improvement and teacher
professional development’
(McLaughlin et al 2007; Hadfield and Chapman, 2009; Katz,
Earl and Jaafar, 2009).
Self-improving School Systems
– capitalising on the capacity of clusters of schools
– adopting a local solutions approach
– stimulating co-construction between schools
– expanding the concept of system leadership
– supporting networking and promoting
professional learning between schools
The Local Authority QI Role
• Essential elements of the future role of the Local
Authority would be:
– Using their knowledge and intelligence of schools and staff
to help structure the SISS
– Coordinating planning, progress and evaluation meeting
– Coordinating joint working including CAT and ISIS calendars
– Arranging network days to facilitate sharing of progress
– Coordinating professional development strategically to
stimulate ideas and introduce new and innovative thinking
– Monitor progress within the individual schools and
support self-evaluation at school and network level.
Towards an East-Midlothian SISS
• The East and Midlothian schools form a Network of Trios, initially
focussed on promoting sector level improvement. The aim of the
Trios is to work collaboratively and support whole school
improvement priorities.
• The role of the local authority is to manage the Trio
collaboration and support the self-evaluation process.
• Schools jointly shared their annual improvement plans and
identified priorities to take forward on behalf of the Trio.
– The priority chosen reflects the local needs of the schools.
– The priority can be a joint Trio priority or the individual school’s priority
supported, by the other schools in the Trio.
It has long been known that the most powerful influences on teachers are other
teachers, but policies have rarely built on the fact. The best way of exploiting this
phenomenon is through regular, face-to-face encounters among professionals that
focus on the improvement of teaching and learning. Under the direction of system
leaders, clusters of schools are the simplest way of maximising inter-school
professional development as the main driver of a SISS.
Once established, a SISS potentially reduces the need for extensive bureaucratic,
top-down systems of monitoring to check on school quality, the imposition of
improvement strategies that are relatively insensitive to local context, with out-ofschool in-service courses not tailored to individual professional needs, and
external, last-ditch interventions to remedy schools in difficulties, all of which are
very costly and often only partially successful.
In a self-improving school system, more control and responsibility passes to the
local level in a spirit of mutual aid between school leaders and their colleagues,
who are morally committed to imaginative and sustainable ways of achieving more
ambitious and better outcomes.
The East-Midlothian SIPP Model
4 School Trios each supported by an East Lothian or Midlothian QIO
Knox Academy
Newbattle Community High School
St David’s High School
Dunbar Grammar School
Penicuik High School
Preston Lodge High School
Dalkeith High School
Beeslack Community High School
Musselburgh Grammar School
North Berwick High School
Lasswade High School Centre
Ross High School
Trio Presentations
• Suzanne Yule DHT St David's High School
– Learners Experiences, engaging pupil learning
• Gavin Clark HT Preston Lodge HS
– Embedding improved tracking and monitoring within
• John Ryan HT Beeslack CHS
– Tracking and monitoring in the context of providing
effective feedback.
• Alan Williamson HT Lasswade HS
– Universal Personal Support