to - Durham Teaching School Alliance

Durham Teaching Schools Alliance:
January 2014
Dr John Wm Stephens
National College for
Teaching & Leadership,
Department for Education
1. The College – vision and
remit and policy direction
2. System leadership &
teaching schools – a
collaborative model
3. Challenges, opportunities
and risks
The big picture
Key policy drivers: autonomy, collaboration,
freedom, diversity, self-improvement,
accountability – an increasingly school-led
The challenges: building capacity,
confidence and trust – structure &
The goal: that elements of a devolved
system are held in balance so that …
1. Autonomy doesn’t become isolation
2. Diversity doesn’t act as a barrier to
3. Accountability doesn’t become regulation
NCTL - Aim
• NCTL will support the
development and
implementation of a 0-18 selfimproving school-led system so
that by September 2016 there
will have been an irrevocable
shift from the centre to schools
What does this mean ?
Shift – commissioning to licensing
Strategic responsibility to move to the system – leadership
development, school to school support, talent spotting and
Teaching School Alliances, academy chains, licensee partnerships
and system leaders to form the architecture
Small centre – local empowerment and a climate of austerity
What does it require?
 Structured and organised collaboration
 Strategic capacity building
 The right attitudes: commitment
System leadership
System leaders care about, and work for, the success of all children, not
just those in their own school
Some system leadership roles are undertaken by those with formal
designations that are identified against strict criteria such as SLEs, LLEs,
NLEs, Heads of TSs and NLGs
Other key system leadership roles include CEOs of academy chains,
principals of academies which act as sponsors and other important system
roles such as chairs of headteacher networks
In addition to working beyond their own institutions system leaders often help
shape national thinking, policy and practice
System leadership opportunities need to be considered in a non-hierarchical
manner, and will depend on an individual leader’s circumstances as well as
that of their school
Designated teaching schools
Following our third cohort there are now approximately 350 designated
teaching schools representing 300 alliances:
Primary/Early Years (45%)
Middle (1%)
Secondary (41%)
Special (11%)
Independent (1%)
post 16 (1%)
Cohort 3
153 teaching schools representing 124 teaching
school alliances
The majority of applicants applied, and were
designated, as a single teaching school alliance.
The number of designated teaching schools
representing the Early Years and Primary phase
has almost doubled (45% of designated teaching
National coverage has increased by 16% to 89%,
with 136 of the 152 Local Authority areas now
have a designated Teaching School
Who can be a Teaching School?
Designation is open to…
any phase of school: nursery, primary,
middle, secondary, 6th form/college,
special or pupil referral unit / short stay
any type of school including
independent, academy, federated, faith
school, free school, studio school,
university technical college (UTC)
grammar school or school leading a
smaller schools, such as smaller special
or primary schools, as the model
enables more than one school to share
the designated role of leading a
teaching schools alliance
Who can be a Teaching School?
Designation criteria … a high bar …
a clear track-record of successful collaboration with other schools
Ofsted outstanding for overall effectiveness, teaching and learning
and leadership and management
consistently high levels of pupil performance or continued
an outstanding headteacher with at least three years headship
experience, and outstanding senior and middle leaders with
capacity to support others.
Role of Teaching Schools
As well as offering training and support for their alliance
themselves, Teaching Schools will identify and co-ordinate
expertise from their alliance, using the best leaders and teachers to:
1. lead the development of a school-led ITT system, either
through School Direct or by securing accreditation as an ITT
2. lead peer-to-peer professional and leadership development
3. identify and develop leadership potential
4. provide support for other schools
5. designate and broker Specialist Leaders of
Education (SLEs)
6. engage in research and development
Professional continuum
 Teacher
Snr Leadership
School to school support
Comes in many forms
Combination of NLE, LLE, SLE, NLG
and other support as required
Schools benefiting include those in
SM, SW, “coasting” and those
lacking in leadership
capacity/specific expertise
Operates on a continuum – from
relatively light touch to federation,
trust, chain, academy sponsorship
arrangements – as appropriate
Funded through various
sources/contracts inc LA, DfE,
Focus always on impact
Specialist Leaders of Education
Relatively new designation acknowledging the
important role of middle and senior leaders in
supporting their peers
Excellent professionals in leadership positions
below the headteacher, with the capacity,
capability and commitment to work beyond their
own school
Outstanding in a particular area, for example: a
subject specialism; inclusion; ITT mentoring;
performance management; behaviour; school
business management
Have the track-record and skills to work in this
Designated and brokered by teaching schools,
but may be from any school
Research and development
Research and development network
Enabling Teaching School alliances to
engage in research and development
activities, both working with their
individual HEI partners and working in
regional and national networks
Providing opportunities for training,
sharing expertise and wider
dissemination of ‘what works’
Working with, not doing to….
Toward a self improving school system
1. Great use of data – ‘the best bits’
2. Collective responsibility for the issues – the brutal facts
3. A mechanism for moving ‘the best bits’ to where they are most
4. Engagement in research and access to research
5. A culture shift – from ‘my’ to ‘our
6. Joint accountability – peer scrutiny and review; a willingness
to be transparent
7. From ‘ sharing good practice’ to ‘ joint practice development’
8. Professional generosity, reciprocity and collective moral
Productive collaboration isn’t easy…
But all on top of the day job…
Ofsted pressures – and Ofsted enables
League tables and exam performance
Staffing issues
Governor worries
Maintaining morale
Ofsted – a great source of research
Unseen Children…
Social Care Annual Report
Pupil Premium
Getting to Good
It’s down to us – what’s required?
Single school improvement – not an option
Collaboration and competition work together in the collective
service of better results
A strong and improving system will move resource to where it is
most needed
 Focus on what matters – collectively to you
 Build capacity and skill around this focus
 Build a positive atmosphere and believe in people
Ben Levin – how to improve 5000 schools
• Maturity, time and expertise, structures and
• Core purpose of education establishments– a
• Inclusive and reciprocal – in a very diverse system?
• Supported to deliver not stretched to fail?
• Motivation - collective moral purpose?
• A tale of two systems?
What makes great leadership?
 Optimistic, enthusiastic and curious – belief in people
 Commitment to social justice, equity and excellence
 Respect and empathy for others
 Resilient – tireless energy
 Persistent – in pursuit of excellence, putting pupils first
 Drive and determination – ambitious
 Courage, conviction and integrity
 Vigilant and visible – ‘only the best will do’
 Humility plus professional will (fierce resolve)
Ofsted Outstanding Schools series 2009/10; Capturing Leadership Premium, McKinsey 2010
Glatter 2009; Future of Leadership, National College 2008.
Strength in alliance, partnerships and
“ A person with ubuntu is open
and available to others, affirming
of others, does not feel
threatened that others are able
and good, for he or she has a
proper self-assurance that
comes from knowing that he or
she belongs in a greater whole
and is diminished when others
are humiliated or diminished.”
Desmond Tutu
Thank you…and questions