Be Inspired

“This is all about us drawing in, and drawing on, the expertise of other schools and trusts across Bradford. We are firmly committed to working with partner organisations and system leaders across the local education spectrum to shape how support is provided to the schools.”

Titus_Bft 2019 (58) (Medium)

City’s key role in national schools improvement drive

Schools in Bradford are amongst the first in the country to take part in a new national initiative designed to build on the success of school-led improvement.

There is emerging evidence to show that school collaborations are helping to drive up standards but research also suggests considerable variation in the structures and reach of the schools and academies involved.

Because of this, the school-led model is to be enhanced through the creation of six ‘test and learn’ hubs – each run by a high performing schools and trusts and given responsibility for overseeing their area’s improvement activities. The hubs have been tasked with piloting the new approach.

Copthorne Primary School and Exceed Academies Trust have been named as leads of the Bradford hub and will act as the link between school and trust leaders and the Department for Education (DfE).

Paul Butler, Director of School Improvement at Exceed, explains: “Essentially, we will be an entity that oversees the national school improvement offer for all schools, regardless of phase or type, across whole of the Bradford region.

“It means that many of the programmes that come through Government, such as grants and school to school support arrangements, will be brokered through the hub. That doesn’t mean we’re responsible for school improvement, rather it means we’re responsible for helping schools access the support they need to improve.”

Initially, the hub will be focusing on three key areas.

From Easter 2020 it will take responsibility for overseeing the DfE School Improvement Offer, including the commissioning of specialist support and stabilisation packages for schools that are graded ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’ by Osfted.

The hub will also play a key role in coordinating continuing professional development for teachers, acting as the signpost to high quality programmes and working closely with the research school and the Education Endowment Foundation to ensure improvement activity is thoroughly evidence-based.

Finally, the hub will have an important role to play in recruitment and retention, supporting the roll-out of the new Early Careers Framework.

“What’s really important about this approach is that it’s not all about the organisations named as ‘the hub’,” says Paul.

“This is all about us drawing in, and drawing on, the expertise of other schools and trusts across Bradford. We are firmly committed to working with partner organisations and system leaders across the local education spectrum to shape how support is provided to the schools.”

Plans are already being drawn up for the creation of a comprehensive online prospectus for school leaders that will act as a one-stop shop for road-tested improvement methodologies.

“It’s a hugely exciting time to be in education in Bradford,” Paul adds. “It’s a whole new approach to the school-led system and it’s being tested here and helping to shape national policy, which is hugely positive.”

“We have a fantastic opportunity over the next couple of years to really empower the great teachers and leaders within Bradford’s schools to shape the improvement agenda around the unique educational challenges that we face as a region.”

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“This is all about us drawing in, and drawing on, the expertise of other schools and trusts across Bradford. We are firmly committed to working with partner organisations and system leaders across the local education spectrum to shape how support is provided to the schools.”

Titus_Bft 2019 (58) (Medium)

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