Operating Systems

Our processes are built around three key system concepts: monitoring, challenge and support.

Schools collect achievement, pastoral and financial data on a regular basis to inform interventions and support. Data is presented to the Trust’s Leadership Group on a monthly basis, shared by school leaders every six weeks and considered by the Board once a term. Pupil, parent and staff data is collected from each school once per year. Schools are involved in formal 2 day reviews of each other once a year and the outcomes are used to inform school development planning. RoL and annual achievement outcome data are also used to support planning. Head teachers and Trust leaders also organise regular formal lunches with pupils across schools in order to encourage pupil voice. 

This comes through weekly meetings with the Chief Executive/Primary Executive Head, through Governor Body meetings and through annual reviews. Challenge is predicated on a coaching model. Questioning is at its heart and the focus is around leaders developing their own solutions. The Trust also uses an experienced life coach to support and challenge leaders and to develop capacity. Performance Management is supported by an external Improvement Partner who ensures consistency across schools. The quality of the Trust is also assured through external review.

Monitoring data informs interventions and support. The Trust calls on a pool of outstanding practitioners including head teachers, Lead Practitioners and Specialist Leaders of Education to develop and support teachers and support staff. The Teaching School Alliance brings additional capacity through a well thought out approach to school to school support. Research and Development is at the heart teaching and learning innovation and there are many opportunities for staff across the Trust to gain external accreditation for their research. The Trust has also developed an effective training programme for governors, school leaders, teachers and support staff. The Trust also partners with a number of external providers to ensure more specialist support for schools.

We believe that process is more important than structure and resources in school improvement and that, as teaching and learning is the most important process of all that should be our focus. We also recognise that improving systems implement similar sets of interventions to move from one particular performance level to the next but at each level they are different. As research by McKinsey demonstrates there is a consistent set of interventions that move systems from poor performance to fair, from fair to good, good to great and from great to excellent. We have therefore developed a series of incremental improvement strategies relevant to each stage of the journey, following a schools needs analysis. This takes place with school leaders in the context of our due diligence before schools join the Trust. It is then subject to annual review.