Supporting school improvement partners sips working with schools causing concern
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Supporting School Improvement Partners (SIPs) working with Schools Causing Concern. The role of the SIP in Schools Causing Concern. The role of the School Improvement Partner (SIP). Improving life chances for all young people. Key messages for SIPs.

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Supporting School Improvement Partners (SIPs) working with Schools Causing Concern

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Supporting School Improvement Partners (SIPs) working with Schools Causing Concern

The role of the SIP inSchools Causing Concern

The role of the School Improvement Partner (SIP)

Improving life chances for all young people

Key messages for SIPs

The need for immediacy between the identification of concern and local authority (LA) action.

The importance of LA protocols for triggering intervention.

The importance of establishing a trail of evidence.

The SIP role in all schools

SIPs are the first layer of sharper challenge and better support for schools.

Feedback from SIPs is a key component of LA intelligence about a school.

SIPs support and challenge the school’s process of self-evaluation to help the school arrive at an accurate judgement of how well it is serving its pupils and what it needs to do to improve.

What raises alarm bells for you when you are talking to headteachers?

What some SIPS said…

slow or no progression

low expectations

pupil data does not make a difference to learning and teaching

a narrow and uninspiring curriculum

a self-satisfied school





School’s self-evaluation, linked to Ofsted Self Evaluation Form (SEF)

School’s development plan

Information on how the school ensures pupils make progress and address, where appropriate, the five outcomes from Every Child Matters

School and pupil-level data and analysis

Value for money comparisons

Most recent Ofsted report and LA briefing on local issues

How well is the school performing?

What are the key factors?

What are the key priorities and targets for improvement?

How will the school achieve them?

  • Report to headteacher,

  • governors, LA on:

  • self evaluation

  • priorities and targets

  • action

  • package of support including engagement with other schools/agencies

  • – (where relevant) commentary on specialism/s.

Headteacher’s performance management (PM)

Advice to governing body on headteacher PM and school’s PM systems

What might be different about the SIP role in a school causing concern?

Think about what you might expect to be the additional challenges for a SIP in a school that is categorised as cause for concern.

What information do you need from the school and the LA to support the SIP function?

Three key elements for improvement:

standards and progress

improving the quality of learning and teaching

strengthening leadership and governance.

Education and Inspection Act Statutory Guidance May 2007 (updated September 2008)

New measures:

simplifies LA warning notices

low performance is extended to underperformance

LAs can secure federation and/or external providers

LAs are accountable to Secretary of State to act decisively for quick recovery

Education and Inspection ActStatutory Guidance May 2007

Promotes earlier action to tackle school underperformance including use of warning notices.

Ensures that effective support and challenge is provided immediately.

Secures decisive action if a school in special measures fails to make sufficient improvement to underperformance.

LAs can secure federation and/or external providers.

LAs are accountable to Secretary of State to act decisively for quick recovery.

Triggers for intervention

The school failing to address significant underperformance.

Risks to the pupils' safety and well-being.

Significant budget problems without a secure recovery plan.

The school failing to engage with the self-evaluation process.

The school lacking the leadership capacity to improve.

LA school review, support and intervention arrangements for SCC

The LA’s role is to have:

a clear, agreed and published policy for identifying, supporting or intervening with SCC

an effective system and cycle for identifying schools and settings causing concern (categorisation)

a well-coordinated programme of support for each school

effective systems for reviewing progress

an exit strategy.

SIPs’ role in early intervention

Challenge and support the school’s self-evaluation and planning.

Act as critical professional friend to a school.

Provide a key component of LA’s intelligence about a school.

Evaluate the impact of support.

SIPs’ role in early intervention

In the first instance SIPs should discuss any concern they have about the school with the headteacher. In most cases the SIP and headteacher judgement will be the same.

Where the SIP has concerns about the school and cannot secure agreement on actions through professional dialogue with the headteacher and governors, the SIP should alert the LA to their concerns and their view of the support that is required.

Early signs of improvement you would want to see…

The school is challenging itself by setting more ambitious targets.

The school stays focused on its priorities.

The SEF is of higher quality – informed by a more accurate evidence base.

There is regular review of pupil progress.

Improved school self-evaluation processes.

Emerging evidence of improving outcomes for children and young people.

Session 2 – Identifying the characteristics of a vulnerable school

How do SIPs secure the ability of schools to sustain their own improvement?

New Public Service Agreements(PSA) targets 2009

Raise educational achievement of all children:

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS): Increase the proportion of children achieving 78 points on FS profile.

Increase the proportion of children achieving level 4 in English and maths.

Narrow the gap in educational achievement between children from low income and disadvantaged backgrounds and their peers.

Increase the proportion of children progressing two levels in English at KS2 by 9 percentage points and in maths by 11 percentage points.

Reduce the number of schools below the floor target (55% combined level 4 in English and maths).

2011 PSA 10 and 11 targets

Reduce the gap between outcomes for children entitled to free school meals (FSM) and CiC and their peers.*For each of these targets LAs will be required to provide breakdown by minority ethnic group including Gypsy/Roma and Travellers of Irish Heritage.

Schools causing concern is a national priority

The National Strategiesaims to:

meet PSA targets

work with LAs, SIPs and schools to build capacity and ensure sustainable improvements across the system

provide National Strategies-specific school improvement activity; universal, targeted and intensive

increase the focus on schools with average or low CVA especially where this is declining

increase the focus on prevention of failure

align with national priorities of progress and personalisation.

Commitment to reducing the number of schools attaining below 55% floor target and those schools hardest to shift

Mathematics progress against attainment

Lower combined


Higher 2 levels


Higher combined


Higher 2 levels


Lower combined


Lower 2 levels


Higher combined


Lower 2 levels


The challenge for pupils with special educational needs (SEN)

Two levels of progress (P scale or National Curriculum levels) across a key stage where possible.

More than two levels if prediction plus challenge indicates this can be achieved.

Not less than one level of progress except for those with the most severe and complex needs.

All pupils – except for those with the most severe and complex needs – to improve significantly on current performance, including lateral as well as linear progression.

Schools causing concern – revisiting the definitions

Identified through close data analysis, SIPs,

additional LA intelligence, external inspection:

low attaining


low attaining and underperforming

inadequate (Ofsted special measures, significant improvement needed)

other vulnerable schools.


From the data and information provided by the LA/school what might alert you to the potential vulnerability of the school?

What about special schools where there is no standardised national data set or for pupils working well below national expectations in mainstream?

Consider the question in relation to:

quantifiable data

other contextual factors

learning and teaching

leadership and management.

Responsibility of SIP

Ensure an awareness of the LA’s strategy for intervening in schools causing concern.

Make concerns explicit to headteacher and governors.

Alert the LA.

Know who will lead from the LA in the school.

In conclusion

Essential role of SIP in working with schools causing concern.

Key avenue of communication with LA about issues or potential issues.

Key responsibility for identification with the school of the right priorities, and of the right support to ensure that they are met.

Ongoing support and challenge… with the purpose of improving life chances for all young people.

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