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The Role of the School Improvement Partner . Diane Dockrell Consultant Headteacher/SIP West Sussex County Council Adviser to the DfES. Propose to Cover. What is a School Improvement Partner? What does a SIP do? How is a SIP different? The experience of one SIP in one LA

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the role of the school improvement partner

The Role of the School Improvement Partner

Diane Dockrell

Consultant Headteacher/SIP

West Sussex County Council

Adviser to the DfES

propose to cover
Propose to Cover
  • What is a School Improvement Partner?
  • What does a SIP do?
  • How is a SIP different?
  • The experience of one SIP in one LA
  • Emerging Issues for the future




Single Conversation








the purpose of a school improvement partner
The Purpose of a School Improvement Partner
  • To act as a critical professional friend
  • To help a school’s leadership to evaluate its performance, identify priorities for improvement and plan effective change
  • To help build the school’s capacity to improve
  • To provide challenge and support for the senior leadership team
  • To provide information to a Local Authority and Governing Body on a school’s performance
the guiding principles of a sips work
The guiding principles of a SIPs work
  • Respect for the school’s autonomy
  • Focus on pupil achievement
  • Professional challenge and support
  • Evidence based
  • Coherence
  • Intervention in inverse proportion to success
  • Confidentiality
school improvement partners will be assessed for
School Improvement Partners will be assessed for:
  • Their ability to analyse a school’s strengths and areas for improvement
  • Their judgement of effective strategies for school improvement
  • Their ability to interact effectively with school leaders in a variety of circumstances
school improvement partners in secondary nrws trials
School Improvement Partners in Secondary NRWS Trials
  • Trials in 62 secondary schools in 6 LEAs
  • 29 SIPs

14 serving heads in their own or other LEAs

    • 6 former or seconded heads
    • 8 LEA school improvement staff
    • 1 Member of the PMDU team (minimal teaching experience)
the work of the sip
The Work of the SIP
  • The SIP will have a limited number of exchanges with the school’s leadership about how well the school is serving its pupils and how the school needs to improve.
  • The nature of this dialogue will vary from school to school. Whilst it is likely to have a common core the SIP will make an evidence based professional judgement about what issues should become part of the debate.
  • School’s self- evaluation, linked to SEF
  • School’s development plan
  • Data/exceptions report to identify areas of underperformance in groups of pupils
  • Value for money comparisons
  • Data on pupil well-being
  • Most recent Ofsted report
  • 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?
  • Headteacher’s performance management objectives and LTV of school’s performance management systems
  • Report to Headteacher, governors and Local Authority on: Self Evaluation, priorities and targets, action, package of support
  • Recommendation on secondary specialist school re-designation
  • Advice to governing body on headteacher performance management and LTV of school’s P.M systems
west sussex sip arrangements 04 05
West Sussex SIP arrangements 04/05
  • 9/10 schools in the trials (one school technically without a SIP)
  • 5 SIPs
  • Consultant Head – 5 West Sussex (and 2 Hampshire) schools
  • 3 serving Headteachers taking one school each
  • 1 member of Hampshire Advisory Service
my experience as a sip
My Experience as a SIP
  • Attached to different “categories” of schools – differentiated practice
  • Core function + very specific school issues
  • Dynamic and creative relationship focused on school improvement (rather than monitoring)
  • Natural development for SIP to become adviser to Governors on Headteachers PM arrangements
sip activities
SIP Activities
  • Establishing the relationship
  • Getting underneath the “skin” of the school – analysing the data/documentation/contribution to the ECM agenda
  • Reviewing standards/debating targets
  • Identifying priorities through reference to Self Evaluation
  • Providing feedback on a school’s SEF
  • Contributing to a Leadership and Management Review
Supporting the school planning process
  • Providing effective high quality CPD
  • Building overall capacity into the system by formalising the sharing of good practice
  • Contributing to the Heads Performance Management process
  • Providing feedback on a Specialist School Bid
  • Agreeing a package of School Improvement Consultant support
  • Investigating the extent of a school’s budget problem
how is a sip different
How is a SIP different?
  • Will depend on current experience.
  • Trials indicate:
  • A significant shift from monitoring to improvement assisted by more forensic data
  • Improved credibility and quality of personnel carrying out an enhanced role (eg. specialist school re-designation, performance management role)
  • May simply build on existing good practice
west sussex roll out for 2005 2006
West Sussex roll out for 2005 - 2006
  • Moved from 9 secondary schools to 40
  • Mixed economy of SIPs: 3 West Sussex Heads, 2 consultant Heads, one Head from London borough, 4 SIS staff
  • 70% of secondary schools will have SIP with Headship experience
  • Criteria for deployment agreed
  • Full scale involvement in primary pilot
criteria for deployment
Criteria for Deployment
  • Continuity of SIP (where possible and appropriate)
  • Locality deployment of SIP (to aid local knowledge of community and enhance networking, partnership and sharing of good practice)
  • Availability of SIP in relation to categorisation of school
  • Personal experience/expertise of SIP to category of school
from a local authority perspective
From a Local Authority Perspective
  • The trials have provided an opportunity to help shape national policy
  • LAs support the principle of making the best use of headteacher expertise in school improvement work
  • The role of the SIP has potential to build capacity and add value to the whole system by sharing good practice
The LA retains the key role of appointing, deploying, line managing and performance managing SIPs
  • Strong LAs in a position to build on established practice
  • There are longer term opportunities to “join up” national and local policies through SIP networks
implications for governors
Implications for Governors
  • Engagement with the SIP/SIPs reports
  • SIPs role in advising Governors in Headteacher’s PM arrangements
  • SIPs (possible) involvement in Headteacher appointment process
  • Governors involvement in the preparation of the School profile/SEF
emerging issues for the future
Emerging Issues for the future.
  • Managing the “interface” between the SIP and the Local Authority
  • The role of the National Strategies Contractor
  • The matching of SIPs to schools
  • What happens when a school does not want a SIP, or when the relationship breaks down?
  • What happens when the SIP judgements are different to Ofsted judgements?