Service Transformation ReviewV1


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Final Review of the Service Transformation Workstream as part of the BSF team in Croydon 2009-2010

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Service Transformation ReviewV1

  1. 1. 2010 Service Transformation Review Darren Atkinson Transforming Croydon Schools 7/12/2010
  2. 2. Transforming Croydon Schools Service Transformation Work Stream These are unprecedented times. The current economic climate requires people and organisations to work together with a clear view about local priorities and a determination to get the most out of every pound spent. There is a national drive to do “more with less”; when the real challenge is how to do “differently with less”. There is also recognition of how crucial the quality of education is in shaping future communities and economic stability. Young people in this period will be a generation of learners who have grown up in a climate of continual change where advances in pedagogy and technology could equip them with the ambition, understanding, skills and aptitudes to make positive contributions as active global citizens. Young people are living in exponential times. Never in human history has the rate of change been as dramatic as it is currently. Learning is fast, ‘just-in-time’ and multi-platformed. Schools, teachers and leaders are being put under increasing pressure to respond to this rate of change with equal measures of dynamism and complex organisation. In reality 'learning' and 'change' are synonymous. Change is not an issue if it makes sense to and is 'owned' by those involved, rather than being arbitrarily imposed. An appreciation that change is a continual process, involving confusion and difficulty, is vital for future learners and leaders. In the near future schools will flourish where leadership is inspirational, builds capacity, empowers, is driven by a shared vision, is networked and connected with communities. Since June 2009 all secondary mainstream, special and short stay schools have been involved in exploring the possible shape of this future. The Service Transformation Work Stream (STWS) led a series of critical activities to support the Transforming Croydon Schools (TCS) programme to deliver the outcomes of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) initiative. What follows is an account of the work undertaken. A Multi-Disciplinary Team Darren Atkinson – Service Transformation Coordinator John Troake – BSF Adviser Sarah Clarkson – Senior Project Assistant (Involvement Strategy) Lydia Taylor – Project Manager Natalie Mills – Service Transformation Consultant (Place Group) Souraya Ali – Service Transformation Consultant (Bryanston Square) Kevin Crossley – Service Transformation Consultant (EdisonLearning) Shawn Cardoso – Project Manager (MACE) Work Stream Partners: The Sorrell Foundation London Metropolitan University Open House The British Council for School Environments Learning through Landscapes Futurelab WSP Clever Spaces A-Studio Flywheel Stakeholder Design
  3. 3. The Aims of the Service Transformation Work Stream The process of transforming educational services must precede details of design in order to ensure that the schools built through any capital investment programme are fit for purpose. Moreover, a step change in outcomes requires a step change in approach and performance. The process of change is often perceived as threatening and must be planned and implemented carefully to avoid alienating stakeholders who are the vital to the programme’s success. The STWS set out to identify the critical issues and potential barriers that needed to be addressed for the TCS programme is to deliver a step change in educational outcomes. These are embodied in the following work stream aims: 1. Create a legacy for change in schools From the start of the programme the STWS team set out to ensure that every mainstream, special and PRU secondary school was involved in the process of BSF; that each school would recognise the value in exploring possible futures and that individuals would begin their own change journeys. 2. Broaden Horizons and raise aspirations The STWS was committed to ensuring that all participants in the programme had the time and space to look beyond their own practice towards next practice nationally and internationally. By expanding personal experiences, participants would be better placed to evaluate their practice and consider possible futures. 3. Support schools to critically examine current approaches and practice Working in parallel with other LA teams the STWS would use tools that encouraged schools to look further at critical aspects of school life, including, school organisation, approaches to learning and teaching and relationships with local communities. Schools would be encouraged to share their reflections with other schools in the borough. 4. Enable schools to create an educational vision for the future Building on the existing work of schools the STWS would embark on a journey with each school to develop a long term vision for the school that would resonate with the broader objectives of Croydon and the vision for 2040. 5. Involve people in co-design across whole learning communities At every step of the STWS programme people would be empowered to participate fully in the process of developing strategy. Through the early stages of engagement people would genuinely feel their ideas were accounted and later, through consultation, they would recognise their own language in proposals. 6. Enhance the relationship between the schools and the LA It was critical that the STWS be regarded by the schools as a trusted partner in the development of the change programme for BSF. Building on early work through ISOS the STWS team would embed these principles in every aspect of the work with schools. 7. Inspire people to embrace change and have the confidence to act and implement
  4. 4. The STWS team would develop approaches that were stimulating, relevant and challenging for schools. This would be a core principle of the programme and schools would come to expect the very highest standards of facilitation and leadership. 8. Build local capacity for change The STWS programme set out to ensure the capacity for change was owned locally by schools and not reliant on a handful of external people. A core principle would be that the programme was jointly owned and never “done to”. 9. Join up the strands of multidimensional teams between LA and schools For sustainable success it was essential that the STWS worked closely, in partnership with other LA departments as well as the schools. The STWS team would be formed with a multidisciplinary skill set to complement this requirement. 10. Empower learning communities to have a voice in the shaping of public services The STWS would support schools to actively engage their communities and work beyond the schools to ensure that people in Croydon would have the chance to engage in the process of shaping educational services for the future. The Rationale for Service Transformation It had been noted that Schools in previous BSF programmes were engaged too late in the process. It was noted that although new facilities have been provided under previous BSF schemes, the quality of education did not change significantly. The STWS team would engage schools early in the process to encourage school to think about transforming education through innovative ways to improve, challenge and change the way they teach as well as gain support and buy in for the programme. The STWS would work with schools in developing their own language and design and to develop their ideas further. This would ensure that the service drives the product; the service being ‘education’ and the product being ‘the facilities’ to deliver education. This is rationalised through the following points: 1. Improve the educational experience of young people It is essential that the work of the STWS leads to improved learning experiences for all young people, regardless of their background and circumstance. The STWS team would be committed to the notion of young people ‘thriving’ and so all aspects of the approach and engagement with schools and communities would encourage participants to consider the needs of those young people from the outset and throughout the process. 2. To transform mindsets and exploring new ways of doing things The STWS team would be dedicated to ‘the art of the possible’ and demonstrate a ‘can do attitude’ through all their work. This would be critical to enabling people to engage fully in a programme of activity that would challenge many deeply held beliefs and long term habits. A core skill of the STWS would be dealing with the unknown and facilitating the shaping of possible futures. 3. To push schools beyond current orthodoxies to develop new approaches
  5. 5. The STWS team would challenge all participating stakeholders by drawing on the latest research related to learning, education and teaching. The BSF programme presented an opportunity to re-evaluate the system of education and the STWS team would ensure that stakeholders would have the time and space to explore new ways of working. 4. To challenge schools and their communities in how they are engaged in the design process The physical design of schools has been a growing area of focus for the last ten years. During this time it has been recognised that schools and their communities are often poorly engaged in the design process. The STWS would be devoted to ensuring that each school would become a ‘sophisticated client’; with a clear and shared language for design based around their articulation of how a school would work in the future. As a sophisticated client, the school and its stakeholders would play an active role in design development throughout the programme. 5. Forge lasting relationships The STWS team would commit to ensuring a networked approach to learning through excellence. It would work with collegiately with LA departments and schools; would support and facilitate strong relationships between schools and the LA and would encourage greater inter-school collaboration and cooperation. It would only be possible to achieve the aims of the STWS if the programme was rooted in strong relationships. The Approach to Service Transformation The principle underpinning the STWS strategy is based on the concept of ‘viral change’ which is an innovative and highly effective approach to managing change. Essentially, a small set of ideas are defined and a process to encourage and spread these behaviours is adopted. These ideas are imitated, endorsed by a small network of people, and this spreads new ways of doing things, quickly and effectively. Its strength lies in peer to peer networks, supported by dialogue and conversation, to create sustainable cultural changes and spread an internal infection of success. Viral Change is closer to infection of ideas or behaviours than to the traditional rational appeal and cascaded down initiatives of change. The main components of this approach are: 1. Single points of contact It was established from the outset of the STWS programme that there would be a single point of contact for each school within the team and that each school would offer a single point of contact. This would ensure clear lines of communication and place relationships at the heart of the programme. 2. Headteacher Tour - Face to Face In one week in June 2009 the Service Transformation Coordinator visited each school in the BSF programme to meet the Headteacher and discuss the STWS programme and approach, with a view to securing their commitment to working with the STWS team and identifying a Lead Advocate (LeAd) for their school. 3. LeAds Lead Advocates are the single point of contact in each school that the STWS team works with. This person was identified by the Headteacher and
  6. 6. represents the school community. There are a broad range of people who been LeAds, including Assistant Heads, Heads of Subjects, NQTs and Students. A charter was drawn up with the LeAds and it was agreed that this person would be responsible for networking and facilitating in their school and over the course of the following year would develop their knowledge of approaches to school design as well as influence others with ideas about the future of education. The LeAds would also lead the School Transformation Team (STT). 4. STTs The first step in building sustainable leadership capacity and capability was to establish what would become known as a School Transformation Team in each school. This team is a representative body consisting of members from the school community. This includes the Headteacher, senior leaders, governors, and teachers, learning support assistants, administrators, young people, parents and local community representatives. By drawing on a wider range of stakeholders the STWS team could mitigate any potentially negative impacts on educational continuity during the TCS programme and ensure continuity if there were any personnel changes. 5. Weekly emails to LeAds As part of the ongoing communication with schools, LeAds were sent a weekly email containing updates on the TCS and BSF programmes and a host of resources and stimulus material for their use in their schools. The STWS team used technology to full advantage, exploiting free communication tools such as ‘Twitter’ and establish a sharing platform through ‘Fronter’ and ‘4Shared’. 6. Immersion Days At the outset of the programme, LeAds were invited to one of two full day visits to a wide range of places where the organisation had undergone significant change and this had informed the design of the space they used. This included places like The Golden Lane Campus and Maggie’s Centre. The purpose of the Immersion Days was to stimulate the LeAds in to thinking about what was possible and to draw a strong link between people, process and place. 7. Provocation Papers As part of the material offered to LeAds the Provocation Papers collected together articles from eight renowned national and international authors about the importance transformation, learning and design. 8. SSfC workshop programme The STTs were involved in a workshop series from June 2009 to October 2009 to support the development of the SSfC (School Strategy for Change). The STWS worked with STTs to stimulate, challenge and provoke thinking about the future of education and challenges facing schools. Each session was designed to create the raw material needed to draft the SSfC. Schools were encouraged to submit draft copies throughout the summer and autumn terms for review and feedback. Following STWS guidance and ongoing support all schools successfully submitted their SSfCs on Friday 18th December 2009. These documents sit as part of the suite of school improvement documents that each schools has, capturing their long term aspirations for change.
  7. 7. It was critical that the change journey was shaped by educational thinking and not influenced too early by considerations of technology, building needs or school design; therefore each SSfC is expected to be a ‘pure’ educational account of the school’s Big Ideas and implications for change. SSfCs have been reviewed throughout the development phase and post SfC phase will become ‘live’ documents again. Schools receive ongoing support, guidance and recommendations to continually update their SSfC, in line with their school development cycle. 9. Next Practice Visits Building on the Immersion Days, LeAds were offered the opportunity to visit a wide range of schools and organisations to examine ‘next practice’. This programme was clearly defined from the outset as being more than just a practice share and that venues must stretch the minds of the participants regarding what is possible. The focus on these visits was on people and process, but often the place was of great learning value too. Participants were given activities to undertake at each location and all visits were written up as part of a Collection of Next Practice Case Studies. 10. LtL visits In addition to the Next Practice Visits, LeAds were also offered the chance to visit some locations to examine the importance of landscape design and learning outside the classroom. As part of the STWS commitment to ‘Whole Campus Learning’, participants followed a programme of activity devised and delivered by Learning through Landscapes (LtL). The resulting case study material has been written up as a guide to designing outdoor learning spaces. 11. What makes a great school involvement programme From June 2009 the STWS undertook a community involvement programme that consisted of three distinct strands: engagement, consultation and communication. Central to this programme was the engagement activity focused on the question “What makes a great school?” A range of innovative approaches were used to engage with a wide range of stakeholders in schools, public spaces and community groups. Video was used extensively and there is now over 30 hours of footage related to the central question. There is also a report “The Great School Characteristics Profile” summarising the findings from the process. 12. Development of Big Ideas The STWS worked closely with colleagues in CYPL to support the development of five ‘Big Ideas’ for change by facilitating workshops and working groups and processing the outcomes. These are now the cornerstone of the policies and strategies CYPL are developing 13. Development of Policies As part of the wider TCS work, the STWS supported colleagues in CYPL to develop policy statements in relation to nineteen national policy areas. Through a series of one to one meetings and working groups these overviews have been collected in a single overview document/ 14. EDB workshop programme As part of the STWS programme, all STTs also participated in a series of design related workshops during the autumn term to create an EDB (Educational Design Brief). This was an intensive period of work that involved a wide range of tools that the STWS adapted and developed in
  8. 8. partnership with the schools. Each workshop was designed to create material that the school could use in its EDB. The EDB is a translation of the schools’ educational thinking and aspirations into the implications for design and the use of technology. In many schools the sessions were opened up to a wide range of staff and so the EDB represents a shared language for design. This is not a technical document, but a briefing process to enable the school to become a sophisticated client, ready to engage meaningfully with architects and designers in any capital project. All school EDBs have had extensive review and have been returned to schools with recommendations, guidance and tools to develop the content further. 15. Design team meetings to develop school master plans From January 2010, the STWS team continued to work with schools and the TCS Design Team to support a ‘learning led’ approach to school design. The STWS Link for each school attended design meetings with the school and also briefed the TCS Design Team as required. 16. Sorrell Foundation ‘Super Clients’ The Sorrell Foundation has engaged with the STWS during spring and summer 2010. The Foundation has worked with a group of 40 young people from Croydon, including those in schools and those not in formal education. Participants have had the opportunity to become ‘Super Clients’; learning skills that enable them to reach out to their peers, passing on their knowledge and offering training and support. The programme has been led by young people, for young people. It has targeted young people in Years 7 and 10 in schools, and a group not in formal education from the borough, creating a team with long-term potential and ensuring the sustainability of the project over time. Older students have acted as mentors to the younger, enabling the programme to embed a succession plan for future leadership. At the heart of the scheme was the role of the young person as a client, and a custom approach ensured the initiative was built collaboratively with them. By offering a menu of possible workshop elements to all involved, young people were able to select items that they consider important, as well as identifying new approaches. Some of this work was designed to build upon previous research carried out in Croydon. The programme will culminate in a celebration event in September 2010, where the ‘Super Client Programme’ will be formally launched and the Super Clients will undertake their first ‘live’ design project through School Demonstration Projects. 17. Development of a joint SfC and Transformational Overview The STWS was instrumental in the authoring of a collaborative inter- borough document for Partnerships for Schools as part of the BSF process. The Strategy for Change (SfC) submission contains an opening section called the ‘Transformational Overview’ which captures how Local Authorities will enable change to happen. The STWS worked closely with Heads of Service and Directors through one to one meetings, working groups and managing comments to create a joint submission. 18. Third Teacher
  9. 9. The STWS has worked with the BCSE to set up a ‘Third Teacher’ project at Edenham School. The first of its kind, the project is seeking to transform the dining experience at the school and draws upon local contractors to develop the design and implement the solution. This is due for completion over the summer holidays of 2010. 19. Learning Led Design Document Suite The STWS used a wide range of techniques including seminars, workshops, one to one meetings and dissemination to support Croydon schools in creating a suite of design documents that can form part of their school development cycle. This suite contains the SSfC, EDB and School Site Master Plan. 20. Learning Led Design Toolkits Each school also has a toolkit of resources to continue to develop their documentation and formal review reports that recommend how the documents might best be enhanced. 21. Demonstration Projects These are founded on the principles of action research and capitalise on the opportunity and time frame afforded by the TCS programme to explore ideas ahead of significant capital investment. Many schools will benefit from capital investment in the future and in the meantime, rather than lose momentum following their recent investment in SSfCs and EDBs, the demonstration projects look to test small scale changes and evaluate the impact. Each project will explore one of six change aspects and the implications for design on FFE, architecture, ICT and the landscape. Schools have selected and customised a project from a defined list to ensure there is breadth of learning across the borough. Projects commenced in May 2010 and will reach conclusion in February 2011. The intention is that there is a project in every BSF school, so that a teacher or learner would not have to travel far to experience innovation in action in a relevant context to them. Findings from all demonstration projects will be communicated through a case study publication in May 2011. 22. Acting as a critical friend for the schools Throughout the STWS programme the team has positioned themselves as critical friend to the school. Developing strong relationships as trusted partners to challenge the school, where necessary, at all levels of leadership in the school. Service Transformation Work Stream Outcomes 1. All schools have reengaged effectively and constructively with the LA The STWS was able to conduct a total of 10 workshops with 20 schools over the course of an eight month period; totaling over 30 hours of engagement in that period with each school. Schools were both accommodating and open to the level of engagement proposed. Feedback from LeAds, STTs and leadership teams has been universally positive.
  10. 10. 2. There is now a strong partnering relationship with schools The STWS programme was developed collegiately with schools, often tailoring activities to the specific needs of schools and responding quickly to requests or comments when activities were not working. Schools are confident to the approach the STWS team with enquiries or requests for support. 3. Schools have a legacy of documentation and a process to continue to drive change and transformation through their existing school development cycle Every school that is in the BSF programme now has an SSfC, EDB and Site Master Plan for their school. These are now owned by the school and there is a programme in place to continue their development. 4. Successful completion and recognition of meeting PfS milestones The STWS was instrumental in the timely completion of the ‘Readiness to Deliver’ and ‘Strategy for Change’ milestone in the BSF programme set out by Partnerships for Schools. The quality of work has been recognised at all levels in the LA and by PfS. 5. Establishing and maintaining a culture of co-design Throughout the STWS programme stakeholders have been empowered to participate fully in both the activities and the design of the activities. The STWS team has responded to feedback from stakeholders on the design of sessions and has used collaboration techniques to share outcomes quickly. The STWS has also used the co-design culture to embed an ethos of challenge, where all participant voices are heard and recognised. 6. Schools as sophisticated clients Schools have been using the approaches modeled by the STWS team in capital projects currently being undertaken. This includes tools for engagement and strategies for working with designers, architects and contractors. Schools also have an shared language for design, articulated in their EDB. 7. Schools considering the design of learning environments in new ways The emerging School Master Plans and also recent design work in schools illustrates the effect the STWS programme has had on schools and their approach to designing learning spaces. Over the course of the academic year 2010/11 Croydon will start to see a new generation of learning space emerge. 8. Supporting the professional development of teachers and school leaders The STWS activities for LeAds were designed not only to impact on the wider TCS programme but were also constructed to enable individuals at all levels in schools to develop as leaders. In the words of one LeAd, “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my role as LeAd and can’t tell you how pleased I was when Richard offered me the position. It has allowed me to develop in so many ways and I’ve also benefited from lots of opportunities to visit other schools, work with other LeAd’s and I’ve enjoyed working with my STT too. Richard has been a great support and I couldn’t have contributed where I did to the SSfC without his guidance, support and encouragement.”
  11. 11. 9. Engaging young people so schools recognise the importance of learners as the end user Young people have been engaged at all levels of the STWS programme. They have been active members of their STTs and some young people have been able to participate in the Sorrell Foundation ‘Super Clients’ programme. Schools are already recognising the value young people bring to the design process by involving them more fully and at an earlier stage in current capital projects. Some schools such as Woodcote and Edenham now have active student groups reporting to the Governing body on matters relating to design. 10. Great School Characteristics Profile The STWS Involvement Programme has created a series of short films about what makes a great school and this has been summarised in a report. 11. Embedding the LA 2040 vision into the language of the schools Since the launch of the Croydon 2040 Vision, the STWS team has worked with schools, through the programme to explore the implications of this vision for their school and the community they serve. This has been captured in SSfCs and EDBs across the borough. 12. Emerging designs for the demonstration projects Demonstration Projects launched in May 2010 and there are currently ten active projects in the programme with a range of interventions from iPads at NMBEC to a new independent learning zone at Addington High School and to edible landscape at Bensham Manor. There are designs now in place for these first ten schools, with some projects being delivered over the summer holidays. Evaluation of the impact will take place in the autumn term 2010 and spring term of 2011.