Dawlish Learning PartnershipThe Role of School Governors in supporting school improvement
Aims of the workshop1. To understand your accountability for school improvement2. To recognise the levers of school improvement3. To learn from each other: local best practice4. To consider priorities for action back in school
Your accountability for school improvement The governing body has responsibility for the conduct of the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement The governing body must fulfill a largely strategic role in the running of the school. It should establish the strategic framework by: setting aims and objectives for the school adopting policies for achieving those aims and objectives setting targets for achieving those aims and objectives. The governing body should monitor and evaluate progress of its strategy and regularly review the framework for the school in the light of that progress.A Guide to the Law for School Governors 2010
Governing bodies are accountable for… Effectiveness: Efficiency: School performance Value for money Taking account of: Taking account of: Schools Financial Value Standard Self-evaluation (inc governing body) (SFVS) School‟s own data Financial reports to GB Value added data: RAISEonline, Finance committee minutes Headteacher performance management Financial benchmarking Value for Money tools Stakeholder feedback including complaints and compliments Policies, plans, improvement strategies School environment Reports to governing body from headteacher
What is our vision? What are we trying to achieve? Strategic improvement plan What are our values? Policies What is the What evidence? information? School self- RAISEonline evaluation Fischer Family etc TrustDfE school comparisonsHow do we give anaccount? How do we know it’s happening? What are our Head’s reports; new our monitoring priorities? Narrowing the gap? Pupil progress? How do we contribute to planning for improvement? School development plan and headteacher performance management
How good are we?What Ofsted inspectors do What we can doData analysis Data analysisValidation of self-evaluation Self-evaluationAsk pupils, parents, teachers, Ask pupils, parents, teachers,governors – triangulation governors – triangulation Visit school and classroomsLesson observation ComparisonComparison Discussion between governorsWork sampling and staffDiscussion betweeninspectors
Levers of school improvement1. Focus on learning and teaching2. Generate positive relationships3. Provide a clear vision and high expectations4. Improve the environment5. Provide time and opportunities for collaboration6. Distribute leadership: build teams7. Engage the community8. Evaluate and innovate
Key characteristics of effective governingbodies Effective governing bodies systematically monitor their school’s progress towards meeting agreed development targets. Information about what is going well and why, and what is not going well and why, is shared. Governors are well informed and knowledgeable because they are given high- quality, accurate information that is concise and focused on pupil achievement. Outstanding governors are able to take and support hard decisions in the interests of pupils: to back the head teacher when they need to change staff, or to change the head teacher when absolutely necessary. Outstanding governance supports honest, insightful self-evaluation by the school, recognising problems and supporting the steps needed to address them. Governors in the schools visited, use the skills they bring, and the information they have about the school, to ask challenging questions, which are focused on improvement, and hold leaders to account for pupils‟ outcomes.School governance: Learning from the bestOfsted 2011
Governing Body meetings:Spot the school improvement agenda itemsFull governing body Committees Matters arising Curriculum, assessment, Headteacher‟s report teaching and learning School development plan Finance School self-evaluation Staffing Committee reports Premises Subject leaders‟ reports
What might it look like in practice?Problem: poor maths GCSE resultsSolution: Governors requested that the chosen faculty report for that yearfocused on the maths facultyGovernors were pushing at an open door. SLT were as worried as anyoneand were keen to have governors‟ support for actionGovernors, through the curriculum committee, got regular reports on progressSLT were willing to take on governors‟ ideas – eg “A” half of year taught inmixed gender groups; “B” half taught as single sex groupsMajor staffing changes took place; and “overstaffing” of maths gave smallteaching groupsOutcome – over 3 years maths results went from approx. 30% A*-C to 60%+A*-CGovernors did not manage the changes that brought about the improvementbut they did challenge and support the changes
Another example Problem: The headteacher provided the chair with performance data when it was fresh and relevant. The head‟s view was that it was not relevant to share RAISEonline data because it was out of date by the time it was published. However, this meant that the governing body could not see a consistent overview for the school. Solution: The chair of governors encouraged fellow governors to undertake training on RAISEonline, which they did. They also asked to see the data and the head then agreed to share it. Outcome: When the governing body and headteacher looked at RAISEonline together, areas for improvement were identified that not been previously revealed by all the other data that had been shared. RAISEonline is now shared regularly and its usefulness understood by the all.
National Comparative DataRAISEonline is a secure web-based system that provides schools, localauthorities and inspectors with a range of analyses including:• Attainment at the end of Key Stages 1,2 and 4;• Progress from Key Stage 1 to 2; Key Stage 2 to 4• Absence and exclusions; and• The characteristics (often referred to as „context‟) of pupils.For each type of analysis, your school is compared to national averagesfor primary/secondary schools. Some analyses also show you whereyour school sits in the national distribution of schools (e.g. top 20%,bottom 5% etc.).
The purpose of RAISEonline is twofold.1. It is an important (but by no means the only) source of data for schools to use in retrospective self-evaluation and development planning, to be used alongside other sources such as the schools‟ own pupil tracking data.2. The analyses are used by Ofsted inspectors in their pre-inspection preparation. It is therefore critical that you are able to interpret your school‟s data from an inspector‟s perspective and can identify apparent areas of under-performance in order to: • explain why they occurred; or • demonstrate that you recognise them and have set out the action you are taking to address them
Improvement Planning - processIdentify precisely the priority for improvementSchool improvement priorities, which specifically relate to improving rates ofprogress and attainment, are agreed by the leadership team and governorsEstablish the overarching success criteria based onqualitative and quantitative measures The plan has clear success criteria/ intended outcomes relating to improvingattainment and rates of progress and raising the quality of teaching andlearning.Set termly milestonesDated milestones are set out in a way that facilitates systematic and rigorousmonitoring and evaluation each term
Write actions for the term to meet milestones. The plan has an appropriate balance of tactical short term and longer termactivity that all build the school’s capacity and ensure maximum impact for allpupils. Actions are time limited. For each action defined in the plan there is anamed person identified as responsible and a different person accountable foractivity relating to themonitoring and evaluation of the action(s)Write key questions to ask to help evaluate the impactof actionsImpact on progress and attainment is reviewed and adjusted at least halftermly and termly by the headteacher, senior leaders and representatives ofthe governing body.
Effective school improvement plansPriorities: based on the outcomes of rigorous selfevaluation; precisely identify the area (s) for improvementSuccess Criteria: demanding, measurable andtime limitedActions: focused on achieving the success criteriaMonitoring: what, who, when, howEvaluation: against success criteria - who, when, how
If the priority was…To raise attainment in boys‟ writing across KeyStage 2….What might be over-arching success criteria be?
Working with a colleague:Consider the extent to which the success criteria inyour improvement plan are:• Outcomes not actions• Measurable (Quantitative and Qualitative)• Sufficiently challenging
Gathering evidenceWhat are the sources of evidence governors mightgather to support evaluating school performance?
• Reports from headteacher, senior leaders, subject leaders• School level pupil performance data• National comparative data• Inspection reports• Governors‟ focussed visits• Discussions with pupils• External reports• Auditors‟ report• Parent/carer survey
Ofsted and governanceThrough highly effective, rigorous planning and controls, governorsensure financial stability, including the effective and efficient managementof financial resources such as the pupil premium funding. This leads tothe excellent deployment of staff and resources to the benefit of allgroups of pupils. (grade 1)Governors, or those in a similar position, systematically challenge seniorleaders. As a result, the quality of teaching and pupils‟ achievement haveimproved, or previous good performance in these areas have beenconsolidated. (grade 2)Governors are not sufficiently robust in holding the school to account forpupils‟ achievement, the quality of teaching and the effective and efficientdeployment of resources. (grade 4)
Learning from each otherThink of an example of how one or more governors in your school haveinfluenced an improvement in school.The example may be small scale, the result of a “nudge” or something bigger,resulting from a concerted team effort – or somewhere in between.Tell a colleague:• The problem• The solution• The outcomeAgree the key learning points from the example.
Priorities for actionUse the action planning sheet provided to record:• Three things your governing body does well in improving school performance• Three things your governing body needs to do better in improving school performanceWhat you will do next:• Actions• When?• Who else will it involve?• How will it benefit my school?• What evidence will I seek to prove impact?