Tackling In-School Variation: Strategies for raising achievement and narrowing gaps will take you through the process of:
understand what is happening in classrooms which leads to variation, using lesson observations, learning walks, or pupil focus groups
effectively analyse your school data to build an in-depth picture of the performance of different areas
highlight the most effective areas of the school and look for patterns in methods of working
sferable practice, where effective practice can be shared and learnt from
highlight areas requiring improvement that can be made better with support
ensure your middle leaders have the skills and confidence to lead change and address performance issues
enable middle leaders to identify models for sharing and developing best practice
focus on strategies that ensure consistently good or outstanding teaching and learning across the curriculum
foster a climate of support and challenge where the highest performing subjects share good practice and the less well performing ones are supported to improve.
Summary of contents
Training session 1: Where are we now? What does the data say?
This session looks at identifying in detail what the performance data (and other relevant data) can tell you about your school: where is progress good and where could it be better?
Participants are confident in using the data available to them to analyse variations in performance across the school, avoiding incorrect assumptions.
Participants have identified areas of strength in the schools as well as areas for improvement and started to plan next steps from a more practical perspective.
Training session 2: How does practice compare to the data? What is the triangulation?
In this session senior leaders build up a more in-depth picture of performance of different areas of the school, looking particularly at why some areas are performing more strongly or weakly than others.
Participants to identify a set of ‘success factors’ for their school or context and understand why and how these work.
Participants to agree on some specific targets or changes that they want to happen.
Training session 3: What do we need to do? How do we work with middle leaders?
Exploring in-school variation can cause anxiety for staff. This short session is an opportunity to clarify what needs to be done to progress the school and how this will be communicated to team leaders.
Participants have agreed plans for bringing about changes, giving a firm foundation for the next two training sessions.
Participants have an agreed communications strategy for talking to middle leaders about next steps.
Training session 4: What skills are required for improvement?
This session concentrates on the skills required by middle leaders to reduce in-school variation, giving greater confidence in leading change and addressing performance issues in their teams.
Participants have identified ways in which they can lead and support their teams in bringing about positive change.
Participants are more confident in their strategies for addressing underperformance in their team.
Training session 5: How can we learn from others?
The purpose of this session is for participants to learn more about and agree on strategies for learning from what works. This could be done within the school, or where schools work in clusters it could involve visits to partner schools.
Participants agree on areas of focus for them and plan how they will investigate it – for example through observations or learning walks.
Participants agree how and when they will report back on their findings and resulting actions.
Training session 6: What has worked? What needs further development?
This session gives the senior team the opportunity to reflect on the project that they have been engaged in and to identify what tangible benefits have been seen as a result, as well as explore where further action is needed.
Participants to identify, share and celebrate successes so far.
Participants to identify where initial targets are possibly slipping and agree on actions to keep them on track.