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Agenda item

Partnership Arrangements to deliver School Improvement

Karen Borthwick to report


Karen Borthwick, School Effectiveness Service, gave the following powerpoint presentation:-


The Local Authority Champions Educational Excellence by

-          Building strong and effective working relationships with education leaders in their area and encourage school and setting leaders to support and challenge others

-          Understanding the performance on schools and settings in Rotherham, using data and wider intelligence to identify those schools and settings that require improvement and intervention

-          Take swift and effective action when failure occurs in a maintained school or setting using Warning Notices and Interim Executive Boards whenever necessary to get leadership and standards back up to at least ‘good’

-          Intervening early where the performance of a maintained school or setting is declining ensuring that they secure the support needed to improve to at least ‘good’

-          Encouraging good and outstanding schools and settings to take responsibility for their own improvement and to support other schools and settings

-          Supporting the development of a diverse market of excellent providers to support school improvement

-          Signposting where schools and settings can access appropriate support

-          Securing strong leadership and governance for schools and settings that are not providing a good enough education



-          Working in partnership to ensure that all schools or settings are good or better so that every child or young person is given the very best start in life



-          We are all responsible for all Rotherham’s children and young people

-          Schools are responsible for their own improvement

-          All Rotherham learners will achieve; no-one will be left behind

-          Learning is the core business; investment, policy and strategy must be driven by opportunities for learners


Partners in School Improvement

-          School Effectiveness Service

-          Learning communities

-          Wider School Improvement Community which includes

Learners First Schools Partnership

Outstanding Schools

Teaching School Alliances


School Effectiveness Service

-          Maintain a robust system for the collection and analysis of school performance data to ensure the effective risk assessment of schools

-          Deliver effective strategies for early intervention when schools or setting show signs of declining performance.  This will include the use of statutory powers

-          Provide appropriate and effective support and challenge to all schools and settings

-          Champion the attainment and progress of all children and young people within the Borough

-          Act as an advocate for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and for children and young people in care and for other vulnerable groups and individuals

-          Secure a wide range of educational options for parents and families

-          Ensure local authority colleagues are well informed of national and local developments so they can play a collaborative part in the activities set out below

-          Connect improvement activities and programmes to local authority-wide Head Teacher and Governor meetings


Learning Communities

-          16 geographical learning communities

-          Supported by a consultant Head Teacher to help analyse performance.  This will inform the brokerage of personnel or support

-          With the aid of the above, Head Teachers and colleague should test local provision and performance again The Mission for children and young people 0-19

-          Will work together to provide peer challenge and support in define local areas.  This should involve a rigorous and frequent scrutiny of current data and other live intelligence that should help clarify individual and collective strengths and weaknesses

-          Ensure transition with and across Key Stages is effective and productive

-          Share and develop best practice that can help improve both provision and outcomes in individual schools and across the learning community.  This can be shared further across the wider Rotherham and broadening learning community

-          Able to identify a small number of collaborative activities that will add value to the individual effort of schools


Wider School Improvement Community

-          Key providers Learners First Schools Partnership Learners First will

-          Work with SES after their data analysis and other intelligence gathering to identify settings and cohorts that would benefit from additional challenge and support

-          Through the Learning Community structure and consultant Head Teachers, commission and provide workforce support (NLEs, LLEs, SLEs, NLGs and others) to support individual settings and Learning Communities to better deliver the Mission.  In most cases this support will come free at the point of delivery for LF subscribers

-          Identify the commission best practice providers from other localities that subscribe to the Mission and LF philosophy.  This expertise will be channelled via Leadership seminars for teachers, senior leaders and practitioners.  SES colleagues will use their intelligence data to signpost settings and individuals to the various offers.  Each offer will involve schools in partnership work to improve progress and outcomes

-          Ensure that all partnership settings have access to the CPD, Leadership and Governance Curriculum and the offer for bespoke leadership

-          Continue to connect and promote thus providing opportunities for all schools and learning communities to engage and benefits


Discussion ensued on the report with the following issues raised/clarified:-


·           There were concerns about some of the learning communities.  The weaker ones were not being supported by their fellow community members

·           The Chair of Governors was responsible for leading the school improvement and it was the role of Head Teacher to challenge and ensure focus on learning

·           Other authorities did not have the strong relationship with Head Teachers as Rotherham did and it must not be taken for granted.  Rotherham was in an unique position that those relationships existed due to the commitment and drive through the School Effectiveness Service and consultant Head Teachers who led it on behalf of the Authority

·           Need to continue to work across the Council to understand the importance of those relationships particularly if going to deliver the Mission


Resolved:-  That the report be noted.