School improvement service

The school improvement service is part of the education service within the children’s services group.

Our vision is of partnership, improvement and achievement. We want Northumberland to be at the forefront of improvement nationally, while retaining good relationships with schools and building on our collective strengths and achievements. We will ensure our schools have a strong and distinctive identity and voice on education.
The core central team is responsible for managing and monitoring the work of school improvement partners, who have a breadth of skills and experience. Some are current headteachers, others are recently retired colleagues, and some are Ofsted-trained inspectors.

This team’s work is then enhanced by support from national and local leaders of education, specialist leaders, leading practitioners and external consultants who work on specific projects, initiatives, and formulation/implementation of strategic plans.

The work of the service is steered by priorities set out in the annual report and strategic plans. The service continues to develop and innovate within the context of national reform and local needs.

School improvement

  • challenge guidance and support for school improvement and maximising achievement
  • analysis of a comprehensive range of pupil performance data and access to expert advice and guidance on its use
  • challenge guidance and support to quality assure and develop teaching and learning.
  • professional development and support for leaders and governors in areas such as
    • in-school assessment
    • tracking of pupil progress
    • raising achievement in relation to both the school and the national  context
  • support for school self-evaluation in line with the current Ofsted framework
  • co-ordinating learning partnerships to support professional development and school improvement
  • targeted monitoring, evaluation and developmental feedback on teaching and learning
  • pre and post Ofsted support including support for action planning and monitoring visits

Commissioning school-to-school support

  • access to a range of partnership or collaborative opportunities
  • brokering school-to-school support for those in challenging circumstances
  • facilitation of school-to-school support to address school specific/locality needs

Commissioning other services

  • signposting access to other services e.g. HR, finance, governance, clerking
  • developing new and innovative approaches

Develop the effectiveness of leadership and management
A leadership development programme, developed in partnership with the national college, which focuses on:

  • succession planning at all levels
  • specific programmes for recently appointed headteachers, acting headteachers and supporting the development of aspiring leaders
  • a complete package of support for the recruitment of new headteachers
  • induction programmes for NQTs and early professional development

Consultancy support

  • brokerage of curriculum support and development from specialist leaders of education, advisers and through school-to-school support.
  • support for performance management
  • specific EYFS support through a team of consultants.
The local authority strategy for improving education outcomes has been shared with schools and can be accessed here: