Home | Projects | Aims | Schools | School Contacts | EDP | Staff Vacancies

Education Development Plan (EDP)


Priority 5: Improve leadership and management

The most successful schools are characterised by strong leadership and management which prioritises school improvement and raising standards. These schools are independent, take control of their situation and make decisions which are right for them. An increasing number of the schools in Dorset exemplify these characteristics and it is a major aim of the EDP to provide support which will enable all schools to be in a similar position.

To date, support has been provided for school self review, the role of governors in target setting and the roles of middle managers in secondary schools and subject leaders in primary and middle schools (see priority 2). As well as continuing to support these areas, strategic support will be provided for leadership in small schools and the recruitment and development of future senior managers.

The implementation of the process of school self review will be supported at school level by school improvement consultants through a programme of auditing and monitoring in the autumn and spring terms.

Year Two Activities:

(a) Support the development of whole school self-review in all schools with a particular emphasis on strategies for raising attainment.

Person Responsible: Harry Turner

(b) Develop the strategic effectiveness of governing bodies and in particular, their contribution to whole school self-review and target-setting.

Person Responsible: David Rees

(c) Develop planning for small schools which raises attainment of pupils in literacy, numeracy and ICT.

Person Responsible: Sue Davies

(d) Improve the effectiveness of leadership in Dorset schools by developing a strategic policy for the recruitment, development and support for leadership in the LEA.

Person Responsible: Harry Turner

(e) Support systematic quality monitoring of the effectiveness of school self-review procedures, including a clear focus on the quality of teaching.

Person Responsible: Tom Ferris

(f) Improve the effectiveness of middle managers in middle and secondary schools.

Person Responsible: Mike Young

Priority 6: Aim to ensure no school goes into special measures and weaknesses are minimised

Currently, we have two schools in special measures. Although this proportion is very low in comparison to other LEAs, our major aim is to ensure that all pupils in Dorset schools receive at least a satisfactory education. A priority is to monitor the performance of all schools and to support and intervene, if necessary, in schools where there are weaknesses. For example, during the last 12 months, we have been working actively to support improvement in 12 schools not identified through the OfSTED inspection process.

The first step, therefore, is to support schools to the extent that weaknesses are addressed and they avoid special measures. However, in the comparatively few cases where schools have been placed in special measures in OfSTED inspections, we have worked effectively and quickly to support improvement. HMI, who monitor schools in this situation, regularly refer in their reports to the good level of support received from the LEA. Indeed all schools in Dorset in special measures and serious weaknesses have improvement sufficiently in a shorter period than expected nationally.

A key aspect of this successful support has been provided by an experienced group of headteachers. This group has worked in the schools causing concern and provided professional mentoring for a number of headteachers. They also provide advice generally, on the effectiveness of the LEA’s work in school improvement.

Activity plans identify two major priorities aimed at increasing effectiveness in supporting school improvement in the future. The first, relates to the implementation of a strategy to identify schools with weaknesses so that relevant support can be provided at an early stage. The second, aims to increase the effectiveness of the School Improvement Consultancy Service through the development of pyramid working.

Year Two Activities:

(a) Review procedures and success of working with schools that are failing or have serious weaknesses or give cause for concern.

Person Responsible: Harry Turner

(b) Improve the LEA’s support for school improvement by reviewing the deployment of School Improvement Consultants and devise a strategy of more effective working in pyramids.

Persons Responsible: Harry Turner / David Rees

(c) Improve the effectiveness of financial management in those schools with a deficit budget.

Person Responsible: Steve Cleverly

(d) Continue to work with a team of experienced headteachers to support, monitor and evaluate the LEA’s work in evaluating schools.

Person Responsible: Harry Turner

(e) Helping schools in special measures and those with serious weaknesses to improve.

Person Responsible: Mike Young.