School Improvement

School Improvement

Running a successful school requires management skills and commitment of a high order. It also requires vigilance. It is not unusual, even in outstanding schools, to find areas of practice that are underdeveloped or in need of improvement. In such cases an outside consultant can work to effect change in a particular area through training, mentoring, modelling, observation and feedback. However, schools in which behaviour and learning as a whole are problematic issues may also be experiencing significant system difficulties. Sometimes there has been rapid staff turnover and post- holders are inexperienced or demoralized. The management team may be short-staffed or contain individuals who are unhappy with their present situation and lack optimism about the school. Sometimes protracted periods of interim management have left confusions in areas of policy. Under these circumstances an outside consultant is sometimes in a position to ‘say the unsayable’ and to supply ideas and training that the school is currently unable to provide. A key condition for success is that the outsider has sufficient experience, insight and skill to allow schools to mobilize their own resources and make a fresh start.

John has an original and supportive approach to tackling complex issues in schools. He begins by identifying successful areas of work and analysing the relationships and practices supporting these.  Then, using observation and direct feedback, he works alongside colleagues to develop and spread good practice. He frequently uses video technology and works with staff in problem-solving groups.   On his training days, and during sessions with management teams, staff share and extend expertise and good practice. The two keys to this unique way of working are close observation of what already works and a solution focused approach to the future. John uses the same approach in his work with challenging classes.