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v quick question - schools improvement advisor

(14 Posts)
SmileAndNod Fri 07-Feb-14 11:29:53

Do all schools have these, or just schools that are deemed failing in some area(s)?
Thank you

monkeytennismum Fri 07-Feb-14 11:31:36

All schools should have one of these, although I'm not sure if it is mandatory. As I understand it (I'm a governor) they act as an advisor / sounding board for the headteacher.

2cats2many Fri 07-Feb-14 11:32:03

They are usually employed by the council and serve a number of schools in a borough. I've never heard of a school having it's own one.

SmileAndNod Fri 07-Feb-14 12:08:57

Thank you for the replies. I got the impression that she comes in every so often. Was only mentioned in passing in assembly today so just wondered (communication not that great at our school).

AmberTheCat Fri 07-Feb-14 12:15:57

SIPs used to be provided by the local authority, but many have now disappeared as a result of LA cuts. It's still considered good practice to have someone performing this role, and most heads find it helpful, but in many areas it's now up to schools to find their own. In the school where I'm governor we've continued to employ the person who used to do this for the LA, but on a private basis.

BackforGood Fri 07-Feb-14 12:27:58

They've always been around in various forms - names changed over the years, and the amount of schools they have to look after has probably grown.
Some LAs have them in a slightly different format and link up an experienced HT with a newer one, but most LAs before Gove started to destroy them have this job as a specific role.

SmileAndNod Fri 07-Feb-14 13:36:39

I wondered if it was because ofsted haven't been in for a while or if it was because the HT is relatively new or if there was some issue. Seems I'm just too suspicious!

reducedSugar Fri 07-Feb-14 13:37:18

OP, as others have said, Local Authorities don't tend to employ school improvement advisors any more. However, they do bring them in on a consultancy basis, and individual schools or academies can do that too.

If a school receives a "Requires Improvement" report from Ofsted then a school improvement partner will be assigned to them as part of their improvement plan. However, good and outstanding schools often use them too, to help drive improvements in particular areas of the curriculum.

Often they are practising teachers/heads doing consultancy on a day-release basis from their own schools, as part of their own professional development. Some of them are full time consultants. They are often employed through consultancy firms, like this one.

reducedSugar Fri 07-Feb-14 13:39:51

If Ofsted hasn't been in for a while, and is expected soon, then your school might be employing an advisor to help them to prepare for them coming in. Pre-Ofsted support is a common service provided by school improvement advisors. (Again, that is something that LA's used to provide, but many no longer do, or aren't very good at it).

SmileAndNod Fri 07-Feb-14 14:03:08

last inspection date was early in 2011, so maybe the school is trying to get things in place before an inspection is due - next year? How much notice are schools given these days, and when are the parents informed? It shouldn't be disruptive for the children should it?

reducedSugar Fri 07-Feb-14 14:23:11

OP, that's fairly recent, so it depends on whether there's anything that might flag the school up as needing an inspection, such as a dip in results, or a high turnover of teachers. There's some more information about what triggers inspections here.

I've heard that schools are inspected within a certain time period after getting a new Head, but don't have a link to verify that. It might be somewhere in the Ofsted Framework if you want to look it up.

reducedSugar Fri 07-Feb-14 14:29:05

"It shouldn't be disruptive for the children should it?"

It shouldn't be, but it probably will be a bit. The teachers will be on edge for a couple of days, and some activities might be disrupted.

My own DCs school was recently inspected, and it meant a swimming gala practice was cancelled, there was less time to practice their assembly performance (but they rose to the occasion anyway), and some tests were cancelled too (because the teacher said the inspector wanted to see them learning, not sitting tests). All in all it wasn't too bad. You get to input your own views via Parent View too, although you don't need to wait for an Ofsted inspection to do that.

The teachers will probably feel better having got it over with, (unless it's a disaster of course).

BetsyBoop Fri 07-Feb-14 14:55:40

OP I'm a governor at an outstanding school and we still use a SIP - very valuable input IME, there are always things you can keep improving and also they have the latest info on Ofsted "flavour of the month".

Re Ofsted inspections, the school will get a call about lunchtime the day before the inspection (there are certain situations where they can do a no notice inspection, but that isn't the norm) There will/should be a letter sent out to parents that night to let them know. As has already been posted you can leave your feedback on Parentview at any time.

mrz Fri 07-Feb-14 17:55:13

We still have an LEA and SIPs and Advisors

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