Together we Exceed

News and updates

Monday 6th November 2017

School improvement

Exceed Teaching Schools have worked with 15 local primary schools to prepare two applications for the DfE Strategic School Improvement Fund (SSIF). These focus on diminishing the gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils, and disadvantaged boys and all pupils. These projects focus specifically on Reading as 2016 data from schools across the district show this to be the most vulnerable aspect of the childrens’ overall attainment. We anticipate the outcomes of these applications in January 2018.

Governance

Our new School Improvement Board met for the first time in September. The designated system leaders agreed that the Teaching Schools’ three priorities to be:

  • Building capacity and securing educational excellence in the Teaching Schools’ Alliance’s formal partners
  • Providing the school improvement capacity for formal partner multi-academy trusts as local school improvement solutions
  • Utilising our additional capacity for the benefit of schools within and beyond Bradford where we can meet schools’ needs

Exceed Teaching Schools remain outward looking organisations and will continue to do so. Work is underway to plan a programme of events to help address the priorities of our partner schools and MATs as well as opportunities for all schools in the district.

Study visits

In October, Exceed Teaching Schools funded a study visit for 14 leaders from it’s Alliance partner schools. The group visited Broadford and Mead primary schools in East London. Broadford Primary School won the the 2017 TES Award for School of the Year. The schools have already magpied ideas to apply in their own school. A dozen school leaders also undertook a study visit to Bradford Central PRU. Feedback has been very positive and the quality of the centres shone through. Later this month, 14 more leaders will visit Everton Nursery School. Everton won the 2017 TES Award for Nursery School of the Year.

Leadership development

Last week, our Stepping Up: Aspiring Head of School / Headteacher Programme concluded. Three cohorts of over 60 Bradford-based school leaders accessed the four day programme over three cohorts. The programme included visits to five outstanding primary schools in Bradford and Lewisham. The programme was subsidised by NCTL. Feedback has been very positive throughout and a final evaluation report is being drafted. Some participants have already secured promotions.

Both the Aspiring Head of School / Headteacher Programme and the Executive Headteacher Programme that will conclude this month (almost 50 local school leaders over three cohorts) have built huge amounts leadership capacity. We’re determined that the development of these leaders doesn’t end on completion of the programme. We’re facilitating further network meetings for both groups and arranging further training linked to areas identified by participants. We’re discussing the potential of these groups of leaders with the DfE.

On Tuesday 7th November, we launch our Professional Book Club. 18 school leaders will meet to select books and publications to read and discuss over afternoon tea over the coming months. We’re delighted to be funding the purchase of the books and refreshments in partnership with Bradford Council. Upon completion of books, these will be made available for future participants and our SCITT teachers.

Initial teacher education

Our SCITT teachers have started the year very well. Everyone who works with them comments on the high-quality of the trainees. Likewise, the trainees provide fantastic feedback on their learning from the school leaders and teachers that deliver 100% of their training experience. Our PGCE provider has commented that they’d never worked with a group with such ability and potential. We’re delighted!

Recruitment is underway for those graduates seeking to train to teach in September 2018. We’re receive large numbers of expressions of interests and the first week of the application window has brought a good number of high-quality applicants (especially those seeking salaried places). Our first interviews are scheduled for this week. Our Leeds Hub, delivered by Westerton Partnership, has also scheduled its first interview for this week, too. We continue to attend university careers fairs, Get Into Teaching roadshows and host visits to our partner schools. Both our Bradford and Leeds Hubs re committed to high-quality, truly personalised training with cohorts of no more than 40 trainees each. We believe this to be the optimum number to provide the very best training and support. Through our partnership with Bradford South Partnership, applicants to apply to a smaller School Direct programme, giving them a diverse choice of programme to access. More information is available at teachertrainingbradford.com, including our Virtual Guide to Applying for ITT. We’re proud to support the bradfordteaching.org campaign launched last week.

Exceed Academies Trust has applied to the DfE to become a provider of teacher apprenticeships. We’ll keep you informed about how this progresses.

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Thursday 20th July 2017

Governance of the SCITT and Teaching Schools

A new governance structure for Exceed Teaching Schools will be introduced in September 2017 to take account of our increased focus on school improvement. The Teaching Schools Strategic Board will be replaced by a School Improvement Board consisting of the partnership’s National Leaders of Governance (NLG), National Leaders of Education (NLE), Local Leaders of Education (LLE) and CEOs of supported multi-academy trusts. A Local Authority School Improvement Adviser will also join the Board. This will help the Board to focus on the needs of the Teaching Schools’ Alliance, generic city-wide support and support for individual ‘vulnerable’ schools.

The SCITT will form both a Steering Committee/Board and Progress Panel in line with Ofsted expectations and best practice. The Board will hold the SCITT partnership to account whilst the Progress Panel will monitor and approve trainees’ progression to the next phase of their training.

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Friday 14th July 2017

National Professional Qualifications: Accredited provider (subject to contracts)

Exceed SCITT and Teaching Schools’ Leadership Campus at Horton Grange Primary School has been accredited as providers of the full suite of new National Professional Qualifications (NPQ) in partnership with Northern Lights Teaching School Alliance and Carnegie Leaders in Learning. From September 2017, we’ll build on our many years’ experience in delivering bespoke versions of the National Professional Qualification for Middle Leaders (NPQML) and National Professional Qualifications for Senior Leaders (NPQSL) and extend our offer to the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) and National Professional Qualification for Executive Leaders (NPQEL). Schools interested in registering staff for these programmes are invited to contact Exceed SCITT and Teaching Schools at exceedtsa@exceedacademiestrust.co.uk. Dates and prices will published in due course.

Teaching Reading Programme 2016-17

Based on the unvalidated data sets, pupil outcomes shows that the 30 schools that participated in Exceed SCITT and Teaching Schools’ Teaching Reading Programme, increased their Key Stage 2 Reading Working At Expected outcomes by an average of 13.8 percentage points, compared to a national average increase of 5, between 2016 and 2017 from 45.5% to 59.4%. For these schools, the gap to the national average for Reading reduced from 20.5% to 11.6%, a difference of 8.8 percent points. For the proportion of pupils Working At Greater Depth, the participating school increased their pupil outcomes by 6.2 percentage points, from 7.8% to 14%.

Aspiring Head of School / Headteacher Programme

Exceed SCITT and Teaching Schools have secured funding from the DfE to deliver a ‘Stepping Up’ programme to schools leaders in Bradford. Over 60 school leaders have registered for three cohorts of the programme. Cohorts 1 and 2 are now complete. The impact on cohort 1 is summarised below:

  • Baseline assessment showed participants on average felt they were a maximum of 24.4 months away from being ready for headship
  • On completion of the programme, this reduced to 18.4 months
  • One participants time to headship increased – from 36 to 60 months. This is still a positive outcome – it potentially helped a leader to avoid taking the step to headship too early in their career
  • On a scale of 0-10, with 10 meaning ‘ready now’, the assessment of readiness for headship increased from an average of 5.4 to 8.1 on completion of the programme
  • Strong peer support established – participants remain in contact with each other and have undertaken visits to each other’s schools outside of the programme
  • One participant has secured Head of School post in Calderdale. Very positive feedback on the impact of the programme on his ability to secure the post
  • One Assistant Headteacher has taken the step up interim Deputy Headteacher in his substantive school
  • One Deputy Headteacher has become interim Head of School in a MAT school
  • Two have become ‘Associate Headteacher’ whilst substantive Headteacher transitions to become a CEO

Projects for 2017-18

Exceed SCITT and Teaching Schools, via our Professional Learning Campus at Copthorne Primary School, is offering three projects to its formal partner schools and multi-academy trusts (click here for an interactive map and list of our partners) and Exceed SLEs and LLEs to collaborate on for 2017-18. They are:

In addition, the following opportunity is available to partner schools and multi-academy trusts, Exceed SLEs and those leaders who have completed the Stepping Up: Aspiring Head of School / Headteacher Programme:

To participate in one or more of the projects, please register your interest by emailing exceedtsa@exceedacademiestrust.co.uk after your have secured the agreement of your Headteacher.

Introducing Exceed School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)

Exceed SCITT begins training the next generation of teachers for Bradford from September 2017 and a new hub in Leeds from 2018-19 with Westerton Primary Academy and schools in Morley: click here for a map of our partner schools. Recruitment to the General Primary programme (3-7 and 5-11) has been strong and the SCITT is reaching full capacity.

In the future, we aim for Bradford and Leeds Hubs of about 30 trainees each to make the SCITT financially viable whilst not compromising the quality of delivery and support. Our Head of Initial Teacher Education will quality assure both hubs.

All our partner schools and many of our partners’ staff feature in a new four-minute long introductory video. You can watch the video here.

Children playing at one of our Exceed schools

“We believe that successful schools develop their own identity and individuality and are best placed to meet their own community’s needs.”