With another year almost behind us we just wanted to say thank you for your custom in 2015. We’ve had plenty of work to keep us on our toes and we are, for the most part, very grateful for that!
As people are wont to do at this time of year, we wanted to reflect on what schools had found useful in 2015 and let you know a bit more about how we could help you 2016. Please feel free to use the links below to jump to a particular section.
This year we’ve seen a 21% increase in schools using our Teaching and Learning Development system in England and Wales. Word of mouth and customer recommendations played a key role in our growth, so a big thank you to all the schools who have sung our praises (and will hopefully continue to do so!). With school to school support a growing feature of the education landscape more schools are realising the benefits of using a shared framework and system for the development of their teaching. New incentives are now available for groups and for introductions.
Some of the most notable updates this year include: the ability to switch off grades or change the grading scale you’re using; categorisation of development points and strengths; option to add additional observers to your forms… and the list goes on.
Once again we are incredibly grateful to our customers without whose feedback (both good and bad) the system would not be in the same place as it is today.
We’re already hard at work on new features coming to the system in 2016, including new graphs for the dashboards and a course management feature for the Performance Management module.
School data continues to evolve and so our reports have move forward with it. Our new EYFS report was well received and was taken up by a large number of schools. In our KS1+2 reports this year we introduced commentary on the school inspection dashboard as well as an EYFS section. We’re also in the process of developing a Progress 8 and Attainment 8 report for KS4, which is available to order now either independently or as a supplement to the KS4 report.
Early in 2016 we will be working with a number of schools to develop our new reports for the new examination structure and reporting. If you’d like to be involved please let us know.
This term we have worked with Academy Trusts, Primary, Secondary and Independent schools on developing surveys for their needs. The main request continues to be our parent and pupil survey and an increasing number of our schools are modifying these to obtain evidence for their specific needs. We have also worked with schools on Learning Surveys, Staff Well-being Surveys, Ofsted Staff Surveys and Governor Surveys.
As well as providing surveys for our regular schools we have also worked with an additional 15 new schools this term to who we were recommended by neighbouring schools.
If you have not already taken advantage of our surveys service, please do get in touch as we are happy to share our standard surveys and work with you to ensure that the process is as effective as possible.
This year we set up the For Schools Learning Partnership following the reduction of Local Authority support. The aim of the group, which includes maintained schools, foundation schools, faith schools, converter and sponsored academies, is to support and connect schools through the use of meetings, newsletters, help videos and more.
In the tail end of this year we have started work on a series of videos for school governors and in 2016 we will, hopefully, be welcoming Paul Scully MP, to our next meeting. A group of heads will also be visiting Westminster to discuss education issues.
As part of general School Improvement and Support Services we have supported a number of schools in their headteacher appraisal processes. We have also been involved in supporting governing bodies in headteacher recruitment. Earlier this term, we were delighted to be involved in running a very successful teaching and learning conference for a large group of schools for the Guildford Diocese.
In 2016 we’ll be developing a range of school improvement products around School Self Evaluation, Governor Guidance and Developing a Whole School Teaching and Learning Strategy – watch this space!
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That’s it from us, which leaves nothing left to say except we hope you have a restful Christmas break and see you in 2016!