Education Development Trust has been at the vanguard of collaborative school improvement and both global experience and our own deep experience of school-to-school collaboration show that it doesn’t happen on its own. Schools need to develop the capabilities to collaborate with purpose and rigour, and ensure that precious resources are used most efficiently.
We led the way with our Schools Partnership Programme, established in 2014. SPP is an evidence-based collaborative school improvement model that builds the capacity of leaders at every level to lead rigorous and outcomes-focused peer review and school-to-school support. SPP recognises the vast potential that exists in a school system and offers the framework to harness that potential to produce a sustainable school improvement model.
Collaboration key to a school-led system
Our successful approach to large-scale programme delivery is based on school-to-school collaboration and the philosophy of a school-led system. Leadership and teacher agency is critical in successfully embedding new ways of working and our collaborative hub model harnesses this. Our research, as well as our own experience, have found that, to be effective, school-to-school collaboration requires a framework or structure to ensure the necessary rigour. In our work, this has taken the form of a carefully co-created framework as with SPP or alternatively, a lean central co-ordinating team as with several of our at-scale programmes.
Collaboration getting results
Enabling school-to-school collaboration underpins delivery of our UK programmes such as Accelerate – designed in partnership with the Chartered College of Teaching to provide exceptional training materials customised for early-career teachers – and Future Teaching Scholars – recruiting tomorrow’s high calibre maths and physics teachers. Our hub model means that, by working together, schools themselves are invested in our programme: they are advocates, there is potential for co-creation, they are learners themselves and they control delivery. Our role as the co-ordinating team is to provide the essential strategic drive and continual tactical support.