UK

Our school-led model

Schools and policymakers agree that the most effective way to deliver national policy priorities is through the school system itself. Our proven framework for delivery is based on a school-led model in which schools, leaders and education practitioners can collaborate and lead meaningful change at a local level.

School-led improvement for lasting change

School-led improvement is a firmly embedded concept within the English education system, and we believe its philosophy of how schools can lead change is truly compelling. In this model, autonomous schools, leaders and educators collaborate across a local area, sharing their expertise, best practices and resources for the benefit of all schools in the area. Such school partnerships – from structures like Teaching Schools and MATs to agents such as National Leaders of Education – provide a new delivery structure for school improvement across England. This is underpinned by lateral support, peer-to-peer collaboration, and highly decentralised decision-making to help ensure that change is lasting and effective.

While schools are often committed to this approach – and there is a wealth of innovative theories on the benefits of school-led systems – few have significant experience of the practicalities of implementing this vision. However, at Education Development Trust, we have been implementing and perfecting such school-led models in our programmes in England for some time, and have been able to scale this approach to ensure that the benefits are felt consistently by all the schools we work with.

Through our work, we have developed a proven framework for making change stick. Over the past five years, our experts have worked together with schools across England to design, deliver and reflect on school-led delivery models, and we continue to trial these approaches on a range of programmes to ensure optimal results.

Our school delivery partnership network: tailoring our programmes for local needs

We have a growing school delivery partnership network across England. While our reach is national, we ensure that our programmes are carefully tailored to the needs of schools in specific areas and contexts.

We have strategic partnerships with a number of leading national and international organisations to ensure that our school delivery partners and programme participants have access to exceptionally high-quality expertise and content, carefully designed to address the real issues teachers and leaders face each day. This supports our school partners to build on their relationships and local networks to provide outstanding support to schools, based on an understanding of local needs.

Participants in our programmes are also supported by our expert central team, using a combination of face-to-face and online tools. Through these channels, we facilitate remote connections between participants to enable effective peer-to-peer support, and provide specialist expertise – on both professional development content and facilitation – from practitioners and partners.

Creating a school-led delivery network

There are several characteristics of our approach to creating a school-led delivery network, which we believe contribute to effective and lasting impact.

  • Wide in reach

Our programmes cover all regions of the country, creating thriving local and regional networks, and making support accessible for schools in a wide range of contexts. Our programmes bring schools together into networks made up of schools and school groups of all types, as we recognise that schools can learn from others’ experiences of approaching similar challenges in very different ways.

  • Need-focused

We ensure that our networks reach proportionally greater percentages of schools in the Department for Education’s high need categories, such as Pupil Premium and Isolation.

  • Local ownership

We deliver consistent quality and results for our programmes across the country, drawing on the best resources and information nationally, but in doing so, we ensure the creation of a genuine sense of local ownership – everywhere.

  • Flexible support which draws on key strengths

In our work with schools, we tailor our offerings to provide high levels of support where necessary, and greater autonomy where this is more appropriate. All our partnerships are based on complementary strengths, recognising the expertise brought by each partner and ensuring that changes are made by those best placed to do so.

  • Beyond training

We have high expectations of our delivery partners in relation to the local cultures of professional development they create. Through our third-party partners, we are able to bring a rich and exciting professional development offer beyond the level of qualifications set by the Department for Education.