Monday, 11 July 2011

No surprises: SSAT Report on Early Academies!

The report chronicles the journey of academies, in many cases from underachievement to growing confidence among students, increasing popularity among parents, and rapidly improving examination results.
The research suggests that the important factors behind their success are:
  • The experience, skills and drive of school sponsors
  • Very clear vision and values
  • The pivotal role of the principal leading by example
  • An ethos of order and learning – “stopping the street at the gate”
  • Heavy investment in training and professional development for teachers
  • Assessment, target-setting, student and staff tracking to ensure schools continue to improve
  • Rigorous use of data and evaluation
  • Staff commitment, including running weekend and holiday classes
  • High quality buildings, IT and resources.
I have worked for over thirty years trying to build brilliant provision and those of us who have spent our lives at the front line know the real answers lie where they have always been...
  • strong, disciplined, focused and passionate leadership;
  • clear, shared vision, values and beliefs;
  • talented, energetic, enthusiastic and creative teaching teams;
  • empowered, trusted and disciplined colleagues;
  • brilliant teaching supported by strong assessment for learning;
  • stimulating, exciting and engaging curriculum pathways;
  • powerful, stimulating and interesting learning environments;
  • high self-esteem and high expectations of everyone;
  • strong, dynamic and meaningful coaching relationships;
  • high engagement and involvement of young people;
  • positive engagement and involvement of parents and carers.
We need to be determined, persistent and focused even if it is hard.… whatever it takes!

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