School Improvement

comment Our service at a glanceSchool-improvement

In order to raise standards across the borough, with the urgent ambition that all schools and settings will become good or better.

The School Improvement Strategy 2015- 20 sets out the Local Authorities priorities and these underpin our core offer to schools. This core offer is the result of wide consultation with stakeholders, including head teachers, and goes beyond the statutory functions required of LAs.

Statutory functions include the following:

  • Moderation of Key Stage 1 assessments
  • Moderation of Key Stage 2 assessments
  • Contributing towards inspection of maintained schools by meeting with the lead inspector
  • Contributing towards post-Ofsted plans, where appropriate
  • Representing the Director of Children’s Services in head teacher appointment panels
  • Contributing towards the Standing Advisory Committee on Religious Education (SACRE)

Core Offer – Following core offer diagnosis, in discussion with the school and a representative of the governing body, all schools are placed in a band

Band A schools – Core offer with termly visit.

Band B schools – Core offer plus up to three additional days of support.

Band C schools – Core offer plus up to six additional days support.

Band D schools – Core offer plus up to nine days support.

The additional days support for band B, C and D schools will be bespoke to the school and might include validation of judgements on teaching over time, development of self-evaluation, supported self-review, Improvement Plan development, curriculum consultancy and brokerage of additional support as appropriate.


Traded services

Beyond the core offer, officers and others specifically brokered for the purpose will work flexibly across all ages and phases to tailor provision to meet the needs of your individual setting, school or provision. Support can be designated to meet the individual needs of a particular setting, and by negotiation a group of schools or clusters.

The examples below illustrate popular examples of support that have had proven impact on raising standards and how different schools and strategic partners might combine them to fit their needs. Individual requirements would of course depend on the school’s current priorities. Further options will be added from time to time.


Examples of traded services. Further information
Supported Self-Review (SSR) -health check(2 days) 2 days working jointly with senior and /or middle leaders to build capacity in monitoring and evaluating policy and practice. The focus to be agreed according to the school’s priorities.
Book trawl/learning walk(1 day per team member) Assuming one team: Scrutiny of evidence in books of good practice.
School improvement / development plan advice and guidance.(1 day) Following on from the SSR above, advice, guidance and external validation of priorities in the development / improvement plan.
Head teacher Performance Management.(1/2 day) Following on from the SIP programme, a half day package , working with Governors to ensure that PM is rigorous and appropriate to the needs of the school.
External validation of teaching and learning through paired observations. (up to 2 days). Includes advice and guidance, including staff CPD on effective feedback. Coaching ‘on the job’, followed by advice on next steps. Time can be adjusted to suit the size of school.

External validation of evidence behind self-evaluation judgements. Developing the schools SEF.(2 days)

Scrutiny of documentation and followed by a report.

Support for Head teacher/senior leader appointment process or development of middle and senior leaders(up to 3 days)


Bespoke package could be 1 to 3 days and may include evening meetings with governors for selection and planning or development of leaders through training, coaching of individuals or groups.

Preparation for inspection.(3 days) Bespoke package could be up to 5 days, to include staff INSET, SLT meetings, mock interviews, etc.


Progress data – advice and guidance around monitoring of progress towards targets.(1 day) Support and challenge based on RAISE online, school data summaries and school’s own tracking data and post 16 data. Developing APP and AFL and targeting support for identified individual and groups vulnerable to underachievement, internal verification and advice for vocational qualifications etc


Involvement in networks on identified subjects / priorities.(3 days) Brokering support involving at least 3 other schools to develop and share good practice e.g. supporting transition and transfer, curriculum design including learning beyond the classroom, Raising Aspirations, subject leader networking, project management
Bespoke brokered support according to need and including training.(up to 1 day) Involves needs analysis. Could include: developing pupil and young people’s voice/participation, developing social and emotional skills, working with parents. Training examples include curriculum planning, EYFS, AFL, literacy, moderation, challenge, questioning, Thinking Hats, problem solving, SMSC, SRE, behaviour, TA/HLTA and data
Behaviour review(1 day) Including a report of recommendations and a follow up visit to evaluate impact.
HLTA moderation( 1 hour) Moderation of the head teacher’s judgement of the proposed HLTA.
Subject specific support (primary)(Up to 2 days). Curriculum planning and teaching and learning support in Literacy, Maths, Science, PSHE, Foundation subjects, PE and ICT.
Improvement Review process(1/2 day session) Continuous Improvement Review meetings which ensure Ofsted priorities are being monitored and evaluated.
Support for individual teachers to strengthen Teaching and Learning(Up to 2 days) Planning, lesson study, coaching and peer teaching.

Schools should discuss their requirements with their allocated SIP, who will then help to shape the bespoke menu of support and advise on next steps.


Why choose us?

Our core team has extensive experience of supporting and challenging 121 schools, academies and other settings across Walsall and beyond.

The team:

  • Includes experienced Ofsted inspectors, who are well placed to provide pre- and post-inspection advice
  • Includes colleagues with NPQH, SIP and other relevant accreditation
  • Contains colleagues with recent teaching and headship experience
  • Is very experienced in advising governors on head teacher appraisal
  • Is very experienced in supporting schools in challenging circumstances
  • Works in partnership with academy sponsors to raise standards in specific settings
  • Has close working relationships with numerous partner agencies, such as Ofsted and the National College, enabling a joined-up approach to school improvement
  • Is working with local Teaching Schools and other excellent practitioners to build capacity for school to school support
  • Works closely with other WalsallCouncil Services and partners e.g. Public Health, Early Help, Educational Welfare and Information services to provide an excellent understanding of locality and partnership work.
  • Works closely with governance officers to ensure that leadership at all levels can be strengthened. (The revised model for reviewing governance is outlined in the governance section of this document.)

Don’t take our word for it

We receive a number of very complimentary comments about our work and would be happy to provide names and contact details should you wish to know more.

The impartial view of the school provided by external experts provided the school with a clear platform

to target resources to support weaker teaching and celebrate and build upon observed strengths.

Thank you for the very comprehensive support we received.”

Anthony Orlik, Executive Head of the Blue Coat Federation

cost Costs

Prices are approximate as a guide based on one officer’s time. Exact costings will depend on the level of preparation and follow up as required.


Book your support by 30th September 2016 – receive a 10% discount on all sessions.

Book more than 5 whole days of support – receive a ½ day extra support free.

Price – Walsall Maintained Schools
£500 per day
£250 per half day
£175 per Twilight
£100 per Hour

Price –Walsall Academies and other schools
£600 per day
£300 per half day
£200 per Twilight
£150 per Hour

search Find out more

Please contact:

Janet Catto

School Improvement Partner