School Improvement Skills

A high-quality education adviser must possess the understanding and skills to have a positive impact on school improvement. Fundamentally, they must understand the causal factors that contribute to a school’s performance and be able to work in concert with the school’s leadership to achieve change and improvement. We have identified certain key skills and attributes that we believe are essential to the role.

Associate Assessment diagram

Understanding of causal factors

An education adviser needs to have the skills to develop a deep understanding of the causal factors that are contributing to a school’s performance.

Analysis of school performance

A successful adviser will have the skills required to carry out a thorough and accurate analysis of all aspects of a school’s performance and, through this, develop a deep insight into the operation of a school. This will initially involve a critical examination of both current and historical internal and external assessment information, together with the ability to consider and reflect on inspection and/or review evidence.

Critical evaluation of the quality of leadership

An effective adviser will have the ability to critically evaluate the quality of leadership, including governance, in a school or academy, by assessing the accuracy and rigour of self-evaluation protocols and how this work leads to well-targeted actions in any school or academy improvement planning.

Critical evaluation of the quality of teaching

We, and any client, will expect an accredited adviser to be able to critically and accurately evaluate the quality of teaching, together with the breadth and balance of the curriculum, and determine whether these are successfully meeting the needs of all students.

Critical evaluation of pastoral provision

There will also be a need to critically evaluate the quality of a school’s pastoral provision and whether this is meeting the full range of students’ needs.

Critical evaluation of outcomes

The ability to critically evaluate whether the collective work of governors, leaders and staff are bringing about discernible improvements in student outcomes is essential.

Adviser knowledge, skills and expertise

An accredited adviser will be expected to have up-to-date knowledge of relevant educational legislation, including the most recent Ofsted inspection framework and guidance, and to keep abreast of developments in educational research and effective practice in different types of educational institutions.

Advisers must also have the professional standing and competence required to challenge underperformance and assist with improvement by providing clear, insightful and well-written reports to governors and senior leaders that guide them in how to implement change.

Understanding the school's capacity to improve

Most importantly an accredited adviser will constantly demonstrate the ability to work in concert with the school leadership to build the capacity to achieve change and improvement or to sustain high performance in all that they do.

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