Case study: Bespoke school-to-school support

All schools in the Malago support each other through two school improvement visits a year. Split into two groups, headteachers get to spend an intense day in partner schools looking at themes at the request of the host school. As well as feedback on the day, each visit leads to a written report with recommendations for further action.


Jack Lacey, Headteacher at Victoria Park Primary School, has just had his second of the two annual visits. Jack wanted a marker on progress around teaching and learning and to support for phase leaders who were new in post. Previous visits looked at pastoral support and some of the school information management processes were tweaked as a result.


In his third year of school-to-school improvement visits Jack finds the process useful, even if you are not expecting an imminent Ofsted visit. He said, “Having my peers take a close look the school is a really effective way of validating your own self-evaluation. I always learn something new and my judgement is tested in a positive way. It is different to visits from the local authority as I am completely in control of the agenda. The bespoke approach is good for staff confidence and as a primary school head I always value the opportunity to visit the secondary and special school in our partnership.”


Bedminster Down Secondary School headteacher Gary Schlick was one of the four-strong team spending the day at Victoria Park. At least half of the day was spent monitoring lessons and the senior leadership team were given some challenging questions to consider. He commented, “In the Malago we give serious commitment to our own school-to-school improvement – both with our time and the quality of the feedback. I always come away with new ideas to ‘magpie’ and initiatives that would be of benefit to the whole partnership.”

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