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Building skills within the peer review model

SPP and professional development

When we speak with the schools we work with, the practice-based professional development that SPP offers comes up again and again as one of the key benefits. Within the unique peer review model, it develops skills in leadership, facilitation, evidence evaluation, coaching and creating a collaborative feedback culture, helping to embed a sense of self-efficacy and teacher agency throughout the schools we work with.

There are three distinct roles vital to each peer review cycle within a partnership. An SPP Associate trains and supports members of staff from each school to build the skills and capacity needed to fulfill them. Leaders and teachers develop these skills to continuously drive improvement, not only in their own school, but in all schools across their partnership.

Partnership Lead

Each partnership agrees a Partnership Lead who acts as the key contact between the partnership and Education Development Trust. They help drive the programme and ensure that the partnership’s peer review schedule is on track. They also support the ongoing conversations in partnerships to evaluate the impact of peer review to ensure that the process is supporting school improvement priorities.

Listen to Helen Rowland, CEO of Focus-Trust, talk about her experience of being a Partnership Lead.

Peer reviewer

Senior leaders from each school, usually the headteacher or deputy head in phase one, are trained to conduct reviews of each others' schools, usually in sub-groups of three or four. Peer reviews take place annually (as a minimum) for each school within the partnership and are held over one to two days, depending on the size of the school.

Listen to Michael Rowland explain the benefits and the potential challenges of the role of peer reviewer.

Improvement Champion

These highly effective members of staff are trained to take a lead on aspects of school and partnership improvement by facilitating the post-review improvement workshop at partner schools and supporting development of their school action plan.

Improvement Champions work with the Partnership Lead to monitor ongoing impact and, over time, they become experts in developing evidence-based improvement strategies and school-based research.

Zoe Young, Year 2 teacher at Thornhill Junior and Infant School, shares her experience of the Improvement Champion role, and how it opened up opportunities she'd previously not explored.

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