Who we are
The Schools Partnership Programme was developed with schools and launched by Education Development Trust in response to emerging changes in the education system in England. Schools are becoming more autonomous, and responsibility for school improvement has begun to move away from local authorities to the schools themselves.
Headteachers are gaining greater freedoms to lead outstanding schools and a range of policy levers have been put in place to encourage collaboration, particularly between successful schools and local peers facing challenge. This move towards a self-improving system means that schools are becoming more aware of the need to collaborate better with others to support improvement, with a desire to ensure that partnership working is efficient, positive and leads to real impact.
Thus, SPP was created in 2014. It is the only peer review model that is informed by research evidence and benefits from Education Development Trust's global network of partners, making it distinctive and effective.
Our emerging evidence base suggests the model is making a real difference in schools. Initial analysis of Ofsted data shows that the first cohort of schools improved against their baseline Ofsted grades at better than the national rate of improvement. SPP schools are significantly more likely to improve by one or more grades in inspection than the national average.
To further support our emerging evidence, Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) are currently undertaking an evaluation of the Schools Partnership Programme. It is one of the largest studies EEF have undertaken, with 450 schools signing up to take part. The evaluation report will be published Spring 2022.
Our reputation in the sector
Having had the privilege of working with thousands of school leaders and staff over the course of 6 years, we have developed and grown the SPP model with, and for, hundreds of schools across the country.
Now the biggest peer review model of its kind, we have come to find certain values are highly regarded and incredibly key to continuously support and train schools and Trusts in their ongoing school improvement journeys.
Here are a few characteristics that schools in our SPP community have appreciated about the SPP approach.
Trusted and authentic – our approach is non-punitive and non-judgmental, not inspection disguised as peer review
Principled – we believe in and model our underpinning principles
Belief in reciprocity and equality – each school has something to give and something to learn no matter what their context or Ofsted grade
Adaptable – once embedded, our evidence-based methodology can be applied to any area of focus, challenge or need to help meet emerging challenges and local objectives
Realistic and relevant – welcoming ongoing development through listening closely to the lived experience of serving leaders and teachers
Empowering – doing things with the sector, not for the sector
Evidence based – in all aspects of what we do, our methodology, process and culture
Sustainable – genuinely builds partnership and school capacity to own and drive their own improvement without us, to become self-sustaining and system led
Inclusive – working with partnerships of all different types and ability to work with the reality of ‘multi-belonging’
"The work that Education Development Trust have been supporting in Essex has been essential to the development of a school-led improvement system. Not only have they acted as a strategic partner to the local authority but worked in the development of the county-wide project board, as well as gaining direct feedback from our schools. They have been a key player in the development and implementation of this key strategy.”
Clare Kershaw, Director for Community Education and Learning, Essex County Council