TSAs and MATs: here and now, plus a glimpse of the future.

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Teaching School Conference SSAT and ASCL


Summary of key points

Key speaker Roger Pope Chair National College for Teaching and Leadership, also Principal of Kingsbridge Community College in Devon. Spoke on Future of Teaching Schools

School Led System focus on Education led by schools

In future Government Policy will be informed by Teaching School Alliances through the Teaching Schools Council and the College of Teaching. The NCTL appears to be playing a supportive role rather than a driving one.

Key focus areas for Teaching Schools will be System Leaders, ITT, School Improvement and Leadership.

Ambition is to have an Excellent School for every child

Schools below standard will be subject to intervention by Ofsted and the Regional Schools Commissioners will broker support that is needed for these schools.

In regard to MATs and TSAs they won't be the same schools but the TSAs will be like a bridge between MATs.

In a self-improving system the job of the TSAs will be to grow the good and outstanding schools, support schools that have the capacity to improve themselves but it will be the RSCs role to intervene where schools do not have the capacity to improve themselves. A school like this will only have pockets of good practice and a TSA cannot support schools like this. School to School support funding is set to increase.

Self-improving system numbers aspiration is to have 1,000 TSAs especially in areas which are poorly served. There is a need to close the gaps geographically around the country.

With regard to nationally recognised professional qualifications licenses run for 1 more year. An expert group of Heads will decide what the content will be and how best delivered.

With regard to running a successful TSA 4 pillars are required

1.Moral purpose

2.Social capital

3.Strong systems

4.Organisational capital best infrastructure = 1) educational leadership 2 ) project manager

Teaching Schools Evaluation Professor Qing Gu and Simon Rea (ISOS)

26 case studies were evaluated from 26 Teaching Schools

Key findings

1. Sustained appetite from schools who wish to be Teaching Schools but this is geographically varied

2. Leadership, credibility, trustworthiness and resilience are paramount in building and leading a TSA. TSA is perceived unanimously as a worthwhile but hugely time consuming enterprise

3. Governance and accountability vary across alliances and most have experienced considerable changes over time.

4. No single concept of a teaching school or alliance. They are influenced by TSA leaders values and visions, different cultures and prior histories of partnerships and collaboration between schools within and across regions. Membership is fluid and increasingly TSAs are more focussed on who in partnerships are willing to work together to achieve shared goals and visons.

5. Alliance Partnerships benefit from other partnerships, almost all are now working with LAs and other TSAs

TSAs and MATs serve different purposes, structures differ. Both are perceived to be important in promoting school improvement.

6. TSAs increasingly confident in their strengths in developing, broadening and deepening activities and aspects of the 6 core responsibilities

7. Key strands of TSA work continue to be ITT and CPD and then School to School Support. CPD tends to be bespoke and short courses. Quality Assurance is a big challenge as is strategic planning.

8. Sustainability of TSA initiative is seen as a continuing challenge by almost all TSAs, ongoing funding support and clearly defined accountability measures are perceived to be essential for capacity and infrastructure to be sustainable.

9. Teaching schools (lead schools) show impact on pupil outcomes but no clear evidence that alliance schools themselves are associated with greater improvement in pupil outcomes compared with similar schools, teaching schools significantly outperformed comparator schools at both KS 2 and 4 in all 3 cohorts.

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