Schools Sector

Slide 1
Barclay Primary School
Barclay Primary School and Children's Centre, London

The Business Support Group was asked to provide developmental support for the staff at Barclay Primary School and Children’s Centre. The route to this decision came from previous work undertaken for, and comprehensive discussions with, the School’s senior team, the Head Teacher, and the Children’s Centre Manager.

The bespoke programme that was devised had two main strands:

  1. A coaching and development package for the Children Centre Manager
  2. A training intervention for the Children Centre staff

The Children Centre Manager – This part of the programme started with the design and distribution of an 80-question, multi-choice 360° Leadership Assessment Questionnaire to the Manger and 12 colleagues. We analysed the results and, in close discussion with the Manager, devised a personal development programme for her. All of our interventions were conducted at one-to-one meetings.

Using the results of the original questionnaire, together with some additional self-assessment documents completed by the Manager, we were able to benchmark current leadership skills, knowledge and understanding and express this in terms of a ‘Personal Quotient’ number. We then set a series of six-month goals, which would be measured by increases in the ‘Personal Quotient’ numeric values. We are delighted to report that this method of measurement was completely successful. (**Please see footnote below concerning our unique Knowledge Nation® outcomes-measurement system)

The coaching and development itself was undertaken at the series of one-to-one meetings. The overall theme addressed was Leadership and Managing Change; this included discussions and suggestions for action on the following topics:

  1. Thinking ahead
  2. Setting priorities
  3. Preparations
  4. Getting buy-in
  5. Effective implementation
  6. Changing the culture
  7. Views on leadership
  8. Six leadership styles
  9. Competency quadrants
  10. Team dynamics
  11. Meetings, agendas and minutes
  12. Dependability/reliability
  13. Job knowledge
  14. Work quantity and quality
  15. Judgement
  16. Initiative
  17. Co-operation and team working
  18. Effective communication
  19. Accountability and responsibility
  20. Professionalism

The Children Centre Staff - We concluded that that the most effective method of addressing the issues concerning the team’s operational activities would be a development workshop. This workshop, described afterwards as ‘informative, participative and fun’ by participants, addressed the following topics:

  1. Team types, learning about each other and analysis of characteristics
  2. Team working (affinities, alliances and conflict)
  3. Positive communications (styles, types and methods)
  4. SWOT and PESTLE analysis and tactical team planning
  5. Creativity and motivation
  6. Attitude, enthusiasm and energy
  7. Brainstorming, mindmapping and how to have fun at work

**Note on Knowledge Nation® outcomes-measurement system - Measuring outcomes resulting from training and development programmes is notoriously difficult. The good news is that we’ve developed a system to do just that! It starts with a special, bespoke questionnaire that confirms each individual’s current knowledge and skills in the defined topic – the results produce their ‘Personal Quotient’. This forms the basis of a continuous review system that allows people to track, score and monitor individual and team development over a period of time – tying in to an appraisal system if desired.

Slide 1
Roger Ascham Primary School
Roger Ascham Primary School, London

The Head, Senior Team and Governing Body at Roger Ascham School requested a comprehensive development programme for all Teachers and Teaching Assistants with the objectives of developing new Phase Teams and giving people an opportunity to review and enhance their understanding and skills across a range of issues and activities.

Following detailed discussions with the School, and reviewing information previously gathered from a series of our Knowledge Nation® staff questionnaires, we devised a series of workshops that addressed these key issues and topics:

For teachers and teaching assistants:

  1. How to learn more about colleagues; their strengths and preferences
  2. The eight core team roles (based on original work by Dr. R. Meredith Belbin)
  3. What ‘types’ work best with each other
  4. Affinities and dynamic alliances
  5. Constructive conflict
  6. Current barriers
  7. Potential solutions
  8. Effective meetings skills, including:
  1. Purpose and direction
  2. Action-centred agendas
  3. Activity minutes
  4. Discussion formats
  5. Consensus decisions
  1. Positive communication, including:
  1. Left and right brain hemispheres
  2. Visual, auditory and kinaesthetic styles
  1. Phase team planning, including:
  1. Core purpose and values
  2. SWOT and PESTLE analyses
  3. Strategic and tactical planning
  4. Decision making and new opportunities
  5. Attitude, enthusiasm and energy
  6. Innovation and creativity
  1. Adherence to procedures, including:
  1. Commonality of approach
  2. Consistent interventions at all levels
  3. Better focus on monitoring pupil progress
  1. Continuous improvement, including:
  1. Greater contributions to the school environment
  2. More effective development of support staff
  3. Initiatives to ensure delivery of pupil entitlements

Certificated programme for Teaching Assistants

During the previous academic year most Teaching Assistants took part in an NVQ Level 3 programme, which was arranged and administered by a different outside provider organisation. Feedback from the participants was somewhat negative, in that most people felt that they had not learned anything new and that the whole exercise was very over-reliant on paper-based evidence and too bureaucratic.

When asked if we could provide a programme in the current academic year for the small number of TA’s who were unable to take part in the original NVQ programme, we suggested our own Supervisory Management for Teaching Assistants Level 3 qualification. Once approved, this programme proved a great success for the candidates, concentrating as it did on observation, witness and interview testimony. We were also able to provide three training workshops as part of this programme, addressing issues and gaps in knowledge and understanding that became apparent during the six month period of its activity. Feedback from all involved was exceptionally positive.

The Governing Body

As part of the comprehensive development package, it was recognised that the pivotal role of the Governing Body would need to be examined; consequently, we devised and delivered a development workshop for this team, which addressed the following matters:

  1. The Governing Body structure
  2. Statutory responsibilities
  3. Core purpose and values
  4. Strategic and tactical planning
  5. Committees
  6. Division of operational responsibilities
  7. Team dynamics
  8. Individuals’ characteristics and preferences
  9. Future opportunities