Training was firmly rooted in EEF guidance on the principles of effective implementation and evaluation, supporting disadvantaged learners, improving attainment in maths & English.
The virtual delivery model proved to be very popular with Implementation Leads, enabling them to log in from their school/college, eliminating the need to travel to/from a training venue and requiring additional release time.
Following the successful delivery of foundation training from the Research School, Implementation Leads were equipped with the skills and knowledge to effectively implement and track the impact of school improvement projects & approaches.
Survey data found:
- 85% felt the quality of training was good/excellent
- 79% felt the amount & frequency of training was about right
- 73% felt the training was appropriate to their needs
Implementation Leads, on the whole, noted the benefits of coming together regularly to collaborate, share learning and expertise. Pressures on staffing (exacerbated by Covid absences) led us to revise the frequency of network meetings, which were originally taking place twice per month but reduced to once per half term.
Leads found that network meetings were most useful in the autumn term, when completing their initial training, drafting action plans and selecting appropriate intervention approaches.
As the year progressed, the role became more internal-facing, with leads expressing a desire to use their ring-fenced release time to undertake activities such as: moderation, team-teaching, delivering pupil interventions etc. as opposed to more frequent network meetings.
Implementation Leads formed an active community of like-minded professionals, regularly meeting to share their experiences and gain support.
Survey data found:
- 82% were keen that the network continues beyond 21-22
- 68% felt that the opportunity to be part of a network was quite important, 20% felt this was very important
The planning and delivery timeline for the project proved to be hugely successful. Implementation Leads were identified, and their ring-fenced release time agreed with headteachers in May/June 2021, prior to beginning their roles in September 2021. This meant that leads across all participating schools/colleges were free to attend training and network sessions throughout the year, which aided collaboration.
Implementation Leads reported that ring-fenced time enabled them to undertake duties which were invaluable to the success of their projects, which improved the quality of teaching & learning and helped drive up attainment.
The training calendar was shaped in partnership with the Research School Network, with delivery of sessions beginning in June 2021. This equipped Implementation Leads with the core skills and knowledge required to draft and refine their case studies, which were submitted by the end of the academic year. By September 2021, leads were able to hit the ground running by effectively kick-starting the implementation of their literacy/numeracy projects. This linked in well with school CPD calendars, as it allowed relevant whole school staff training to be arranged for INSET days in the autumn term.
Impact of Covid:
High levels of staff and pupil absences proved challenging: impacting the ability to organise staff training; creating the need for catch up pupil intervention sessions and limiting opportunities to collaborate in person, such as through team-teaching and moderation.