• Evaluation of the NAHT Aspire

      Hutchinson, Jo; Neary, Siobhan; Hooley, Tristram; Hewitt, Des; Mieschbuehler, Ruth; Dodd, Vanessa; Langley, Emma; University of Derby, College of Education (International Centre for Guidance Studies, University of Derby, 2015-01)
      Data collected for this second interim report through a survey, telephone interviews and site visits indicates that the NAHT Aspire Partner Schools Programme has over a short period of time demonstrated an effective approach to school improvement. Significant is that 14 schools have been rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted. Schools have particularly welcomed and benefited from the adopted approach which emphasises; • Distributed leadership which empowers staff to take on a leadership role for the five strands; • Achievement Teams which build problem focused solutions, a positive climate for staff to feel valued and improved use of data within schools; • A whole school approach to school improvement through adoption and implementation of core values; • Peer support provided through Network Days and in school through Development Days; and • Staff development through training, coaching and the 2-6-2 meeting models. Survey evidence suggested that school leaders and teachers have a lot of confidence now that their school will change for the better (97% agreed or strongly agreed with this statement). Furthermore they reported that they have the right strategy and short term priorities to effect change that will impact upon teaching and pupil attainment. There was overall a high level of confidence (99%) that teaching and pupil’s learning would improve as a result of involvement in the programme. The dedicated support provided by NAHT Aspire Achievement Advisers offers a unique and valued aspect to the programme which provides localised bespoke training and consultancy to schools in the programme. Leadership capacity was identified as a concern by Ofsted in the three pilot schools that were judged to be ‘Inadequate’ and this factor was reflected in termly reviews of the schools’ success in implementing NAHT Aspire prior to the inspections. The programme is considered to provide value for money by schools, and may represent especially good value when compared with the costs of academisation. There have been a few withdrawals to date and these have been predominantly as a result of Ofsted inspections where schools have been judged ‘Good’ or have moved to ‘Special Measures’. It would be interesting to continue to monitor the outcomes of the programme over the coming years and to assess progression from ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding.’