Meeting documents

Education Committee
Monday 15 November 1999

Date of meeting: 15 November 1999
Document type: Report
Committee: Education Committee
Title: Review of the Quality Assurance and School Improvement Group (QASI)

Abstract (plain text version of the report)

GLOUCESTERSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL

EDUCATION COMMITTEE

15 November 1999


Report of the Director of Education


REVIEW OF THE QUALITY ASSURANCE AND SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT GROUP (QASI)


1. PURPOSE OF REPORT

To inform Members of the outcomes of the review of the Advisory Service. The report defines the work and functions of the service and proposes changes to the structure and composition of the organisation.

2. RECOMMENDATIONS

THAT the Committee:
i) agree to the publication of the report for consultation purposes;
ii) agree to allow the consultation process with staff to go forward with regard to the possible re-organisation of the service;
iii) to note the implications for the cost of the changes, and the attendant bid for additional funds for school improvement.

3. PRIORITY OBJECTIVE/KEY TASK IMPLICATIONS

Supporting school improvement is a key task for LEAs. The Advisory Service is the central group involved in monitoring and supporting schools when intervention is necessary on matters of management, quality of teaching, and/or standards of attainment. An effective LEA also supports curriculum development and enhancement through the advisory services.

4. RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS

The annual costs of the re-structured service would be £133,730 greater than the present costs. If Members support the proposals, the funding will need to be drawn from an increase in the school improvement budget as the budget for 2000/01 is determined. It is important to note that Gloucestershire currently spends £10 per pupil on school improvement. This is well below the national average of £22 and the average for similar LEAs of £18.50. The increase requested would raise the figure per pupil by £1.60.


5. ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFIT/LOSS

None.


6/7. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY IMPLICATIONS/ ANTI-POVERTY IMPLICATIONS

The proposals include a much clearer focus for the service on inclusion for all pupils. The aim is to bring a clearer service approach to the many facets of inclusion to assist schools in dealing with all of them.

8. DEPARTMENTAL CONTACTS

John Nash
Chief Adviser/Assistant Director
Hucclecote Centre
Churchdown Lane
Gloucester, GL3 3QN

Tel: 01452 427253

9. BACKGROUND PAPERS

Gloucestershire's Education Development Plan
DfEE Code of Practice, LEA School Relations

10. BACKGROUND

10.1 A copy of the full report is appended.

10.2 In brief the report sets out the functions of the service as six key tasks. These are:
· monitoring standards of attainment, quality of education, and the quality of management and leadership in Gloucestershire schools;
· supporting schools in difficulty;
· supporting the improvements set out in the EDP;
· ensuring schools have access to an effective programme of training and support for managers, governors, and teachers;
· supporting national strategies for raising standards in literacy, numeracy, and ICT;
· curriculum enrichment - projects to broaden and enhance the quality and breadth of the curriculum in schools.

10.3 The analysis of strengths and weaknesses in the report leads to the following recommendations:

1. QASI (including PDC) should be known as the Gloucestershire Advisory Service and the title Inspector replaced with Adviser, i.e. Assigned Adviser rather than Assigned Inspector.

2. Changes in the structure of the advisory service should be funded from both greater efficiency in the organisation's structure and additional funds for school improvement.

3. The role of school self-evaluation should be enhanced in the annual review.

4: The timing of the annual review process for schools should be linked with improvement and development plans rather than statutory target setting.

5: The secondary expertise in the advisory service should be strengthened.

6: The practice of convening Support Panels to assist schools in difficulty should continue to be led by the assigned adviser. In exceptional cases this role may be taken by an assistant director or other senior officer.

7: A small group of experienced advisers should be given time to work alongside others in supporting schools causing concern.

8: Close partnerships should be formed between assigned advisers, area education officers, and the headteacher to guide the work of the support panel and the school.

9: A full plan for the allocation of time for all advisers must be in place by the start of the financial year at the latest.

10: Advisers must record their time use and school visits to an agreed and practical system.

11: Other officers visiting schools should record their visits on the same database.

12: A creative approach is required for the management of advice and the dissemination of good practice. The expertise in the CPD part of this service should be employed to develop this approach.

13: Co-ordination, and purchase of advice and support to the LEA will require a clearly defined budget. Schools will continue to purchase advice from their own resources.

14: Support for inclusion, early years, and post-16 developments should be rationalised and strengthened.

15: Time must be planned for advisers to do this work.

16: A list of accredited consultants, based on school, and advisory service recommendation should be drawn up to support schools and the LEA in seeking advice from free-lance consultants.

17: There should be greater co-ordination between the three national strategies.

18: Link advisers in the general primary team should be identified for numeracy and ICT development, in the manner of the literacy programme.

19: A new organisational structure is required that is both flexible, and recognises the professional nature of the staff. This should be designed to:
· strengthen team and project approaches to EDP priorities;
· strengthen the working partnership between the advisory service and the rest of the LEA;
· create a more open approach to resource management.

20: QAC (OFSTED contracting) should become a part of the GWIST partnership activity.

21: A new structure for the Advisory Service is proposed in Section Five of the full report.

10.4 The main proposed changes to the organisation are that the group should be based on project teams. Four new posts are required. The new posts are: senior advisers for inclusion and secondary education, two additional general advisers for primary education. This will allow greater attention for early years provision, post -16 education, special educational needs and other aspects of inclusion, a more focused approach to the provision of training and development, and better co-ordination of national strategies. The key focus for the new structure will be the support given to the EDP and the priorities identified within it. Savings to achieve this will be made by the loss of three posts in the current structure.

10.5 The full report gives a detailed analysis of the service and reasons for the proposals summarised here.



REPORT ON THE REVIEW OF THE
QUALITY ASSURANCE AND SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT GROUP (QASI)

(GLOUCESTERSHIRE ADVISORY SERVICE)














DRAFT: 1/11/1999








John Nash

SECTION ONE: SUMMARY AND INTRODUCTION

This report sets out the main functions of the Advisory Service. The analysis of strengths and weaknesses draws a number of conclusions, but the central conclusion is that changes in the role and function of all LEA advisory services will require changes in the organisation and composition of Gloucestershire's Advisory Service. The present allocation of funds to school improvement through the EDP is very low in comparison with other LEAs. Savings can meet the cost of some of the necessary changes but there is a need for additional funds for the school improvement programme. Draft changes to the organisation are proposed along with a timetable for consultation and implementation.

SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendations are listed at the end of each part of the analysis. They are also listed here.

Recommendation 1. QASI (including PDC) should be known as the Gloucestershire Advisory Service and the title Inspector replaced with Adviser.

Recommendation 2. Changes in the structure of the advisory service should be funded from both greater efficiency in the organisation's structure and additional funds for school improvement.

Recommendation 3. The role of school self-evaluation should be enhanced in the annual review.

Recommendation 4. The timing of the annual review process for schools should be linked with improvement and development plans rather than statutory target setting.

Recommendation 5. The secondary expertise in the advisory service should be strengthened.

Recommendation 6. The practice of convening support panels to assist schools in difficulty should continue to be led by the assigned adviser. In exceptional cases this role may be taken by an assistant director or other senior officer.

Recommendation 7. A small group of experienced advisers should be given time to work alongside others in supporting schools causing concern.

Recommendation 8. Close partnerships should be formed between assigned advisers, area education officers, and the headteacher to guide the work of the support panel and the school.

Recommendation 9. A full plan for the allocation of time for all advisers must be in place by the start of the financial year at the latest. Each adviser should know how many days to devote to each of their activities and projects in advance, which should also be linked to the cost of the EDP.

Recommendation 10. Advisers must record their time use and school visits to an agreed and practical system.

Recommendation 11. Other officers visiting schools should record their visits on the same database.

Recommendation 12. A creative approach is required for the management of advice and the dissemination of good practice. The expertise in the CPD part of this service should be employed to develop this approach.

Recommendation 13. Co-ordination, and purchase of advice and support to the LEA will require a clearly defined budget. Schools will continue to purchase advice from their own resources.

Recommendation 14. Support for inclusion, early years, and post-16 developments should be rationalised and strengthened.

Recommendations 15. Time must be planned for advisers to do this work.

Recommendation 16. A list of accredited consultants, based on school and advisory service recommendation should be drawn up to support schools and the LEA in seeking advice from free-lance consultants.

Recommendation 17. There should be greater co-ordination between the three national strategies.

Recommendation 18. Link advisers in the general primary team should be identified for numeracy and ICT development, in the manner of the literacy programme.

Recommendation 19. A new organisational structure is required that is both flexible and recognises the professional nature of the staff. This should be designed to:

· strengthen team and project approaches to EDP priorities;
· strengthen the working partnership between the advisory service and the rest of the LEA;
· create a more open approach to resource management.

Recommendation 20. QAC (OFSTED contracting) should become a part of the GWIST partnership activity.

Recommendation 21. A new structure for the Advisory Service is proposed in section five of the report.

SECTION TWO: THE REVIEW

Aims and Purposes of the Review

The review of the service is timely for these reasons:
· the arrival of a new chief adviser;
· definition of central government expectations for LEA support and challenge for schools;
· a raft of central government initiatives designed to disseminate good practice;
· the introduction of fair funding;
· a new clear and high profile role for LEAs in the national literacy, numeracy, and ICT strategies;
· the advent of Foundation Status for a large number of Gloucestershire schools; and
· the need for clear and effective intervention strategies where schools cause concern.

All of these changes impinge directly on the work and functions of QASI and set a direction for the review. Therefore the review aims to:

· identify and define the functions of the service in terms of:
i) government expectations as set out in the Code of Practice;
ii) LEA needs
iii) schools' needs
· evaluate the suitability of the current structure and organisation for supporting school improvement as outlined in the EDP
· evaluate the efficiency of alternative structures and practices to improve the quality of service to the LEA and to schools
· assess the adequacy of current resources available for the service
· prepare the service for LEA inspection and best value assessment, and
· identify a new structure for the service.

Consultation

The consultation process has two elements. The first is discussion, with QASI staff individually, with headteachers through their associations (GASH, GAPH, and GASSH) and at the Director's area meetings during the autumn term. The same process applied at Chairs' and Clerks' meetings to gather governors' views. The second is the publication of this paper for Education Committee, staff, schools and governors to comment. After publication there will be a meeting in December for staff and their professional associations to comment. A revised structure for the advisory service will be published in January 2000.

Timetable

September - October: collection of information and consultation with staff, headteachers
1999 and officers

November 1 1999: draft report to senior managers in the advisory service

November 2 1999: draft report to Education Directorate

November 5 1999: publication of the report for staff

November 15 1999: report to Education Committee

November -: consultation on the proposed structure and Education Committee
December 1999 budget implications

January - March: creation of the new structure for the Advisory Service
2000 including job descriptions

April 2000: new structure in place.
SECTION THREE: STRUCTURE AND PURPOSES OF THE ADVISORY SERVICE

Current Structure of QASI

The service has a diverse structure with a series of sections focused on particular tasks. However, for management purposes it breaks neatly into two parts: school support, and Professional Development Consultancy (PDC). The first of these has two elements, school support and curriculum support. The second, PDC, has eleven including curriculum enrichment projects (SATRO, International Centre, Arts development), the music support service, commercial activity, including training courses, as well as OFSTED contracting, administration staff for these activities, and the management of the Hucclecote Centre. There are areas of strength in the service which are unaffected by the factors prompting review set out at the start of this report. SATRO, the International Centre, the Music Service are all aspects of support to schools which sit outside the core functions and changes brought by new government expectations. This is not to say that they are not valued. Each of these enrichment areas is strong and each a good example of imaginative curriculum support of the kind only large education authorities can supply. Similarly, the Hucclecote Centre is a valuable resource, being well managed and self-financing. A diagram showing the present organisational structure appears as annexe 1.

Terminology

The term 'inspector' covers a range of people and functions. Nationally the group includes those people who inspect schools for OFSTED, Her Majesty's Inspectors (HMI), and LEA inspectors. Here we also have subject inspectors and assigned inspectors. There are consultants employed to work for the national literacy and numeracy strategies within the LEA and consultants who are available as free-lance experts in the education advice market place. To cut through this confusion and to adequately link the advisory staff job titles with their functions the term adviser will replace inspector for general and subject roles. Those who are working with advisers to improve subject support will all be called consultants, irrespective of their participation in OFSTED contract work. The term adviser better reflects the purpose of the service, advice and support.

Quality Assurance and School Improvement (QASI) encompasses all of the sections set out in the current structure. The term lacks currency with schools who receive information from PDC, CPD, GWIST, QAC, the Music Service, SATRO, and the International Centre, and unsurprisingly these various groups are not associated with QASI. The name itself is cumbersome and fails to convey simply the purpose of the organisation. In common with DfEE, OFSTED and many other LEAs, the service should be known as the Gloucestershire Advisory Service. This corporate identity should appear on all correspondence in addition to logos associated with projects within the service.

Recommendation 1. QASI (including PDC) should be known as the Gloucestershire Advisory Service and the title Inspector replaced with Adviser, i.e. Assigned Adviser rather than Assigned Inspector.

Staff

A full staffing list and current structure diagram appears as appendix one. Although the service is large in terms of total staffing the proportion of professional staff, as opposed to administration and support staff, is low. There are 51 administrative and support staff of various kinds compared with 37 professional staff (inspectors, consultants, advisers, advisory teachers). This ratio is disproportionate but sustained by the very high level of commercial activity funding the administrative staff. For example, all of the support posts in SATRO, the International Centre, the Music Service, the PDC, QAC and Reprographics are supported by income.

The proportion of advisers to schools in Gloucestershire is low in comparison with other LEAs. An observation borne out by comparative studies of ratios of pupils to advisers, and the relative costing of school improvement (EDP funding) by LEAs.

Of shire counties surveyed recently these were the emergent benchmarks for inspector/adviser to pupil ratios:

Highest 3 Lowest 3 Average QASI
Shropshire 1:1039 Warwickshire 1:4367
Cheshire 1:1582 Derbyshire 1:3257 1:2470 1:3772
Devon 1:1750 Essex 1:3200

Source of benchmark data - Fourth Survey of LEA Advisory and Inspection Services, Jim Hendy, NFER, 1999

The DfEE's calculation of Gloucestershire's spending on school improvement at £10 per pupil compared with the national average of £22, and the average for Gloucestershire's statistical neighbours group of £18.5, also supports the conclusion that the level of inspector/adviser staffing is low.

To compensate and yet retain a viable service the advisers have carried out a high level of OFSTED contract work. The contracting section of the service, Quality Assurance Consultancy (QAC) is recognised by OFSTED as a provider of very high quality inspections, graded A for quality assurance. However, there has been a price to pay for this success. Schools cannot contact their advisers when they are away on OFSTED inspection and the advisers are concerned about their terms and conditions of service when engaged on external contracts. The level of payment for contracted inspections has also fallen in recent years to less than £200 per day for each adviser. One paid day during inspections requires more than one day's work, and so the advisers find they have to make up the unpaid time somewhere in their workload. For some, the workload imposed by OFSTED contracted work, the diversion away from their own schools, and the realisation that this is relatively low paid work has caused serious problems with low job satisfaction and attendant low morale. A failure to recognise this as a problem would be a failure of management. The conflicting demands of OFSTED and the LEA must be weighed in favour of the LEA and the schools. Yet the advisers need to retain contact with the OFSTED process which changes and develops each year. OFSTED participation must continue but at a lower rate than in the past. This raises questions about the future of QAC, and its place in the organisation, considered later in this report.

Recommendation 2. Changes in the structure of the advisory service should be funded from both greater efficiency in the organisation's structure and additional funds for school improvement.

Purposes of the Advisory Service

The advisory service has two key stakeholders, schools and the LEA. The functions described here relate to services provided to those two. The aims of the service appear as annexe 2.

a) Monitoring the quality of education

The LEA has a duty to monitor the performance of its schools in order to: agree challenging targets for improvement; ensure that schools are sustaining high standards, or improving, implementing the literacy and numeracy strategies effectively, and making suitable provision for newly qualified teachers. Through monitoring LEAs identify schools causing concern. These may have, or be close to serious weaknesses, or they may be under-achieving schools. For these schools, and those identified by OFSTED inspection there should be an intervention strategy to bring rapid improvement.

b) Support for schools causing concern

Intervention and support is a whole LEA function. However, the advisory service should play a leading part in the process giving in-school support and focusing on standards of attainment, quality of teaching and management that is clear about priorities for improvement. Teaching, management, including leadership, and standards are the central elements of improvement which underpin the Education Development Plan (EDP).

c) Supporting the programme of school improvement set out in the EDP

School improvement comes from within schools. However, as the national literacy and numeracy strategies have demonstrated, a combination of clear targets, a well thought out strategy, and appropriate resources can be effective in helping schools to raise standards of attainment. The EDP identifies areas for improvement, targets, actions, and resources. The advisory service should be a key link with schools in its implementation and review, especially in linking school development plans with the EDP, and vice-versa.

d) Ensuring that schools have access to an effective programme of training and support for managers, governors, and teachers.

Ten years ago LEAs would have employed a full range of subject advisers to support schools, subject leaders, and individual teachers for curriculum development. It is no longer possible or necessary to cover the need for curriculum advice in all subjects with advisers employed by the LEA. Yet there is a need to ensure that good quality advice and training is available to schools. There is also a need for good curriculum advice to the LEA when policies are written. The advisory service should also have a planned programme of management development through NPQH, LPSH and middle management available to schools. This plan and the attendant programme, though not necessarily delivered by the LEA, features in OFSTED inspection of LEAs.

e) Support for the implementation of the national literacy and numeracy strategies, as well as the programme of ICT development set out as the National Grid for Learning (NGfL).

It is the LEA's duty to support these programmes. This support is a focus for OFSTED inspection of LEAs. Good support also reduces the pressure on primary schools and primary teachers in implementing these strategies. The ICT programme has always been aimed at both primary and secondary schools, now all three projects have secondary content and implications.

f) Curriculum enrichment

Provision of curriculum enrichment projects such as the Arts Project, International Centre, the Music Service, and SATRO are important in helping schools sustain a broad and balanced curriculum. They also support equal access to a rich curriculum across all of the schools in the county.

It is inevitable that an advisory service dependant in large part on income will engage in a range of other activities. The key functions set out here are the core on which performance should be measured and guide the creation of the structure of the organisation. The service also has a range of income generating activities. These must be of benefit to the children and schools in Gloucestershire by ensuring better service or adequate breadth of personnel. Commercial activity for its own sake is not part of the service role.
SECTION FOUR: STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF THE SERVICE

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Advisory Service

The strengths and weaknesses of the service have been analysed in relation to:
· purposes and functions;
· the structure of the organisation.

Purposes and Functions as defined in section two:

Monitoring The Quality of Education

The quality of the service performance in monitoring schools is mixed. In general the monitoring of primary schools is good while that of secondary schools is limited. Within the components of monitoring, the quality of research and statistics is good. Gloucestershire's record in developing school statistical profiles is excellent. Generally, the statistics have been generated following discussion between research staff and inspectors that has been fruitful and focused. The engagement of headteachers in decisions about appropriate data to support their own monitoring and analysis through data user groups and direct discussion with advisers and research staff has created a valuable and effective element of the LEA's service. Co-operation between the advisory service and the research and statistics team has also been good. Recent developments in focusing and analysing data to assist schools and inspectors to agree targets at Key Stage 2 is typical of the developmental approach that has been adopted. Secondary schools value the statistical profiles provided by the LEA and the support of research staff.

The programme of primary and special school monitoring is thorough and effective. There is a clear agenda in place, which addresses all of the required elements of target setting, monitoring of literacy and numeracy, school improvement planning, and support for newly qualified teachers. The annual review is an effective and potentially helpful process in development planning. It must now develop to take greater account of school self-evaluation. The systematic approach to monitoring primary and special schools is identifying those under-performing schools or those causing concern, and is doing so through a collaborative process. A collaborative monitoring programme helps schools sort out weaknesses quickly because time is not wasted in denying faults or attempting to deflect criticism. The development of collaboration in monitoring and evaluation will help to overcome the anxiety that many headteachers feel about the 'heavier' inspection role of LEA advisers. The purpose of the annual review should be to support and verify school self-evaluation.

Strong as the primary and special school monitoring is, there is scope for improvement. The annual monitoring cycle is potentially narrow. Headteachers complain that after two or three cycles the process will lack focus and purpose because the same ground will be covered. Secondly, the monitoring programme currently covers national priorities but less attention is paid to local priorities set out in the Education Development Plan. Monitoring the success of the EDP is also a key responsibility of the LEA. Finally, the process is being hampered by the timetable for target setting. Targets are set in the autumn term between the publication of test and examination results and the statutory deadline for the publication of targets, January 1. Therefore annual review takes place in the autumn term. This causes two difficulties, reducing the value of the annual review to the LEA and the school.

The EDP is reviewed at the start of the Autumn term, before most of the school reviews. Therefore review of the EDP cannot call on information from the school reviews as to the success or failure of the initiatives. The school review is also divorced from development planning, taking place later in the year. To overcome these difficulties the service should change the timing of the annual review while retaining support for statutory targets and introduce a series of themes to annual reviews based on the local priorities set out in the EDP.

The monitoring of secondary schools is weak. There are very good statistical profiles but school visits to consider the targets and discuss performance with headteachers are of limited value. In recent years the secondary part of the advisory service has become haphazard and erratic. The collaboration with all schools in developing and sustaining systematic monitoring has been absent, due in large part to the grant maintained status of schools and the consequent reduction of staffing of the advisory service. There are currently no identified full-time secondary specialists in the advisory service. There has been a great deal of progress recently through the secondment of a headteacher, and the employment of a consultant, to develop the secondary school monitoring programme. Despite this work the system continues to lack edge and direction, is only loosely connected with target setting in schools and has only tentative links with their development planning. The monitoring of newly qualified teacher support schemes has been effectively managed but is separate to the assigned inspector scheme.

Monitoring of school performance involves more than the advisory service and statistics. Various LEA officers visit schools or deal with their concerns. Issues connected with property, personnel, finance, admissions, or special educational needs which may arise and lead to a visit, or a discussion with a headteacher, are recorded and will be shared at meetings chaired by area education officers but records are not kept in a central location. There should be a single and simple system to record visits to schools by officers so that inspectors can be aware of the full range of staff working with a school and to what purpose. This will bring greater cohesion to the monitoring process and reduce the frustration for schools who often wonder why LEA officers are unaware of their colleagues' involvement in schools.

Recommendation 3. The role of school self-evaluation should be enhanced in the annual review.

Recommendation 4. The timing of the annual review process should be linked with improvement and development plans rather than statutory target setting.

Recommendation 5. The secondary expertise in the service should be strengthened.

Support for Schools Causing Concern

Gloucestershire has less than the national average number of schools in need of special measures or with serious weaknesses. It also has a strong record in supporting schools to bring them out of special measures. The approach adopted by Gloucestershire, cross-LEA support panels, is in tune with OFSTED findings in reviewing successful strategies. This whole-LEA response should be strengthened, by drawing on information from all LEA officers connected with a school, and sharing advisers' concerns with other officers before a school develops serious weaknesses. There have also been cases where schools identified as having serious weaknesses have regressed to special measures despite programmes of support.

Despite success there is some confusion about the role of the support panels, the composition of the group, and the identification of the chairperson. Whatever the key issues identified in the school's section 10 report, three factors are the focus for action in improving a school: standards of attainment, quality of teaching, and strength and purpose of leadership and management. These all lie within the realm of expertise of the LEA advisers. Assigned advisers are interviewed by HMI as a matter of course during serious weakness or special measure monitoring visits, and therefore feel the imperative for action more sharply than other officers. Support panels should draw their membership from those sections or departments most relevant to the key issues identified by inspection or LEA monitoring. However, the chair should reside with the assigned adviser. If there is serious concern, a more senior member of the advisory service or an assistant director should lead the group.

The second key member of the group is the Area Education Officer(AEO). The assigned inspector is the principal link with the school. The AEO is the principal link with Shire Hall staff. There is a need for effective partnership between these two officers and the headteacher. They should meet regularly to plan the work of the support panel.

The support panel has two roles:

· agreeing on actions to be taken by the LEA and holding the section or department representatives to their commitments;
· agreeing deadlines for action with the school and receiving monitoring reports.

The model relies on each representative attending the group co-ordinating support from his or her section or department. There is, for example no point in more than one adviser attending the group. Such duplication leads to confusion and conflicting advice. In order to engage the school fully in the process the group should be attended by the headteacher and chair of governors.

Within the advisory service there is confusion about the role of advisers in giving support. It is clear from national and local experience that too much advice is as bad as too little. Advice given by the service must be co-ordinated and managed by the assigned adviser with the headteacher. In cases of serious difficulty a more senior adviser may take on this role. The area and focus of advice should be agreed according to the priorities set by the headteacher and the support group. However, there is mixed experience in the team, and second opinions help to work quickly and effectively with schools in difficulty. Secondly, numbers of assigned schools are equally distributed but there is variation in the extent and numbers of schools causing concern for each inspector. It is therefore difficult for inspectors to find time in a full workload to respond to demands to help improve schools causing concern. Time in this area has already exceeded that planned. A solution to this problem would be to allocate fewer schools to a small group of experienced inspectors so that they can work alongside colleagues working with such schools. This group will operate as an intervention support team. The assigned adviser will continue to lead on the co-ordination of support in the school.

Recommendation 6. The practice of convening support panels to assist schools in difficulty should continue to be led by the assigned adviser. In exceptional cases this role may be taken by an assistant director or other senior officer.

Recommendation 7. A small group of experienced advisers should be given time to work alongside others in supporting schools causing concern.

Recommendation 8. Close partnerships should be formed between assigned advisers, area education officers, and the headteacher to guide the work of the support panel and the school.

Supporting the programme of school improvement set out in the EDP

The Advisory Service Development Plan should reflect the EDP. This has been the case in some areas, the new monitoring programme, and the school support programme clearly reflecting the priorities and actions set out in the EDP. However, the relative demands of the EDP actions were not fully costed and some activities have taken place without appropriate planning and resource allocation. The clearest example of this is in the development of training programmes for schools in self-evaluation using the OFSTED framework. Support for school self-evaluation is identified as an activity in action 8.2. No time was given to this development and so advisers have 'found' time to prepare courses. These have been well received and there are bookings from schools for courses next year. This is a case of schools subscribing to EDP priorities with their own funds. However, there is a need to plan further courses focussing on the roles of subject leaders, pastoral staff, and governors. All of these ideas are in hand and developing into practice within the Advisory Service but are not linked with the costing of the EDP. Nor does this major development feature with sufficient prominence in the EDP.

This is the clearest example of the difficulties for staff in recognising the centrality of the EDP as the Department development plan. All advisory service plans should spring from it or support it in some way. There are other examples of staff engaged on work directly related to EDP priorities that were not recognised last year and so have not been costed. Closer engagement with the EDP will require better planning for time and resources, and more resources from the school improvement budget. Managers of the service must set out time plans for the advisers for the financial year to match the planning cycle of the EDP.

Difficulties in time planning are a recurrent theme in this review. There have been several attempts to get advisers to record their time using both paper and electronic systems. To date none have been used efficiently or consistently. Recording time spent in schools or on other activities is necessary to account for the allocations within the EDP. It is an important monitoring device and will enable the LEA and schools to record who has been visiting schools, and to what purpose. There is an appropriate database system awaiting use, which can support either electronic records or paper records of time and school visits.

The EDP is clear and precise. The three year agreement from the DfEE reflects its quality. However, the bulk of the priorities and actions are concerned with national priorities. There is a need to reflect local priorities for improvement through better feedback from advisers about school issues, better interpretation of data about the relative performance of schools, and greater commitment to the EDP's writing by the advisory service. In future the chief adviser must play a more active role in the development, and review of the EDP.

Recommendation 9. A full plan for the allocation of time for all advisers must be in place by the start of the financial year at the latest.

Recommendation 10. Advisers must record their time use to an agreed and practical system.

Recommendation 11. Other officers visiting schools should record their visits on the same database.

Ensuring that schools have access to an effective programme of support for staff, and curriculum development

As noted previously there is no longer a need for full time employees to cover each subject and to lead management development. The current provision of training courses by PDC is good. There is very wide range of courses, which are well attended. The Hucclecote Centre is a great asset, well run and self-financing through income. Some schools at a distance from Hucclecote complain about the inconvenience of the journey. Solutions are not apparent. Regional centres would be too expensive and the use of commercial conference centres would inflate the cost of many courses. Therefore the bulk of courses will continue to be run at Hucclecote, while all opportunities to run local programmes will be taken.

The GWIST partnership is a valuable and creative response to government expectations of LEAs in providing access to management training and accredited staff development. Both GWIST and PDC operate in the open market and their success is evidence of the quality of their work. The provision of curriculum advice to schools is less organised and less effective. Some areas of the curriculum are well covered and advice on subject development is effective. The core subjects and ICT are well served by experienced advisers and consultants for numeracy and literacy. There are also named advisers with responsibility for special educational needs, early years, design and technology, physical education, personal and social development, and equal opportunities. The Director of SATRO offers support for post-16 issues and has been especially effective in supporting GNVQ. However, the service is not well placed to advise and support on the many developments coming at post-16 level. The head of the International Centre offers advice and support to schools seeking specialist school status. Assessment is well served by an adviser and an administrative support team for baseline and testing and Key Stage 1 test moderation. Other subjects, such as the humanities and art are covered by staff as and when they can. The Music Service is very good but its management requires all of the music adviser's time. There is little time for him to give curriculum support and advice. The new Arts in Education project will bring a fresh approach to support in that area. The Youth Service provide advice on good practice for hazardous educational trips but this is not a planned part of their programme, nor are their costs met.

Theoretically therefore, there is extensive curriculum coverage with one or two gaps. In practice the gaps are much greater. Very few of the advisers are given planned time for their curriculum support work. The advisers for science and design technology, physical education, special educational needs, early years and personal and social development have full lists of assigned schools. They also participate in OFSTED inspection. Curriculum advice to the LEA and to schools is fitted in where possible. It is not planned or accounted for. As a result the service is erratic and the advisers are stressed.

There are particular difficulties in three areas: early years support, special educational needs, and post-16 advice and guidance. The Gloucestershire Early Years Development and Childcare Plan has clear and effective proposals for improvement in childcare and early education. The plan sets out three key objectives, the first being to meet the statutory duty to provide high quality early education to all four year olds. Clearly there is an important role for the adviser to support the implementation of the plan by advising both the partnership and the schools by collecting and disseminating good practice. There is an advisory teacher to support schools but she is part-time and is managed by the adviser. Currently the adviser has fifteen days allocated to this work from the Education Development Plan. This is inadequate because there are particular issues in small schools. With a single admission date each year there are many four-year-old children in full time education. In small schools these children will be in the same class as six and seven year olds. This poses particular problems for teachers and children. There are other examples where the early years adviser needs more time to support schools by sharing good practice.

There are similar issues in special educational needs. There is currently one adviser and a senior manager engaged in this area. Each has a considerable workload outside of SEN, and each is working mainly with special schools on SEN issues. There are related issues, which are not covered at all by the present advisory service, such as exclusion, and positive behaviour management. The first priority in the EDP is the promotion of greater inclusion in Gloucestershire schools. Yet the links between the officers leading on this plan and the advisory service are tenuous.

There is a need for the service to clarify responsibilities in relation to inclusion in general and special educational needs in particular. There is also a need to strengthen the service in the area of inclusion. There is one area of extensive provision under the wing of inclusion. This is the issue of equality of opportunity. All advisers should be engaged in support for enhanced equality of opportunity in the curriculum and in pastoral support for pupils. Currently there is an adviser for equal opportunities whose work in practice is largely limited to ethnic issues. The PSD adviser undertakes work in relation to gender, but there is little co-ordination between the two. There is inadequate co-ordination of the work of at least one of these posts with officers in other sections of the LEA. There is a clear need for improved advice and management for the whole area of inclusion and the rationalisation of the posts related to equality of opportunity.

At post-16 level the Director of SATRO has developed a good support network for GNVQ, which schools value. She also attends co-ordination and information meetings organised by QCA and others on behalf of the LEA. This is important but she has no reference point within the service to locate and share her information. Frequently other LEAs send senior advisers to such meetings. We are entering a period of great change for post-16 education. Gloucestershire schools would welcome the partnership of the LEA in discussion and sharing good practice on the way forward especially in relation to imminent changes to A-level, GNVQ, and the advent of key skills at sixth form level. The strengthening of the secondary service will help in this area but there is a need for the direct involvement of senior managers in this part of the service. Developments at post-16 level could be flagged as an area for improvement in the EDP.

It is not necessary to employ subject advisers to cover all sections of the curriculum: a more creative approach is needed. There are five potential sources of advice on curriculum matters. The first is the staff in the advisory service. Second, the large number of free-lance advisers. Third the new group of advanced skills teachers. Fourth, other sections of the LEA such as the youth service, or the special needs group, and finally successful subject leaders in schools. In each case funds are required to meet the cost of the advice and the co-ordination of support. Schools will pay for the advice they need and so must the LEA for its advice or contributions to its publications. Therefore a LEA budget is required for this purpose. Advisers with their managers must identify the time required in the working year for curriculum advice and plan it. With a complex set of alternatives for advice to schools and the LEA, the advisory service must co-ordinate the advice available, including the collation of lists of free-lance advisers who have served schools well. Schools can then have access to a range of people and will have some redress should they not meet expectations.

There are many strengths in this part of the service but there is also a need to manage curriculum advice and support more effectively. Currently the management of advisers' time in particular is ineffective due to conflicting demands.

Recommendation 12. A creative approach is required for the management of advice and the dissemination of good practice. The expertise in the CPD part of this service should be employed to develop this approach.

Recommendation 13. Co-ordination, and purchase of advice and support to the LEA will require a clearly defined budget. Schools will continue to purchase advice from their own resources.

Recommendation 14. Support for inclusion, early years, and post-16 developments should be rationalised and strengthened.

Recommendations 15. Time must be planned for advisers to do this work.

Recommendation 16. A list of accredited consultants, based on school, and advisory service recommendation should be drawn up to support schools and the LEA in seeking advice from free-lance consultants.

Support for the Implementation of the national literacy, numeracy and ICT strategies.

The quality of support in each of these areas is good. Difficulties in ICT support reflect levels of funding required for machinery and the size of the task in bringing Gloucestershire schools into line with the most advanced in the country. Each of the three teams works well and have appropriate time to go about their work. There should be greater co-ordination of the work between the teams and also with the general advisers as they monitor and support schools. There has been very good practice in literacy development where one general adviser has worked closely with the literacy team to support advice and guidance on school management of the programme. This model should be employed in both of the other areas.

Last year a good decision was made to remove attached schools from each of the lead advisers in these programmes. This has been effective in enabling them to work with a wide range of schools.

Recommendation 17. There should be greater co-ordination between the three national strategies.

Recommendation 18. Link advisers in the general primary team should be identified for numeracy and ICT development, in the manner of the literacy programme.

Curriculum Enrichment

As noted at the start of the report this is an area of great strength. Good services are available to schools in each of the project areas. The current structure is effective in enabling the staff to carry forward their programmes. There are good links with industry, national and international bodies through these programmes. There is no proposal to change the way in which the enrichment projects work.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Organisational Structure:

A structure diagram appears as annexe 1. The current structure is a line management system. Each member of the organisation is part of a clear hierarchy, fully aware of their line manager's location. The result of this hierarchical system has been linear communication and confusion when staff are working with those who are not in their own section. For example almost all advisers have assigned schools which occupy more than half their working time, yet the Principal Adviser for Curriculum manages them, because they spend up to fifteen per cent of their time on curriculum matters. Professional staff in advisory services work in a series of teams which vary in their composition according to the team's purpose. The management structure should reflect this flexibility and the movement of staff between projects and groups. The current structure limits flexibility and reduces opportunities for focused project teams. Communications between current parts or groups within the service are poor. To solve these problems the basis of the management structure should be a project team approach with individuals as members of several teams.

The senior management is not fully effective at the moment despite the size of the management team. The current division of the service into two parts is precisely that, division. The school improvement group does not operate as a senior management team. This group should be setting the direction for the service, identifying priorities, and allocating resources. The group should also be monitoring the performance of the service. Currently these functions are not clear because the principal advisers do not have a clearly defined role as a management group. The principal advisers' group needs a clearly defined senior management role.

The service leaders, the chief adviser and the head of PDC, do not work closely enough to manage resources effectively and openly. However, there have been creative and effective decisions by leaders. The GWIST partnership and the success of the Hucclecote Centre are good examples of creative management. Staff development has been effective and the Investor in People award is merited for that. Yet, clear aims and directions have been absent from the overall service. Development plans are drawn up for each of the current sections without a clear framework or unifying theme. The unifying theme for the service should be the programme for school improvement set out in the EDP and our aims and objectives, set out in annexe 2.

The organisation is isolated, physically and operationally from the rest of the LEA. The physical problem can easily be overcome with effective use of ICT. Currently, advisory staff use e-mail infrequently and badly. Advisers working with groups of schools some distance from their office should not travel to the office once per week to collect printed e-mails. They need e-mail at home. The cultural distance from the Shire Hall staff is a greater difficulty. So far as schools are concerned there is one LEA and all of its staff are representatives. The advisory service must forge better links with the rest of the service. Responsibility for this closer working relationship lies with the senior management team.

The present QASI management group is potentially very effective; this meets regularly for managers of all sections not just advisers. This is a unifying group and can be attended by representatives of each of the sections if the section head is not available. This group focuses on practical problems and areas for improvement. It should continue as an important unifying and effective trouble spotting group. It is better seen as a liaison group.

OFSTED inspection has been an important source of income for the service in the past. The QAC contracting branch of QASI has high quality ratings from OFSTED and is able to field very strong teams of inspectors. Last year the extent to which advisers were asked to undertake inspection was reduced and the service now relies to a great extent on external contract staff. OFSTED inspection provides valuable experience for advisers in that they sustain their skills and learn about the process from the inside. But in the light of the priorities set out above it is a distraction from the work of the service in Gloucestershire. The work is also irksome for staff, requiring weekend work and long evenings to meet deadlines. Since it is no longer a core activity but provides a good opportunity for development, it should be sustained but not in the Advisory Service. QAC should move to GWIST so that the service can draw on the wider pool of staff and the benefits of a true market practice. The same pool will enable LEA advisers to gain experience in other fields, such as advising on teacher performance, currently not available.

Recommendation 19. A new organisational structure is required that is both flexible and recognises the professional nature of the staff. This should be designed to:

· strengthen team and project approaches to EDP priorities;
· strengthen the working partnership between the advisory service and the rest of the LEA;
· create a more open approach to resource management.

Recommendation 20. QAC (OFSTED contracting) should become a part of the GWIST partnership activity.

SECTION FIVE: DRAFT PROPOSALS FOR A NEW STRUCTURE

The proposed changes are intended to address the weaknesses identified in meeting core functions and retain the strengths of other parts of the service. The structure will accommodate the staff engaged in a single project, such as the Hucclecote Centre team, and those who work in four or even five different teams from time to time, such as advisers. The priorities and activities set out in the EDP are the main priorities for the advisory service. Therefore the management structure should reflect the project approach of the EDP. A project based structure, parallel to the EDP gives clearer funding trails and also helps with evaluating strengths and weaknesses of the service in terms of the success or failure of projects.

The hierarchy set out in the current structure will be replaced with groups of teams. Staff can be members of more than one team. A named person will lead each project, and projects will be grouped under the management of one of the members of the senior management team. This will give the flexibility to start and finish projects without restructuring the organisation when EDP priorities change. The senior management team will agree time allocations. Group leaders will manage their own budgets allocated by the leadership team. As far as possible budget management should be delegated to project leaders. Project leaders will draw up annual plans for the implementation of the project. The line management system will remain for administrative staff where they are engaged in single projects.

The following structure lists personnel engaged in each team. These do not necessarily represent full time posts dedicated to each project team. Each project leader will manage the project resources including allocated adviser time.

The Structure:

Leadership Team:
Chief Adviser and Group Leader (Enrichment and Development)
2 Administration and support staff

Senior Management Team
Leadership team plus four principal advisers each leading a group of projects.

Group 1 School Support:

Group Leader - Principal Adviser School Support

Projects:

School monitoring (EDP):
Primary
principal adviser (leader)
senior adviser for school performance
all general advisers primary

Secondary
senior adviser for secondary schools (leader)
chief adviser (.2 FTE)
general adviser (.4FTE)

Special (including units)
senior adviser - inclusion (leader)
general adviser - SEN
general adviser PSD/EO

Co-ordination of support for schools causing concern (EDP)
principal adviser (leader)
senior adviser - school performance
senior adviser for secondary schools
three general advisers (Soulbury 15-18)

Group 2 National Projects

Group Leader - Principal Adviser National Strategies

Literacy Strategy (EDP)
English adviser (leader)
3.5 consultants
general adviser (primary)

Numeracy Strategy (EDP)
mathematics adviser (leader)
3 consultants
general adviser (primary)

ICT Strategy (EDP)
ICT general adviser (leader)
ICT adviser
ICT consultant
NOF consultant
general adviser (primary)
technician

Group 3 Curriculum and Management Development

Group Leader - Principal Adviser Curriculum and Management Development

Curriculum support team (EDP, Standards Fund and income from schools)
Principal adviser - curriculum development (leader)
General advisers:
Senior adviser - assessment
Science/DT
PSE/EO
Specialist schools adviser
External contract consultants
Inclusion support team (EDP, income)
senior adviser - inclusion (leader)
general adviser SEN
general adviser PSD and Equality of Opportunity

Early Years Team (EDP)
early ears adviser (leader)
early years consultant

Post-16 Team (Strategic, Standards Fund, EDP)
chief adviser (leader)
Director of SATRO
Senior secondary adviser

Publications co-ordination (income from schools)
Principal adviser - curriculum development
Writers (advisers, contract consultants, school staff)
3 administrative staff
2 members of the reprographics unit

Professional development team (EDP and income from schools)
Principal adviser - curriculum development
Trainers (advisers and contract consultants)
Corporate training co-ordinator
NVQ assessor/trainer
Governor training co-ordinator
3 administrative support staff

Corporate Training Co-ordination (Income)
3 administration and support staff

Assessment team (Standards Fund)
Senior adviser - assessment (leader) (statutory)
3 administrative support staff

Group 4 - Evaluation and Quality Assurance

Group Leader - Principal Adviser Evaluation and Quality Assurance

School Self Evaluation Project (EDP)
principal adviser evaluation and quality assurance
all general advisers
1 administrative support person

LEA Quality Assurance and Best Value Advice (corporate)
principal adviser evaluation and quality assurance (leader)
chief adviser (as chair of LEA Quality Assurance Group)
link officers with other sections of LEA

OFSTED inspection contracting (income)
principal adviser evaluation and quality assurance (leader)
business manager
2 administrative support staff

Service monitoring - time and visits (internal administration and EDP)
Business manager (leader)
2 administrative support staff

Group Five - Curriculum Enrichment and Development

Group Leader - Head of Operations & Development

GWIST partnership (income)
Head of Operations & Development
administrative support
GWIST project managers

Hucclecote Centre Management and Development (income)
Centre manager (leader)
3 support staff
2 custodians

International Centre (LEA and grant income)
International Officer (leader)
5 project support staff

SATRO (Standards fund and grant income)
SATRO director (leader)
5 project support staff

Music Support Team (Standards Fund and income)
General Adviser - music (leader)
Consultants
Administration officer

Arts in Education Project (grant income)
Arts co-ordinator
Administration Officer

Finance team (Income)
Finance co-ordinator (leader)
4 finance officers

Administration Team (EDP/Income)
Leading Administration Officer (leader)
5 administration support staff


The creation of this structure will bring changes to the staffing profile. There are no changes to administration and support staff numbers.

There is a reduction of one post in the senior management team.

There are changes to the assigned school arrangements. The standard number of assigned schools is 28 per adviser in Gloucestershire. This is in line with national averages (25-30). To enable the Early Years adviser to give curriculum support to the implementation of the Early Years Development and Childcare Plan the assigned school loading for that post will be reduced to 14. The loss of one of the principal inspector posts also requires cover for 18 schools, and the reduction of link schools for the intervention support team to 20 each requires a further 18 schools to be covered. Therefore two additional primary assigned advisers are needed (56 schools). The new post of senior secondary adviser, the part-time adviser (0.4) and the chief adviser will cover the assigned secondary school profile.

The changes to the curriculum team profile also require a reduction of one post.

There will be senior advisers for these curriculum areas:
Inclusion
Assessment (and school performance)

There will be general advisers for these curriculum areas:
Science/Design and Technology - 1 post
Early Years
Special Educational Needs
Personal and Social Development/Equality of Opportunity

Each of the general adviser posts and the senior post for assessment will have assigned schools. This is a reduction of one post from the current structure. The physical education adviser is retiring at the end of March and will not be replaced. However, she already has a full loading of 28 assigned schools and so will need full time replacement as a general primary adviser. Therefore her retirement has not been costed as a potential saving from the curriculum team.


The new profile for advisers is as follows:

Present Advisory Staff Proposed Advisory Staff
Chief Adviser (75% of Director's scale) Chief Adviser (75% of Director's scale)
Head of PDC (67.5% of Director's scale) Head of Operations & Development (67.5% of Director's scale)
4 principal advisers (Soulbury 18-21)
1 principal adviser (Soulbury 19-22) 4 principal advisers (Soulbury 18-21)
1 senior adviser (Soulbury 17-20) 3 senior advisers (Soulbury 17-20):
inclusion, secondary, assessment and performance)
12.5 general advisers (Soulbury 14-17) 3 general advisers (Soulbury 15-18)
11.5 general advisers (Soulbury 14-17)
1 adviser (Soulbury 13) -
1 adviser (Soulbury 7-10) 1 Adviser (Soulbury 7-10)
8.5 consultants (Soulbury 7-10) 8.5 consultants (Soulbury 7-10)
Project Officer -


Cost of Proposed Changes

The proposed structure involves the loss of three posts from the current organisation. The total saving from this reduction is £128,696.

Additional posts:
Senior adviser, secondary
Senior adviser, inclusion
Two general primary advisers.

Total cost: £185,077.

The growth required for the basic staffing is £56,381. In addition the improvement of management and recording of adviser's time, planning their activities against the EDP and greater focus on EDP priorities in work patterns, shows an increase of £77,349. Total additional funding from the school improvement budget therefore amounts to £133,730.

These costs will be met from an increase in the EDP funding for school improvement as follows:




Next steps:

The advisory service in Gloucestershire needs to undergo some radical changes to improve the focus on school improvement and give a better service to the LEA and to schools. These changes will also improve the low morale and frustration evident in sectors of the service. Time is short and so decisions and actions must be taken quickly. This report is the first stage in the process. Following consultation detailed job descriptions and a full single budget for the organisation, drawn up and monitored to the same format as all other LEA budgets, must be written and published. Thereafter, the process for appointing staff to the new structure can begin.


John Nash
Chief Adviser

1/11/99



QUALITY ASSURANCE & SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT GROUP
CHIEF ADVISER
John Nash

Esther Davis


Principal Inspector* Principal Inspector**

(School Support) (Curriculum)
Jane Spouse Phil Waite

Literacy Consultants: Claire Wirth; Gill Matthews; Tonwin Empson
Brian Bartlett Sheila Brown Numeracy Consultants: Ann Mortimore; Hazel Harwood; Jenny Kiss
Elizabeth Fee Pie Corbett ICT Advisor: Barbara Kirkaldy
Jocelyn Gill Boyd Gunnell ICT Consultant (NOF): Sandra Stow
Chris Rayers Jeff Hale Arts in Education Co-ordinator: Zoe Channing
Martin Skeet Hazel Saunders
Sheila Mears John Sweeney HEAD OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANCY
Peter Dunn John Tuey David Berrisford

Sandra Hayes Di Valentine Mark Rousseau Ann Harrison
(Advisory Teacher) Brian Ley (Project Officer)



HRD Devt.
Co-ordinator
David Burns CPD
Co-ordinator
Tony McAleavy Corporate
CPD
Co-ordinator Governor
CPD
Co-ordinator Assessment
Co-ordinator
Jeff Hale OFSTED
Inspection
Co-ordinator
Peter Johnson Hucclecote Centre Manager
Lynne Richardson Finance
Co-ordinator
Haroon Lulat Admin. Officer
Ann Harrison International Officer
Penny Krucker SATRO Director
Jan Greenhalgh Head of
Music
Brian Ley
Janette Campbell Geraldine Atkins
Jackie Roberts
Karen King
Reprographic
Unit:
Gloria Hynes
Zadie Ashmead Kathryn Hughes
Heidi Sear
Lynn Aldridge Liz Ramshaw Ann Lloyd
Mary Lyes
Helen Owen Ann Evans
Heidi Rand
Shelley Merrett Louise Holmes
June Bishop
Jill Patchitt
Edward McShee
David Stone Chris Gordon
(Acting Section Leader) Emma Hicks
Liz Gyde
Stuart Buchan Melinda Gould
Geraldine Leach
Lynn Furley
Janette Campbell
Lesley Gage Sue Wise
Sandy Brind
Heather Allen
Daxa Mehta
Stacy Heritage Caroline Gordon
David Scales
Joyce Jenell
Sandy Jack Richard Ling
Christine Riley
Roger Abbott
Tony Sheppard
John Gillet-
Smith
Neil Richards
David Pinnington
Brenda Whitwell
Jeanette Smith
Angela Gibson
*Key contact.
Leads assigned inspector function. Monitoring support for schools.
** Key contact.
Leads on standards and curriculum development.



GLOUCESTERSHIRE LEA
QUALITY ASSURANCE & SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT GROUP
_________________________________________________________

MISSION STATEMENT AND DRAFT AIMS/OBJECTIVES


Mission:

The QASI mission is to:

"Support school improvement and promote quality assurance across the LEA"

Aims (Draft):


1. To promote and support rising standards in Gloucestershire's schools.

Objectives

Ø Effective teaching in all Gloucestershire schools to enable all pupils to make good progress in their academic and personal development;

Ø Effective implementation of national and local initiatives for improvement;

Ø High quality leadership and management in all Gloucestershire schools;

Ø Schools committed to sustained improvement and high standards of attainment.


2. To provide high quality support and guidance to the Education Authority.

Objectives

Ø An LEA that is well-informed about the performance and quality of its schools;

Ø An LEA that intervenes effectively to improve schools at risk of failure;

Ø LEA policies based on good practice;

Ø LEA policies implemented by schools;

Ø Effective co-ordination of advice and inspection with all aspects of LEA support for school improvement;

Ø A self-evaluative LEA;

Ø Effective quality assurance across the LEA.

Ø Comprehensive evidence of the Group's performance to deliver its contribution to the EDP.


3. To ensure high quality service provision.

Objectives

Ø All contractual obligations fully met;

Ø LEA satisfaction with the quality of the service;

Ø A well-informed, expert team able to offer a broad range of advice and support to schools and the LEA;

Ø Clear and effective communication within QASI, and between QASI and the LEA and schools, the County Council and other partners in the education and welfare of young people;

Ø Effective monitoring systems across the whole Department built into regular practice.