School improvement is a continuous cycle. An Ofsted inspection shouldn’t be the catalyst for ‘starting to maybe think about’ putting in place the systems and strategies for ongoing improvement.
Prevention, rather than cure, is our philosophy at Marell Consulting.
Ultimately, it’s in everyone’s best interests to consistently keep developing and refining the strategies that drive whole-school improvement. Effective strategies help staff discharge their duties more efficiently and in a more targeted manner. They provide senior leaders with systems to monitor and address areas for improvement. But, most importantly, they give students every chance of being successful, regardless of their circumstances.
So, as a school improvement consultant, my role is generally to:
Work in close partnership with Headteachers to build systems that drive continuous school improvement.
Ensure schools consistently meet the requirements of the Independent School Standards.
Help schools achieve good outcomes from Ofsted inspections.
In short, I support schools through the School Improvement phase and help move them into the School Effectiveness phase.
Although regular consultation visits for ongoing training and monitoring does help with accountability, schools shouldn’t feel it’s absolutely necessary to have an onsite visit by a school improvement partner. If you’re proactive and motivated to do the very best by the students in your care, sometimes a day’s offsite CPD is enough to give you the tools, strategies, and ideas to set you on the road to successful ongoing improvement.
Which is why many school leaders choose to take the opportunity to join me for one of my school improvement workshops.
"I gained a greater understanding of the expectations around the curriculum changes and the necessary review needed to make further improvements." - Laura Sharman, Headteacher
What to Expect From a Marell Consulting Workshop
Typically, the workshops I run are for Headteachers or Senior Leaders at independent schools inspected by Ofsted.
If you fall into that bracket and the thought of Ofsted fills you with dread, then my workshops are tailored to you.
These relaxed and informative sessions are designed to help school leaders gain the clarity and confidence to take on inspections successfully. Attendees come away with actionable advice, strategies, and tools they can implement immediately.
More importantly, I demystify and outline what to expect under the latest Ofsted Education Inspection Framework. I dedicate time to summarise and highlight the headline updates so that school leaders feel confident in their understanding of the DfE’s expectations.
"My understanding is far more comprehensive and I am confident in how I will be able to adjust my practice to show I am working within the framework." - Susan H
Of course, an army marches on its stomach so food is always provided at Marell events. As well as opportunities for attendees to network and share their thoughts and experiences in a relaxed and informal environment. Because schools are generally hectic places. And school leaders need the headspace to do their big-picture-thinking without fear of interruption.
What Are the Key Takeaways From Our School Improvement Workshops?
In general, workshops tend to include all or some of the following:
An overview of how Ofsted’s 2019 Education Inspection Framework differs from the previous framework
Information and guidance on the Independent School Standards, in plain English
A detailed look at what to expect during inspection
Strategies to drive continuous school improvement
Insight from published inspection reports including how schools are faring under the new framework
Insight from independent school Headteachers
Answers to frequently asked questions about inspections and the standards
Additional free copies of our popular tools and documents for attendees, relevant to the topic at hand. This can include the standards compliance self-audit tool or guidance documents about how to meet the standards consistently.
"A comprehensive understanding of the significance of the standards and an audit tool which will be really helpful." - Crispian W
Workshops provide CPD for school leaders looking to better understand the frameworks they work under and the requirements they have to meet as part of their leadership roles. They are not a substitute for a full onsite consultation and ongoing school improvement partnership.
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