School Improvement at CST
How do we, together, create ambitious and successful schools where every child thrives?
The CST School Improvement Strategy is our approach to monitoring, evaluating, supporting and challenging our schools to facilitate rapid school improvement and secure the best possible educational outcomes for our children and young people.
How does it work?
In the Autumn term, Education Directors work with each school to review its overall effectiveness and produce an annual statement. The most significant part of this process is what we call a ‘Gateway Assessment’ - a conversation designed to agree what support schools need, and what the desired impact of that support will be. The Gateway document outlines three levels of support:
The Core Programme has been created by schools and the Trust together - schools are givers and receivers within the Core Programme. The offer is funded by the Trust, and some specific elements by the schools.
In addition to the Core Programme, schools will have identified specific areas for development and can access additional support and quality assurance on the Development Programme. This additional quality assurance and/or support can be commissioned or brokered by the Headteacher, or by the Education Director, but will be funded by the school.
In addition to the Core Programme and the support noted in the Development Programme, schools identified as needing Targeted Support will be able to receive additional interventions, support and quality assurance. This will be commissioned or brokered by the Education Director, and a discussion will be had with the Headteacher to agree how this work will be funded.
A key strand of our school improvement strategy is the development of practitioner-led collaborative networks in specific areas. These Professional Learning Networks (PLNs) are facilitated by selected teachers in both primary and secondary phases and focus on first-hand experience and research-driven practice.
Their core purpose is to improve the skills and knowledge of the members through collaborative study and enquiry, expertise exchange, and professional dialogue. The PLN Leaders work closely with the Education Directors ensuring that the focus aligns with Trust and regional improvement priorities. All schools are represented in each PLN and members are expected to actively participate, using the thinking to drive change in their schools.
Each region in our Trust also has a team of internally recruited Lead Learners who are strategically deployed by the Education Directors to drive school improvement against identified priorities.