Schools Partnership Programme (SPP)

In East Sussex we encourage schools to become involved in the Schools Partnership Programme as a vehicle for school improvement.  The SPP model of peer review enables partnerships of schools to build the professional skills of effective, non-judgmental enquiry, evidence collection and coaching. The training schools receive empowers and supports partnerships of schools to work together with a collective will and purpose to improve, using an evidence-based framework for continuous self-review, peer-review and school-to-school support. 

Across East Sussex there are approximately 50 primary schools and nearly half of the secondary schools currently working in nine local clusters. Each cluster has a lead headteacher, and supportive feedback provided by The Education Development Trust.  The schools are finding this approach helps them solve the most pressing issues facing them and their partnerships. Schools say that the approach helps them to unpick thorny issues and challenges, while support from trained school improvement champions within the cluster help schools to address these challenges and drive improvement. Further, they find it developmental as it builds local capacity and develops staff, which in turn contributes to recruitment, retention and leadership development.  

The SPP is governed by a set of principles. These are: 

  • A sector-led approach to school improvement: co-developed and led by schools, for schools. It contributes to sustainability and system ownership as it builds the capacity and capability of partnerships to lead their own improvement. 
  • Impact-focused collaboration: SPP strengthens the degree of challenge and support within and between schools, with a relentless focus on change in practice and improvement. 
  • Ambitious and enquiry-focused framework: This provides a coherent and consistent approach to peer review that helps drive continuous improvement.  
  • For all staff: the 3-phase maturity model builds capacity in peer review of all school staff across a partnership, so that improvement is led at all levels. 
  • For all schools: Wherever a school is on its improvement journey and in whatever context, SPP can make a difference to outcomes for all pupils. 

Programme Outline 

Year 1: 

  • Peer Review and Improvement Champion Training – 1 day 
  • Improvement Champion Training – 1 day 
  • Impact and Support Workshops – 3 during the year (usually half day or twilights) 
  • Peer reviews established in clusters 
  • Access to all tools and the handbook for the SPP and improvement framework 
  • Connected to the national and local networks of schools and access to SPP specific events 

Year 2: 

  • Further capacity building in Peer Review – 1 day 
  • Leadership of Collaborative School Improvement – 1 day 
  • Impact and support workshops – 2 during the year (usually half day or twilights) 
  • Further peer reviews in clusters 
  • Access to all tools and the handbook for the SPP and improvement framework 
  • Connected to the national and local networks of schools and access to SPP specific events 

Year 3: 

  • Train the trainer and cross partnership working – 1 day 
  • Local network meetings to share practice 
  • Identification of cohort 3 supported locally with QA by the Education Development Trust 
  • Further peer reviews in clusters 
  • Access to all tools and the handbook for the SPP and improvement framework 
  • Connected to the national and local networks of schools and access to SPP specific events 

The Primary Board has identified funding to support primary schools to be part of the project. You can find out more about the programme here.

 If you would like to discuss how your school can become involved, email Anne Radford Consultant Headteacher