School-to-school support and collaboration - June 2015

Summary

This report is published in response to a request for advice from the Welsh Government in the Minister’s annual remit letter to Estyn for 2014-2015. The report gives examples of school-to-school support, including informal self-generated or brokered arrangements, collaborations and federations. For each example, there is a case study that illustrates current practice. The report considers what works, how and why it works, and the support mechanisms that sustain it. It also discusses the impact, success factors and obstacles facing these school-to-school initiatives.
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Recommendations

School leaders should:

  • be very clear about what they want to achieve from taking part in school-to-school support activity
  • identify specific success criteria for the activity
  • make sure that the focus is on raising standards and improving outcomes
  • evaluate the impact, costs and benefits

Local authorities and consortia should:

  • have a clear strategy for matching schools to work together
  • set expectations about how groupings will operate
  • make sure that resources are available to support school-to-school work
  • identify and disseminate information about practice worthy of emulation

The Welsh Government should:

  • consider ways of allowing federations to register as a single school
  • co-ordinate a national database of practice worthy of emulation that brings together Estyn best-practice case studies and those identified by consortia and local authorities