Naked Education #1: School Improvement

I’m leaving you with a series of thoughts about stripping the process of doing school back to its basics and looking at what actually needs to be done.

  • No School improvement plan should be more than a page long.
  • It should contain the 3-7 titles of hypotheses being tested as changes for improvement in the school.
  • MAINTENANCE is not improvement.
  • Be honest “continue to improve the already good progress in” actually means “we are not good enough at” so stop padding your plan out with bollocks.
  • Not everything has to be an RCT, running small scale proof of concept studies is also acceptable, and economically the smart move.
  • The plan should have 6 columns
    • what we are bad at
    • what we plan to do to stop being shit
    • how we will prove we are not bad anymore.
    • whose research project it is
    • which University is supervising the write up at masters level
    • which TSA is providing the students to provide extra man power.
  • The decisions about how to measure the improvement made should happen in the research proposal appended to the plan for each of the 3-7 projects.


If you follow this path your school will be gathering masters level documentation bearing evidence of what works, which, bugger me, Mr OFSTED might like.

Awkward Truth:

You won’t stop being bad at something unless you throw time and money at it in a considered planned fashion. So line up all your resources to deliver on the projects. This is called constructive alignment or good leadership:

  • Pay for the masters level study for driven members of staff
  • Make the completion of the ISM masters module part of their PM
  • Use the TSA School Direct students to provide extra release time in a targeted way.
  • Stop wasting money on things that are continuing to deliver shit results. More is not better. More is stupid

If this is not what is happening in your school, give your head teacher a slap.

(With love)

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