We really found the school improvement review work you did last year very useful and it’s something we would like to implement on a yearly basis.

Michael Johnson, Vice Principal for Curriculum and Quality, Derwentside FE College

School Improvement Reviews : Supporting your journey to Outstanding

Our rigorous developmental school reviews provide the school leaders, Governors or Trustees with an accurate and detailed view of your school’s strengths and areas for development. A School improvement review or audit is the perfect way to understand how your processes and teams will react and ‘hold up’ during an Inspection, giving you the time to make any necessary adjustments within your organisation based on an honest, critical evaluation of your processes and practices.

Our school improvement reviews and audits are delivered in a rigorous yet developmental way by our team of quality-assured and respected inspectors with high levels of credibility and relevant experience.  We have teams of specialists supporting the following types of school, inspected under the Ofsted framework:

State Schools:

  1. Faith schools
  2. Free schools
  3. Academies
  4. City technology colleges
  5. State boarding schools
  6. State Special Schools and SEMH Schools

Independent schools:

Association Independent Schools Inspected by ISI

These are all independent schools whose heads are members of one of ISC’s member associations in England. The ISC associations are Headmasters and Headmistresses ConferenceGirls’ Schools AssociationIndependent Associate of Prep SchoolsThe Society of Heads and Independent Schools Association.

Non-Association Independent Schools

These are independent schools whose heads are not members of pone of the associations listed above.

“ I can’t stress enough how useful the whole process has been for us as a school”

Hannah Pomroy, Deputy Head, Ampleforth College
( Non-Association Independent School)

Benefits of a School Improvement Review by JMC

All our school review teams are led by an experienced Lead Inspector, they will be your first point of contact once you have decided to take advantage of our service. Although rigorous they are designed with school improvement in mind, your lead inspector will act as an informed guide to help your school prepare effectively. Our school improvement review teams offer a mixture of training, coaching and mentoring throughout the process.

The review will encourage both reactive and proactive improvement in the quality of education provided by school.

The review will help to standardise teaching, enable benchmarking and comparison in improving the quality of teaching and learning.

School Improvement Review Visit

The size of the school review team deployed is dependent on the size of the school and the requirements of its leaders. We would recommend two of our Associates spending two days on site as a starting point for discussion.

Use of Evidence

The team’s judgements on the education quality criteria are based as far as possible on first-hand evidence and include the following activities:

  • Observation of lessons and scrutiny of samples of students’ work
  • Consultation with students
  • Discussion with the Governors or Trustees of the school/Academy
  • Analysis of evidence provided by students and staff
  • Analysis of documentary evidence, including performance indicators and self-evaluation
  • Consideration of any significant changes or overt progress over recent years.

Feedback and a Comprehensive Report

You will receive both verbal feedback and a comprehensive written report with specific recommendations for action will then be prepared and submitted to the school which can be presented to the School Governors or Trustees.

School, Academy and MAT Audits

As well as our comprehensive school improvement review service we also offer shorter one or two day audits with a specific and narrower focus. These include:

1. Compliance Audit

Our compliance auditor will carry out an onsite visit, meeting with the School Compliance Officer and ensure full compliance with current legislation.

2. Safeguarding Audit

Understanding your duties and responsibilities, and developing and embedding good safeguarding practice, is key for all MAT’s, Academies & Schools . We can work with you to make sure that the correct measures are in place to safeguard children from harm or neglect.

3. Behaviour Audit

You might be gearing up for inspection, you might have recently introduced a new behaviour policy and want a snapshot of its implementation, or you might want to ‘clear the decks’ before a new policy is written. Whatever the reason for the behaviour audit, we will provide constructive, expert feedback, acting as a critical friend

4. State Boarding Welfare Audit

If you are a state boarding school you may consider a need for an inspection of your Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools which requires a specialist inspector.  This would include a visit to your boarding houses, meeting your house staff and Pastoral/Boarding Lead and discussing boarding with your Head.  The team would also meet with a group of boarding pupils to discover their views of boarding within your school.

5. Curriculum and/or Quality of Education Audit

Our audit team will use the Ofsted inspection framework to evaluate teaching, learning and assessment and the outcomes for pupils. The team would visit lessons, discuss the lesson plans and overall schemes of work with Department Heads and the Academic Deputy Head and then meet with a variety of pupils to discuss their views on teaching and delivery.

6. Subject / Departmental Reviews

Our team of experienced HMIs and Ofsted inspectors can support Subject Leaders in reviewing their curriculum area by carrying out a mentoring deep dive alongside the subject leader. This subject review will help to determine strengths and next steps and give them the confidence to talk about their subject.

7. RSE / PSHE Audit

Our PSHE auditor will work with school leaders to identify gaps in existing provision and identify key areas for RSE & PSHE development. The audit will include a review of teaching and learning and pupil interviews to evaluate the quality of provision.

8. Early Years Provision Audit

If you have an Ofsted registered early years provision we can organise a specialist and experienced team to evaluate this area of your school to ensure that it fulfils the requirements for the framework (published by the Dept for Education).

We are also able to offer training to your nursery or early years staff in achieving outstanding as an early years provider.

9. SEND Provision Audit

Our SEND audit looks at how your school or academy provides for pupils or students with special educational needs and disabilities. If pupils or students with special educational needs are not making expected progress, the fresh perspective and recommendations of our experienced SEND auditor will help you improve your SEND provision and strategy so you can help young people to achieve good outcomes.

10. Pupil Premium Audit

Our Pupil Premium reviewer will carry out an onsite visit, working with the School Pupil Premium Champion to develop an action plan and ensure full compliance with current statutory regulations.

11. Post 16 Provision Audit

Our Post 16 quality assurance audit is suitable for all post-16 providers, including sixth form and further education colleges and independent training providers. It providers an independent evaluation of the quality of Post 16 provision against the Ofsted framework.

12. 90 minute Educationally Focussed Telephone Conversation

This service is to support headteachers in preparing for the 90 minute educationally focussed telephone conversation with the lead Ofsted inspector the day before the inspection starts and would be led by one of our experienced lead inspectors.

13. EDI Review

We understand that schools have different priorities when it comes to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) and that a one-size-fits-all approach may not be the best solution. That’s why we offer a flexible service, where schools and Trusts can choose from a range of activities, depending on their focus. Find out more here

14. Pupil Wellbeing Audit

The Pupil Wellbeing Audit (PWA) is a self-assessment tool that allows schools to holistically evaluate their current contribution to pupil wellbeing and set aspirational targets for further progress and development.

The PWA has different dimensions, and indicators within each dimension, which informs a best fit level score. The indicators within each stage are intended to be the basis for school leader reflection, action planning and improvement. Find out more here

How much will it cost?

We pay particular attention to team composition ensuring that our staff are suitable given the size and character of the school.

The cost depends on 4 factors:
1. Size of the Review Team
2. Number of days
3. Scope of the Review
4. Nature of the school: E.g. Size, age range, number of sites, provision of Boarding

The feedback given to departments was of very high quality and we were very impressed.

M. Naylor, Deputy Head, Standards, Achievement & Curriculum, Stone Lodge Free School

For a quote or to learn more about our School Improvement Reviews or Audits, then don’t hesitate to get in touch using our enquires form


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