What makes successful schools successful? And what makes them continue to build on their success?

It is a simple but nonetheless valid observation. No organisation – and more particularly no school – improves by itself. Schools get better because someone (or more often some people) put energy into improving the school.

But is that it?  A round of improvement, an inspectors’ report, and then “steady-as-she-goes”?

Of course, that is one way of working, but there is a problem.  Because any organisation that is then left alone will slowly start to become inefficient.   Processes will change, corners will be cut, issues will be missed.

This is not a criticism of teachers or schools – it is simply the ways things are. The only way around this is constant improvement.

Now this approach, which has become increasingly common in business in the past ten years, is something that many teachers and managers resist.   The old phrase, “Why can’t you just leave me alone to get on with the teaching?” can readily be heard in response.

And yet, as the schools that use this approach have found, such an approach puts no strain on the school, and the result can be extraordinary.

Better still, the ever improving school is most certainly not in a state of constant revolution.  Rather the schools that adopt this approach work carefully from department to department, instituting changes step by step, and not moving on to the next department until the previous department is once again settled and secure.

In short, we are talking about a mechanism for bringing change into a school with the full co-operation and agreement of each department in turn.  An approach which runs continuously without in any way disrupting the working on the school on a daily basis.

It is an approach that recognises that there may be some resistance to change, but has built within it ways of overcoming that resistance.

And better still, there is no chance of the school, having improved, resting on its laurels. It continues and it grows, for as long as the leadership of the school want the process to continue.

The entire process is described in The Ever Improving School, a report commissioned and produced by the School of Educational Administration and Management – a body set up with government funding and the support of the Faculty of Education at the University of Northampton.

The Ever Improving School is available in copiable form (as a printed volume or on CD) so that it can be distributed to all interested members of staff.

ISBN: 978 1 86083 852 1   Order code: T1843emn – please quote with order.

Sample pages can be viewed at http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/education/T1843.pdf

  • Photocopiable book, £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the book and the CD: £31.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Kindle book: £9.99
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report…