Local School Improvement

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1 AITSL Flagship Professional Learning Program Leadership, Empowerment and Student Learning Local School Improvement Geoff N Masters

2 Many of the reforms we studied failed to deliver improvement because they had little effect on what happened inside the classroom The only way to improve outcomes is to improve instruction. Barber & Mourshed, 2007

3 School leaders are in powerful positions to promote improved outcomes for students by working to enhance the quality of day-to-day teaching and learning.

4 A large body of research on school effectiveness and improvement from a wide range of countries and school contexts has consistently highlighted the pivotal role of school leadership in making schools more effective. Pont, et al., 2008

5 There is also significant consensus in the international research on what highly effective school leaders do to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

6 Eight Aspects of Local School Improvement

7 An Explicit Improvement Agenda

8 An Explicit Improvement Agenda Outstanding schools are relentless in raising the expectations and aspirations of both pupils and parents This is accompanied by the fundamental belief that every child can succeed. OFSTED, 2009

9 An Explicit Improvement Agenda The leadership team has established and is driving a strong improvement agenda for the school. This agenda is expressed in terms of measurable improvements in outcomes for students. Explicit, clear school-wide targets for improvement have been set, with accompanying timelines. There is a strong and optimistic belief on the part of all school staff that further improvement is possible.

10 Analysis and Discussion of Data

11 Analysis and Discussion of Data Learning-focused leaders use evidence of many kinds as a main medium of leadership work and a constant reference point in their interaction with teachers, each other, and stakeholders. Knapp, et al., 2010

12 Analysis and Discussion of Data A high priority is given to the school-wide analysis and discussion of data on student outcomes. The school has a plan for the systematic collection, analysis and use of student data. Data are used throughout the school to monitor progress and to inform decision making. A high priority is given to building teachers and leaders data literacy skills. Teachers routinely use objective data on student achievement to evaluate their teaching effectiveness.

13 A Culture that Promotes Learning

14 A Culture that Promotes Learning Outstanding schools put the child at the centre of everything they do, and high aspirations, expectations and achievement underpin the school s work. OFSTED, 2009

15 A Culture that Promotes Learning The school ethos is built around high expectations and a commitment to academic excellence. There is a happy, optimistic feel to the school. Classrooms are calm but busy and interruptions to teaching time are kept to a minimum. Parents, school leaders and teachers work together in a mutually supportive way.

16 Targeted Use of School Resources

17 Targeted Use of School Resources The ways in which resources are acquired, distributed, developed and utilized have a direct bearing on the quality of teaching and learning The way resources are directed to and within schools and the discretion leaders have to configure these resources needs immediate attention. Plecki, et al., 2010

18 Targeted Use of School Resources The school applies its resources in a targeted manner to meet the learning needs of all students. Staff are deployed in ways that make best use of available expertise and interests. Discretionary school funds are applied to initiatives aimed at improving outcomes for students. The broader community is used as a resource in the development and delivery of learning.

19 An Expert Teaching Team

20 An Expert Teaching Team Principals play a major role in developing a professional community of teachers who guide one another in improving instruction. The Wallace Foundation, 2012

21 An Expert Teaching Team The school leader s promotion of, and participation in, teacher learning and development is the leadership dimension most strongly associated with improved student outcomes. Robinson, 2007

22 An Expert Teaching Team Teachers are experts in the subjects they teach and have very high levels of pedagogical knowledge. Teachers and leaders take personal and collective responsibility for improved student learning. School leaders place a very high priority on the ongoing professional learning of all staff. Teachers collaboratively plan, deliver and review the effectiveness of lessons.

23 Systematic Curriculum Delivery

24 Systematic Curriculum Delivery A school s curriculum plan should promote continuity of learning across the years of school. Aligned assessments indicate where individual students are in relation to this long-term learning plan as starting points for teaching and as a basis for monitoring progress over time. Masters, 2012

25 Systematic Curriculum Delivery The school has a clearly documented whole school plan for curriculum delivery. The plan makes explicit what (and when) teachers should teach and students should learn. Considerable attention has been given to ensuring vertical alignment across the years of school. Term and unit plans, classroom teaching, and regular assessments are aligned with the curriculum plan.

26 Differentiated Classroom Learning

27 Differentiated Classroom Learning Students in the same year of school can be at very different points in their learning % 80% 50% 20% 5% NAPLAN Reading Year

28 Differentiated Classroom Learning Teachers need to be able to assess precisely the strengths and weaknesses of each individual student they teach, select the appropriate instructional methods to help them to learn, and deliver instruction in an effective and efficient manner. Barber & Mourshed, 2007

29 Differentiated Classroom Learning Leaders promote differentiated teaching as a strategy for engaging every student in learning. The school recognises that some students require significant adjustments to their learning programs. Individual learning plans have been developed for at least some students. Regular data are used in all classrooms to make judgements about individual learning needs.

30 Effective Teaching Practices

31 Effective Teaching Practices Top-performing systems are relentless in their focus on improving the quality of instruction in their classrooms. Teachers need to become aware of weaknesses in their practice; to understand best teaching practices; and to be motivated to improve. Barber and Mourshed, 2007

32 Effective Teaching Practices School leaders have accepted personal responsibility for driving improvements in teaching. School leaders have well-known positions on the kinds of teaching that they wish to see occurring. All teachers and leaders are committed to identifying and implementing better teaching methods. School leaders work with teachers to improve their teaching practices, including by providing feedback.

33 Local decision making in relation to these eight aspects of school practice can lead to improved teaching and learning and thus enhanced outcomes for students.

34 References Barber, M. & Mourshed, M. (2007). How the World s Best-Performing School Systems Come Out on Top. London: McKinsey & Co. Knapp, M.S., Copland, M.A., Honig, M.I., Plecki, M.L. & Portin, B.S. (2010). Learning- Focused Leadership and Leadership Support. New York: The Wallace Foundation. Masters, G.N. (2010). Teaching and Learning School Improvement Framework. Melbourne: ACER. Masters, G.N. (2012). The Role of Assessment in Educational Practice. Australian Education Review No. 57. Melbourne: ACER. OFSTED (2009). Twenty Outstanding Primary Schools: Excelling Against the Odds. Manchester: OFSTED. Pont, B. Nusche, D. & Moorman, H. (2008). Improving School Leadership, Volume 1: Policy and Practice. Paris: OECD. Plecki, M.L., Knapp, M.S., Castaneda, T., Halverson, T., LaSota, R. & Lochmiller, C. (2010). How Leaders Invest Staffing Resources for Learning Improvement. New York: The Wallace Foundation Robinson, V.M.J. (2007). School Leadership and Student Outcomes: Identifying What Works and Why. Sydney: ACEL. The Wallace Foundation (2012). The School Principal as Leader: Guiding Schools to Better Teaching and Learning. New York: The Wallace Foundation.

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