Investors in People Assessment Report. Presented by Alli Gibbons Investors in People Specialist On behalf of Inspiring Business Performance Limited

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1 Investors in People Assessment Report for Bradstow School Presented by Alli Gibbons Investors in People Specialist On behalf of Inspiring Business Performance Limited 30 August 2013 Project Reference Number 13/1330 Delivered by IBP, an official partner for London, South East and South West England

2 Contents Page No. Introduction 3 Executive summary 4 Assessment findings 5 Recommendation and next steps 10 Client feedback 11 Promoting continuous improvement 11 Annex A: Outcomes table 12 2

3 Introduction This assessment was carried out in accordance with the Assessment Plan dated 19 th June 2013, with the exception of a few substitutions agreed in advance of the interviews. This report presents the findings of the assessment, recognising good practice and highlighting areas for potential development. The report is structured around the key themes which summarise the evidence requirements from the wider framework which were included in this assessment. I would like to extend my thanks for the warm hospitality I was shown, and to everyone involved in the assessment, particularly Marilyn Jones for her efforts in planning and organising the interviews, and making sure everything went smoothly. Everyone was very open and co-operative, and demonstrated their commitment and loyalty to the organisation. 3

4 Executive summary This assessment has once again shown Bradstow School to be a dynamic and professional organisation, completely committed to continuous improvement in the pursuit of excellence. The degree of change and progress in approaches for managing and developing people in the short time since last year s assessment is really impressive. The school has revisited its vision, mission and values, and has developed and distributed a suite of key documents capturing the essence of the way things are done and what is expected of managers and staff members. The EFQM Excellence Model continues to provide a solid framework for driving continuous improvement, and is used to provide detail and structure based on accepted best practice. Significant efforts have been made to involve people more widely in planning and driving continuous improvement, and there are some really good examples of people s views and feedback driving the implementation of new initiatives and approaches. On a practical level, significant work has been done to further develop the training database, and the approach for induction has been completely refreshed. The approach for developing people s understanding and application of gentle teaching principles has also been significantly developed this year. Performance management and appraisal has also been completely reviewed, now referring to relevant professional standards, and a new approach has been piloted to enable managers to critically assess their skills. A range of initiatives has also been introduced to ensure that people feel that their efforts are recognised and rewarded, informed by the results of a staff survey on the topic. These incorporate some innovative approaches to improve health and wellbeing, such as health days, and a change to a local occupational healthcare provider. Recommended actions for consideration include: Further expanding the involvement in business planning Embedding the new suite of documents into practice, helping people to understand the implications for behaviour and actions Rolling out the new performance management and management skills audit approach Introducing 360 o feedback for managers Encouraging managers to consider the learning styles of their staff members when planning learning and development Encouraging people to recognise their colleagues contribution to the organisation Continuing to broaden consultation, consulting widely on specific topics including the design of consultation arrangements, and involving people specifically in identifying improvements to the way they are managed and developed. Involving people in recruitment and selection of team members. Consider ways to evaluate more critically and continue to improve the effectiveness of the Staff Forum. Use the Staff Survey in September 2013 to measure improvement in people s view of how they are managed and developed. The assessment confirmed that the organisation now meets 25 out of the 39 evidence requirements assessed. This brings the total to 185 evidence requirements met, once again exceeding the benchmark of 165 required for Investors in People Gold accreditation. 4

5 Assessment findings This assessment has once again shown Bradstow School to be a dynamic and professional organisation, completely committed to continuous improvement in the pursuit of excellence. The degree of change and progress in approaches for managing and developing people in the short time since last year s assessment is really impressive. The assessment findings are set out below, structured around the headings used in the Investors in People Improvement Plan put in place following last year s assessment, plus an additional heading to address performance measurement and continuous improvement. Strategy and planning The Vision, Mission and Values day held in January involved a representative staff group in developing new statements of the school s vision, mission and core values, reflecting the gentle teaching approach. These were then effectively documented and presented to all staff in April. There is a good level of awareness across the organisation of this work and the document produced, and an appreciation of the underlying philosophy and what this means for the way people should work and behave towards each other and with the students. The key strategies are also concisely summarised using the Balanced Scorecard approach, although it is unclear as to whether or how this is used in practice. The use of the EFQM Excellence Model has been further embedded as a framework underpinning planning in all aspects of the school s operations, driving continuous improvement based on best practice approaches. Involvement in the Vision, Mission and Values day was limited to a representative group, so most people still feel that they have not been actively involved in the planning process at this stage. A training day is planned for September to involve staff in unpicking school priorities. (ERs 1.20 and 4.9 not met.) While some very useful documentation has been developed and shared with people across the organisation, the process of embedding the ideas and principles contained within them into practice is still in the early stages. Consequently while general awareness of the documents may be relatively high, understanding of engagement with understanding the content and the implications for people and managers on the ground remains relatively low at this point. Performance management and appraisal The new approach for teachers performance management is clearly underpinned by best practice standards, and encourages teachers to consider their development needs in the context of their longer-term career expectations. Teachers have been specifically asked for their feedback on the approach, to inform further development and rollout to other roles across the organisation. Teachers have confirmed that the approach is more constructive and focused, and generally spoke very positively about their experience. (ERs 4.4, 4.5, 4.6 met) The quality and effectiveness of the performance management have also been improved, with Quality Assurance/monitoring sheets being completed by all 5

6 Performance Managers, and evidence of improved quality of targets set, and objectives clearly linked to the SDP. Develop the performance management approach in light of experience of use with and feedback from teachers and roll out to all other staff. (ERs 4.10 and 4.11 not met.) Develop further managers and people s understanding of the role and expectations of Performance Managers, as described in the Staff Charter. Consider incorporating an element of 360 o feedback for managers, to inform their development individually and collectively. (ER 5.13 not met.) Management capabilities The work done to improve performance management and appraisal clearly supports the definition of what is expected of managers, and provides a structured approach for reflection on performance and the identification of learning and development needs of managers. In addition, the Staff Charter provides a really clear and succinct description of what managers and staff members should expect from each other. The development of this document involved discussion at the Staff Forum and other groups such as teachers meetings. (ERs 4.4, 4.5, 4.6 met) A coaching and mentoring programme has also been put in place for all Performance Managers, with two sessions held in May for a total of 34 staff. This has also been well received, and managers are clearly using some of the ideas in practice to improve the support they provide to their teams. (ER 4.6 met) The development of leadership capabilities has also been further encouraged across the organisation through the introduction of leadership objectives for all staff. Feedback from people about the effectiveness of their manager was generally very positive. They described open and trusting relationships, in line with the school s values, and employing a constructive, supportive and coaching management style. (ERs 5.16, 5.20, 5.23, 5.24 and 5.25 met.) Whilst managers and people are clearly aware of the existence of the Staff Charter, levels of familiarity with the content of this document are low at this point. Further work is needed to fully embed this thinking into everyday practice, and to make it impact on the way people and managers think and behave towards each other. This indicates a lack of ownership on the part of managers, and suggests they could have been more actively involved in developing the definitions of expectations of managers and the capabilities they need in order to meet these. (ER 4.9 not met.) The new approach to performance management incorporating a skills audit has not yet been rolled out to other managers across the organisation, and so they are not yet receiving comprehensive feedback on their performance against the defined capabilities, and the support for their development in line with this. (ERs 4.10 and 4.11 not met.) 6

7 Learning and development Implementation and development of the Training Database has continued, particularly with respect to the application of Kirkpatrick s model of evaluation. The database and supporting processes now ensure the evaluation of the effectiveness of training at each level, including impact on performance. The database has also enabled the production of Individual Training Plans and training histories for all staff, incorporating Performance Management outcomes. Training this year has included three key areas of focus: performance management, coaching and training database user training for managers a new approach for gentle teaching, including a new mentor, and focusing on working in multi-disciplinary groups around individual students. Also the provision of Mindfulness workshops to reduce staff stress. induction. The induction process has been thoroughly reviewed and overhauled, with particular focus on taking account of different learning styles, with less focus on learning by listening. The new approach is very structured and comprehensive, supported by a checklist starting from pre-joining information, to ensure that all stages are covered. Each new joiner has a staff induction workbook, structured around the the Children s Workforce Development Council s Standards for Induction. The process encourages the gradual application of learning in practice and personal reflection. The Induction Review Tool provides a really detailed approach for reflecting on your Induction Training, connecting the way you deliver induction training with learning outcomes, and should ensure that all new joiners feel well equipped to do their jobs. People are generally more clear about how their learning and development is planned to build their future capability to contribute to achieving the organisation s vision. They feel well supported by their managers, and have clear objectives for putting their learning into practice. People confirmed that learning and development achievements are recognised and celebrated individually through specific comments from managers and senior managers, and more publicly at events and presentations. (ERs 2.12, 8.16 and 8.17 met.) The design of the new induction process clearly takes account of different learning styles, however managers and people generally are not clear as to how individual learning styles should be taken into account when planning learning and development. (ERs 2.10 and 2.15 not met.) Recognition and appreciation A survey was sent to all staff in the spring to gather their views and preferences regarding approaches for recognition and reward. As a result of these, a variety of initiatives have been implemented, including: A Reward and Recognitions Statement/Policy health days celebrations a new staff room a new, locally based occupational healthcare provider Mood boards in key areas. 7

8 Feedback indicates that people really appreciate these changes, and they have particularly enjoyed the health days and celebrations. (ERs 6.12, 6.17 and 6.18 met.) People generally feel the organisation s reward and recognition strategy to be fair and effective in motivating them, and they can describe in broad terms what they need to do to be valued, recognised and rewarded. However, there could be greater transparency and fairness in terms of what good looks like and what is rewarded ie the behaviours regarded as exemplary. An example cited is the recognition and reward of low absenteeism which is not clearly spelt out. (ERs 6.15 and 6.16 met.) There is no evidence of people being encouraged to recognise the contribution their colleagues make to the organisation. (ERs 6.13 and 6.19 not met.) Consultation, involvement, engagement A variety of initiatives has been taken forward during the last year, aimed at involving people more widely in consultation and improvement planning, building on the positive example of the Communication Group. These include: A representative group being involved in the Vision, Mission and Values day The revised staff survey seeking feedback and suggestions about recognition and reward The introduction of the Survey Board, to communicate back the key findings from surveys and actions arising. The introduction of the Forum Board, to encourage people to put forward suggestions and ideas for improvements to their representative. Blue sky Training for groups to encourage ideas and suggestions for improvement. Termly Bradstow Bulletins. As a result of these initiatives, and the general culture of open, supportive and collaborative working with managers, people confirmed that they have the opportunity to take part in decision-making, and they feel comfortable challenging the way the organisation works to improve performance. (ERs 7.11, 7.13 and 7.18 met.) Consider ways to broaden the direct involvement of a wider number of people across the organisation, as well as consulting through representative groups. For example, the people involved in the Vision, Mission and Values day are doubtless totally engaged, but others outside this group appear to be only rather vaguely aware of what the group achieved. Building on the consultation regarding recognition and reward, continue to consult widely on specific topics to enable people to be involved in identifying improvements to the way they are managed and developed. Involving people in designing consultation arrangements would be another useful application of this approach. (ERs 7.7 and 7.17 not met.) People found it difficult to give specific examples of how they are involved in identifying improvements to the way they are managed and developed. (ER not met.) People explained how they may be involved in recruitment and selection decisions to an extent, by being asked for their opinions having met and spent some time with candidates, but it is not always clear to them that their views are actually taken into account. Closing the feedback loop is important here, 8

9 particularly in explaining why a decision may have been taken which appears to not to be in line with the team s views. (ER 3.27 not met.) Consider ways to evaluate more critically the effectiveness of the Staff Forum. How is success measured? It may prove beneficial to look at clarifying roles and remit, and consider training for representatives to help them to be really effective in engaging their constituencies. Performance measurement and continuous improvement There has been a significant shift in approach towards evaluating the impact on performance of the school s people strategies, with much more critical evaluation of return on investment. Reporting has always been a strength, but a number of the initiatives already mentioned above have built upon this to ensure that return on investment information is reported clearly to all stakeholders. (ERs 9.8 and 9.9 met.) The senior leadership team has always been clearly committed to driving continuous improvement: the noticeable difference during this assessment is the drive to widen involvement of managers and staff beyond this core team. There are many more opportunities for managers and staff to be involved in evaluating approaches, giving feedback and making suggestions for improvement. (ERs 9.10 and met.) As a result, people clearly believe that managers are genuinely committed to improving the way they manage and develop them, and that it is a great place to work, despite its challenges. (ERs and met.) Having revised the Staff survey last September, it is difficult to demonstrate an improvement in people s view of how they are managed and developed at this point. The next survey is planned for September 2013 and this should provide evidence of improvement or otherwise. (ER 10.9 not met.) 9

10 Recommendation and next steps Having carried out the assessment process in accordance with the guidelines provided for Assessors by Investors in People United Kingdom Commission for Employment and Skills, the Assessor is totally satisfied that Bradstow School meets the requirements of the Investors in People National Standard, plus an additional 146 evidence requirements, exceeding the benchmark for Investors in People Gold accreditation. Investors in People accreditation is granted indefinitely, with a proviso that an interaction is undertaken within 18 months of accreditation and a full assessment takes place no greater than 3 years apart. Assessments can be undertaken at any time and more frequent assessments are recommended to maintain levels of good practice and continuous improvement. The organisation should discuss and agree the best strategy for future use of the Investors in People framework, and the timing of the next assessment, with their IiP Specialist, using the Improvement Planning Meeting scheduled for 4:30pm on Monday 16 th September. Alli Gibbons 30 August 2013 t m e 10

11 Client Feedback Both the Investors in People Specialist and Investors in People South/IBP would welcome your feedback on this assessment and you will shortly be supplied with a Client Satisfaction Questionnaire to complete. We would very much appreciate it if you would complete and return the questionnaire after your Improvement Planning Meeting has been concluded. Should you wish to contact an Account Manager at Investors in People South/IBP for any reason, please telephone , use the contact option on our website or send an to Promoting continuous improvement Investors in People South/IBP offers an integrated advice and assessment support service, workshops, surgeries and networking events to promote continuous improvement and maximise the benefits of working with The Standard. We also work with a team of highly experienced consultants to offer an extensive range of tailored business support and organisational development solutions to help improve business performance. Details of the support available to you can be found on: - Internet: Telephone: Follow us on or find us on Contact us: Delivered by IBP, an official partner for London, South East and South West England T: E: W: 11

12 Annex A: Outcomes Table - Evidence Requirements Framework Matrix (Evidence requirements Met / Not Met) = met X = not met N/A = not applicable Blank = not assessed Core Standard Total number of core evidence requirements assessed - 0 Total number of core evidence requirements met - 0 Indicators ERs Wider Framework Total number of additional evidence requirements assessed 39 Total number of additional evidence requirements met Core Core Core Core Core 5 Core Core Core 6 Core 7 X 8 9 X X 10 X X 11 X 12 X 13 X X X X X 20 X X

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