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									               Advice to the Secretary of State: Review of Provision

Review of Provision
Final Advice to the Secretary of State

1     In his March Remit Letter the Secretary of State welcomed our intention to review
      our provision. That review is now complete. It has not covered everything we do,
      but has concentrated on our core leadership development programmes for middle
      leaders, new headteachers and system leaders. Our conclusions reflect extensive
      and repeated consultation with the profession and all our other key stakeholders,
      and what the latest research tells us about effective leadership development. Our
      proposals complement and build on the changes we have made in the last 18
      months to the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) and
      succession planning, and our recently accepted advice on Accelerated Leadership

2     Our core leadership programmes are well-designed, highly regarded by participants
      and have real impact. Through our partnerships with providers, local authorities
      and national agencies they have touched the great majority of schools. But at
      present they do not reach deeply enough into our target audience. In the last
      couple of years, the schools who have engaged most closely with us – by sending
      leaders to several programmes - have made up to four times the progress of schools
      who have not engaged at all. In addition, schools supported by system leaders such
      as consultant leaders, and the schools providing those system leaders, both
      improve significantly faster than the national average. We know we can support the
      policy agenda more effectively, and help schools raise standards more quickly, if we
      can extend our reach and impact through better use of our resources.

3     To intensify and accelerate our impact we need to shift our direction of travel. We
      want to focus more strongly, in line with the Department’s developing thinking on
      21st century schools, on creating a self-sustaining system – fundamentally by
      supporting school leaders to develop the next generation of school leaders
      themselves. Working with a range of partners, we would create a national
      framework of materials, standards, brokerage, accreditation and, critically, quality
      assurance. Localities and clusters of schools would use these to meet their own
      particular development needs.

4     The changes to NPQH and succession planning are already demonstrating the
      payoff from emphasising greater personalisation and a local solutions approach to
      the supply and development of leaders. We are starting to see a stronger focus on
      identifying and managing talent within local authorities, schools and clusters of
      schools. Our proposals would reinforce this by embedding leadership development
      more firmly within schools. It would, of course, need careful piloting, and we would
      seek approval to move beyond pilots only when we were confident our new
      approach worked and we could manage the risks effectively. National roll-out
      would probably take at least four years and the system would subsequently require
      continuing monitoring and support to ensure standards were maintained.

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             Advice to the Secretary of State: Review of Provision

5   Specifically, we want to:
           Accredit clusters of schools, and license ‘facilitators’, to deliver programmes
            for middle leaders across their cluster using our materials and resources.
            We would begin by developing a pilot for 25 clusters from April 2009. Over
            time we would significantly scale back our ‘Leading from the Middle’
            programme, which on its current budget only reaches 5,000 middle leaders
            a year, and focus it on areas where cluster provision is not practicable. We
            would eventually aim to reach 20,000 middle leaders a year through the
            new approach
           Give every new headteacher access to a high quality ‘professional partner’,
            an experienced and effective headteacher who can act as a mentor through
            NPQH, appointment and the early years of headship. We are currently
            testing this concept as part of our work on the primary strategy, and would
            pilot it formally in 2009/10. Over time this would replace our current system
            of grants to new heads, which too often go unspent, and the New Visions
            programme, which a lot of new heads are reluctant to leave their school to
           Increase the numbers of system leaders by creating better pathways into
            system leadership for experienced and successful headteachers. They could
            begin as ‘professional partners’ for new heads, with the opportunity, if they
            were effective, to take on additional roles, such as Local Leader of
            Education, Executive Head, or National Leader of Education. We would
            provide training and accreditation for each role, and develop effective
            brokerage models to ensure leaders were matched with heads and schools
            needing support. We would pilot this in 2009/10, building on our current
            work for Local Leaders of Education. It would replace our Development
            Programme for Consultant Leadership, which we stopped last April.

6   In particular, we believe these proposals will significantly extend our reach and
    impact, and enable us to make a stronger contribution to tackling three critical
    challenges across the education system:
           Reducing variation in performance within and between schools
           Closing the achievement gap
           Sustaining the quality of school leaders during the current wave of

7   Developing and piloting the new approaches would require a reallocation of around
    £3m, spread over the three years from 2009/10 to 2011/12, but particularly
    concentrated in 2009/10. We will be able to contain this within our current budget.
    From 2012/13 onwards we expect costs to be at or slightly above 2008/09 levels.

8   We seek the Secretary of State’s agreement to proceed with the development work
    and the pilots.

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