School Improvement

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Providing Operational Monitoring and Support for Schools

The DEMAT model for school improvement and sustained excellence works on the principle that over time, all approaches are internally self-sustaining through peer-to-peer support between and within schools. Where external support is required in order to arrive at this point, or to provide specialist support in newly arising areas, systematic support is provided on a needs-led basis by centrally employed but regionally mobile professionals. For all schools the type and source of improvement support provided are agreed by the head teachers, governors and DEMAT professionals. Expected standards are set at a corporate level by the Board and communicated to all stakeholders.

All our schools work closely with each other and with our mobile specialists, who are co-ordinated centrally, to ensure that the support is bespoke for the individual needs of schools. Our staff development programme is constantly growing and it is tailored to what our schools ask for.

All DEMAT schools are required to meet the DEMAT Minimum Quality Standards (which have parity to the Ofsted descriptors for ‘Good’). However, all school medium- and long-term planning needs to enable the school to meet the DEMAT Target Benchmarks (which have parity to Ofsted descriptors for ‘Outstanding’). These standards are not limited to, but at minimum tie into, national expectations. Schools which already meet these standards need to show how they themselves are not only sustaining them, but also supporting others to do so.


The School Improvement Partnership Programme

Key Principles:

  • provides a tailored, needs-led package of support that meets the individual requirements of each academy; adapting and adopting strategies to an academy’s context
  • acknowledges the identity and character of individual academies, and targets appropriate support, adopting a ‘no-excuses’ approach in the pursuit of school improvement
  • identifies and works in partnership with each school to decide which improvement activity is best organised and led by visiting MAT support professionals, the cluster or internally resolved by individual academy staff
  • creates a balance between quality assurance, accountability and leadership challenge, with actions that promote networking such as inquiry-based learning, peer reviews, shared coaching and development programmes
  • use our academies’ data intelligently to inform need, monitor progress and assess performance
  • commissions or conducts external/peer reviews (Teaching and Learning, Pupil Premium, Ofsted preparation review) for each academy, using senior leaders and experienced consultants.


The School Improvement team will support and challenge schools in a range of whole school issues which include:

  • senior and middle leadership development
  • moderation
  • Ofsted: pre- and post-Ofsted response
  • strong management systems – target setting, whole school assessment, development planning and school self-evaluation
  • facilitating the development of strategies for narrowing the gap and ensuring the highest outcomes for learners, covering the full spectrum of abilities from vulnerable groups through to gifted and talented learners
  • SEND/Inclusion/Pupil Premium health checks and reviews.