Driving improvement within a MAT

24th November 2021

“The goal for every teacher in every classroom is to be as good as they can be in what they teach (curriculum) and in how they teach (pedagogy)” Bauckhan and Cruddas 2021 – Knowledge-building: School Improvement at Scale.

Following the introduction of academies within the English school’s framework, Trusts were established to “enable schools to access levels of support and collective learning that would not have been achievable by any school on its own.” Muijis and Sampson 2021.  

As we emerge from the pandemic, the ability of MATs to improve the quality of education across their schools will depend on the capacity of the Trust to drive school level improvement. Within their paper ‘Knowledge Building – School Improvement at Scale’ Buckham and Cruddas (2021)2 argue that successful school improvement across Trust is based on four central propositions centered on developing teachers to be as good as they can be in what they teach (curriculum) and in how they teach (pedagogy). In order to achieve this goal, the authors identify a clear need for the best professional development, practice informed by evidence and strong structures that facilitate professional development. 

Alps has a track record of supporting groups of schools; MATs, International Groups and Local Authorities, in the meaningful use of outcome data to drive school improvement and to facilitate a culture of collaboration, as part of self-improving systems, based on an evidence-led approach. Traditionally this approach has been driven through strategic reports and ‘Alps Directories of Excellence’ which have been produced based on the latest examination results for schools within the group and provide colleagues with an analysis of performance at group, school and subject levels. 

As part of our ongoing commitment to facilitate leaders in MATs to drive evidence-informed school improvement, we have been working with our MAT colleagues to develop a new dynamic online platform – Alps Summit. Alps Summit enables leaders to interactively analyse both examination data and internal assessment data at both the individual school level and at a Trust level. In her recent article for the ASCL Winter Leader Magazine, Sue Macgregor, the Director of Education at Alps, outlines the multiple benefits that an outstanding data system can bring to Trusts. These include developing a shared language, setting common assessment frameworks, ease of accessibility and crucially providing clear insightful analysis that enables leaders to identify priorities for provision and areas for improvement across the Trust. As Sue writes, at the heart of this system is the ability to use data analysis to “drive effective learning and teaching strategy across the Trust so that their students are given a consistent and equal opportunity to thrive”. 

Using the Alps approach, with its clear accessible language, Alps Summit provides a framework for both school leaders and subject hub leads to identify best practice using real-time data and therefore support the development of evidence-based collaborative networks across the Trust schools. During the past 12 months as we have piloted the Alps Summit platform with a number of MATs we have been privileged to attend network meetings and deliver training within individual Trusts, where there has been a keen focus on sharing and developing next and best practice across schools using an evidencebased approach. Through analysis in the platform, colleagues have been able to identify strengths and areas for development at both subject and cohort levels across the Trust, enabling leaders to work collaboratively within a robust framework that is focused on facilitating professional development. 

If you are interested in finding out more about Alps Summit and how it can help your Trust to navigate assessment data across your schools for swift, actionable insight into performance, book your demo with one of our expert team here. 

“Alps is a really powerful tool to help identify your better performing subjects, classes and students.” Ian Nock, Director of Maths and Data, Invictus Education Trust 

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