Wyre Forest School, Kidderminster, is a special school in a brand new purpose built facility with a Nursery Assessment Class and a Weekly Residential Unit called Russell House. The school has around 250 students on roll and 183 members of staff. Rebecca Garratt, Headteacher, discusses why they chose to implement SchooliP to very simply integrate all of their school processes and, how unlike other solutions available, with SchooliP there was 100% buy in from staff.
What did you utilise before SchooliP?
"When I arrived at this school everything was completed on word documents, including all performance management/appraisals, the school development plan and self evaluation. The problem was, with 183 staff members, trying to quality assure this many targets for performance management was very difficult and they were not explicitly linked to our school development plan. The school development and improvement plan were also just word documents that we couldn’t link to our performance management processes either. It was a really cumbersome system and we weren’t able to add or link evidence. Our governors couldn’t easily see the information they need – just lots and lots of sheets of paper!"
What attracted you to SchooliP?
The simplicity and how it linked everything together is where the real power lies and where the magic happens.Rebecca Garratt, Headteacher
"In a previous school, we used another system which claims to do the same as SchooliP, but we found this system to be very complicated and cumbersome and we were not able to get staff to ‘buy into it’. SchooliP on the other hand was so simple! All staff could access it and use it effectively and governors too – that was the beauty of it. The simplicity and how it linked everything together is where the real power lies and where the magic happens."
What benefits do you now see as a result of SchooliP?
"SchooliP has allowed us to carry out lesson observations that staff are an integral part of and everything is open and transparent. SchooliP supports our progress overtime model and allows us to provide judgement grades to coincide with this. SchooliP has really helped staff to develop their quality of teaching and learning and provided a platform to engage in ongoing discussions. The development plan is now really tight and this can be linked directly to our SEF. We’re not doing anything sporadically anymore, everything is now focused and we are able to implement any changes very quickly and ensure as a school we remain on track with our objectives.
A real benefit for us has been the ability to provide governors access to the system, so that they now have a clear strategic view of our school which they didn’t really feel like they had before."
As a Special School, how has SchooliP benefited you?
We didn’t have to change any of our processes to accommodate SchooliPRebecca Garratt, Headteacher
"As a special school we found the ability to bespoke the system to include our own lesson planning proforma was fantastic. We didn’t have to change any of our processes to accommodate SchooliP; the system is flexible and matches how we operate as a school but our processes are now much more efficient.
As we are a special school, we have a very large number of support staff and with SchooliP they are all able to very easily complete their appraisals/performance management with their line manager. However, what is now a real benefit is that they can see our wider school priorities and the SEF and can see how they are directly contributing to the success of the school. As a result they now feel they are an integral part of the system. We often get the comment that before they felt ‘performance management was done to them whereas now they feel part of it’. All staff are really engaged and are regularly updating their portfolios with evidence to offset their targets.”
What would you tell another school if they were considering SchooliP?
We have had total buy in from all of our 183 members of staff – and you can’t say that about other systems!Rebecca Garratt, Headteacher
“BUY IT! It’s so simple and effective and even though we’ve only been using it for a relatively short period of time we have had total buy in from all of our 183 members of staff – and you can’t say that about other systems! You don’t have to roll it out slowly; it’s so intuitive that staff can get onboard with it straight away!”
The support and training provided has been excellent which means there has never been any problems. If you ever have any questions all you need to do is pick up the phone and the help you need is always available. Training can be arranged really easily and conveniently and it’s been great - the trainers are brilliant!”
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