School Improvement

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Supporting Academy Improvement

Sustainable school improvement is our core business and schools joining the Trust do so with the aim of improving each other so that each of them can become outstanding.

The school improvement professionals in our trust are the school leadership teams in each of those schools. They are responsible for the improvement within their own schools but also share responsibility for improvement in all our academies by sharing school to school support, modelling best practice, mentoring, filling vacancies and working collaboratively. Currently our group of three academies share an Executive Principal who works with the Trustees to shape the strategic direction of the Trust and design and deliver a school improvement strategy for the all the academies. As the Trust grows, we envisage that each group of two or three academies will be led by an Executive Principal.  The leaders of these groups of schools will be able to draw on the expertise of each other to create a self-supporting and sustainable model of school improvement.

Moving to Outstanding

The fundamental role of all our academy leaders is to ensure the best possible outcomes for every pupil. PACT has a sustained focus on school improvement that will be driven in partnership with any academy joining us. Each of our academies undergoes regular and rigorous self-evaluation process based on

  • Analysis of attainment and progress data
  • Findings from our academy review process
  • Risk assessment analysis
  • Discussions with leaders in the academy

The outcomes of the self-evaluation process results in a judgement as follows


Outstanding Good to Outstanding Good Requires Improvement Inadequate
Pact 1 Pact 2 Pact 3 Pact 4 Pact 5
Ofsted 1               Ofsted 2 Ofsted 3 Ofsted 4



For inadequate academies (PACT category 5)

The aim is to quickly establish a confident and competent leadership and school improvement team in the academy that will ensure significant and rapid improvement.

  • Where academies are judged inadequate PACT will provide intensive leadership support to add capacity until a substantive Principal is appointed, then work alongside them to establish an effective team to move the academy forward. PACT directors will review the governance and establish a local advisory committee that is accountable to the board of Trustees.
  • Intensive support will then be provided from the existing expertise within the MAT, as well as external support that the MAT has access to. This will focus on addressing issues relating to teaching, curriculum, behavior, attendance, safeguarding, governance and data analysis
  • The new leadership will implement robust systems and procedures that will evaluate progress against a robust improvement plan and hold leaders to account.


For academies that require improvement (PACT category 4)

For these academies the aim is to develop and improve leadership capacity, in order to accelerate progress through improved teaching and learning and monitoring.

  • add effective capacity to the leadership to ensure that there is a sharper focus on the monitoring of teaching and learning and self-evaluation
  • broker specific support from across the MAT- e.g. teaching staff may transfer to support the existing staff  to quickly raise standards of achievement; develop an appropriate curriculum and assessment systems, implementing robust performance management systems,  pedagogy and  coaching;
  • establishing an effective program of CPD/JPD to upskill all staff


For academies that are good or better (PACT category 1, 2 and 3)

The aim here is to ensure that these academies continue to move towards and sustain excellence, through sustainability, succession planning, moving to system teaching and leadership and developing staff at all levels.

  • lead professionals within the MAT will work alongside the leadership teams to develop and deepen an ethos of enquiry focus and learning
  • teachers and other staff will be expected to support other academies in their improvement through sharing best practice
  • academies will be encouraged to internally & externally network across the MAT and with other schools/academies



Academy improvement strategy


Central to our model of academy improvement is partnership working and school to school support. It is the joint resources and shared expertise within the Trust, together with access to a range of external expertise that impacts positively on academy improvement. We have devised an improvement calendar consisting of:-


Annual external review / health check

Once per year, each of our academies will be subject to an Ofsted style review of its work that will be initiated by the Pioneer Academies Co-operative  Trust Board, involving the Leadership Team (The Executive Principal and each of the Heads of School working within PACT) and external consultants.


Risk Assessments

Formal reviews of each academy’s progress towards agreed targets takes place each half term.   The purpose of these reviews is to assess the risk of the academy either not sustaining an outstanding judgement or not improving its judgement in its next Ofsted inspection. The findings from these reviews are reported to the respective Local Governing Body of each academy on a termly basis and received by the PACT Board three times per year.


Data summary and termly analysis

A detailed analysis of end of year assessment results and termly updates on progress towards meeting attainment projections for all year groups will be presented to our Standards Committee.


Academy improvement planning and review

On an annual basis, the leadership from each academy supported by the Executive Principal will complete a self-evaluation and improvement planning document using the findings from external and internal reviews to accurately evaluate the strengths within the academy and identify the priorities for improvement. The Local Governing Body is responsible for monitoring the progress of the academy improvement set against the plan.


External validation

The leadership teams of all academies will have the benefit of regular external validation of their judgements on teaching, learning and outcomes for pupils. Our external consultants also support leaders to implement and monitor improvement strategies.


Appraisal of senior leaders

Appraisal of the Executive Principals and Heads of Academy linked to school improvement and outcomes for pupils is initiated annually by the Pioneer Academies Co-operative Trust Board.