Background and Challenges
Trueman Change engaged with the Council’s Children, Young People and Culture Department to evaluate the impact of the Strategic School Improvement Fund (SSIF) project. This project was funded by the Department for Education (DfE) to address the achievement gap for disadvantaged pupils throughout the authority, particularly at Key Stages 1 – 4.
The key challenges were:
- Carrying out meaningful evaluation data gathering with headteachers and subjects leads across the authority's schools
- The collation of a high number of contact details
- Arranging meetings to suit the schedules of all stakeholders, we had to plan our engagements around their busy schedules, school holidays and exam periods.
Trueman Change Involvement
- We gathered qualitative and quantitative information by designing, disseminating and carrying out online questionnaires and face-to-face interviews.
- We engaged with 41% of the schools who took part in the project as part of our evaluation.
- We created case studies to celebrate important, individual success stories from the project.
- We identified the impact of the project on student learning, the quality of teaching and reviewed the value for money that the intervention represented.
- We worked with our education expert associate who assisted in guiding interviews and providing expert insight into the results of the data collected and recommendations for the next step of the project.
Outcomes and Solutions
We provided independent interim and final reports and made key recommendations for change to support further development of the project. These recommendations included:
- Sharing the learning and good practice to those schools who did not take part to continue the positive development and build on existing work.
- Continuing to sustain peer-to-peer reviews across schools in the area. The collaborative nature of such activities built strong connections between schools.