OTSA is delighted to be working with the Mulberry Bush Teaching School Alliance to make a Peer Review Programme available to schools in Oxfordshire.
The programme will be led by Andy Lole, Headteacher of the Mulberry Bush and National Leader of Education, as well as a Headteacher from an OTSA school.
The Peer Review Programme reaches the improvement parts that other processes fail to reach. This is because trusted professional expert colleagues come, at your invitation, to help you to critically evaluate, to reflect and to problem solve together in the areas you know are your weakest. Because this is the express purpose of the exercise and carried out in partnership with others facing the same sort of challenges in their own contexts, you actively and specifically share the things which you are least proud of and therefore cannot fail to make them better with the benefit of such a helpful process. This is the direct opposite of more adversarial approaches, where you do all you can to hide every weakness for fear that it should become a loose thread and be used to unravel the whole rug.
The Aim of the Peer Review System
The Peer Review system aims to provide a reflective self-evaluation process, giving insight into individual schools effectiveness in agreed areas, provided by peer colleagues working in a similar situation to your own, in their adopted role of ‘critical professional friend’.
What is it?
It is a visit to your school by two colleagues. They will spend a day with you and your school looking at agreed areas of policy and practice. Some areas are standard for all schools; others will be looked at, at your request. It is an opportunity to network between schools to share practice, learn from others and build on what works well. It provides a great chance to share professional expertise and improve provision.
What does it entail?
You will need to identify one day that a peer review team can visit you and your school. You will need to identify two days that you are able to visit other schools as a part of a peer review team. Having visited other schools you will need to complete a short report on your visit. The report is a simple form that asks schools to identify what they see as their strengths and areas where they would like input from the review visit. Your reviewers will add their comments to this. Although the Peer Review process is not an inspection we hope it is in support of schools’ self-evaluation process.
What will it cost?
There is a nominal charge that goes towards the administration of the programme, including a facilitated face to face session prior to carrying out the reviews, matching schools and checking that relevant paper work has been completed and exchanged, and an evaluation meeting at the end of the cycle. For 2016/2017 this will be £150 per school.
When will it take place?
The whole process happens within an 8 month period. A short introductory meeting is held for representatives from all schools wishing to take part during that review cycle. The reviews are then planned. We run an end of review cycle meeting, where we will share experiences of the process, and see what we need to do to make it even more effective in future.
All introductory meetings will take place at The Mulberry Bush School, Standlake, OX29 7RW
Are you interested?
Following the success of the primary programme, we are looking to run a second primary review cycle in the Spring Term 2017. If you are interested in being part of this exciting and purposeful programme, or would like to find out more please contact Anna Poole, Teaching School Director, at Woodstock CE Primary School.
Anna's email address is OTSA@woodstock.oxon.sch.uk
“I found the process more enjoyable and useful than I was expecting. I feel I benefited not only from being reviewed but also from reviewing."
"It was such a great opportunity and I can’t remember the last time I spent two whole days in professional dialogue with people who were facing the same challenges as myself!”