Lainesmead Primary School and Nursery is part of the national Challenge Partners programme, via the Royal Wotton Bassett Hub. We joined this organisation as we continue to challenge ourselves as a school and to ensure that our school improvement plans are the best they can be thereby ensuring the best outcomes for our children.
Challenge Partners is a practitioner-led national network of schools that improves school performance through peer-to-peer challenge and knowledge sharing. Each school in Challenge Partners receives an annual Quality Assurance (QA) Review. The QA Review is a peer review involving senior leaders from other schools in the partnership. The review has a whole-school remit and focuses on teaching and learning, which enables practitioners to have deep conversations about the quality of learning in the school being reviewed.
We have five members of staff who are trained by Challenge Partners to review other schools nationally. They are: Mrs Painter (Headteacher), Mrs Mepstead (Deputy Headteacher), Mrs Saxby (Assistant Headteacher for Maths), Miss Bees (Assistant Headteacher for English) and Mrs Chapman (Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion). Being part of Challenge Partners means that we can share best practice and learn from others; share training and reflect on our school improvement- the benefits are enormous. The professional dialogue and learning that takes place through a review is excellent. We want to demonstrate that our school is proactive in working with others, learning from others and being self-reflective and keen to challenge ourselves to ensure that we are achieving the best outcomes for all of our pupils.
Outcomes from the review are not set by the review team and fed back to the school. Instead, all outcomes are agreed between the school and the review team as part of an ongoing professional dialogue that seeks to unpick and articulate effective teaching practice and school improvement strategies demonstrated by the school. Review reports are best viewed as a summary of conversations between peers during three days spent in school.
By nature of being a collaborative peer review, the QA Review is different from other external inspections such as Ofsted and Local Authority reports. Additionally, due to the review’s focus on teaching and learning, the review does not consider areas such as safeguarding or governance and so its outcomes cannot be directly comparable to an Ofsted inspection.