Strengthen school leadership

Why this is an issue

  • In August 2017, 23% of primary schools and 40% of secondary schools were rated by Ofsted as inadequate or requires improvement for the quality of teaching, learning and assessment. 21% of schools were rated as inadequate or requires improvement for leadership.
  • School leaders have told us that recruiting staff is not significantly harder in Bradford, but schools serving the most vulnerable and disadvantaged pupils struggle to attract top quality teachers and leaders. Retention can also be an issue, particularly for schools outside the larger academy chains, because of the challenge of offering aspirational teachers affordable, high-quality training and a longer-term career pathway.
  •  Bradford is not without strong school leaders. 22% of schools in the city are currently rated  outstanding by Ofsted for leadership and management, but in 21% of schools, leadership requires improvement or has been judged inadequate.
  • New initiatives offer potential to build quality into the school system, notably ‘Bradford for Teaching’, a campaign commissioned by Bradford Council and led by the Northern Lights teaching school alliance, to attract and develop teachers and leaders.
  • However, there are still important gaps in the offer, limiting the city’s ability to attract and retain strong leaders and teachers. Headteachers and other system leaders have identified a lack of access to training and support (including peer networks) for both recently qualified and more experienced teachers, mid-level and senior leaders. There is a lack of coordination and targeting of the offer – including from teaching schools – making it harder to identify and support schools that need help.

What we will do

  1. direct provision of training and development for leaders, and improve the quality of teaching – this will include drawing down additional support from the DfE’s wider programmes and investing OA funding to supplement them
  2. invest in system leaders so they can offer more support to schools. and make sure that the right resources reach schools needing support This will include work by national leaders of education (NLE), specialist leaders of education (SLE) and national leaders of governance (NLG) based in and around Bradford
  3. ask Bradford’s school leaders to design an enhanced offer of support and development to attract education professionals to the city, and give them the resources to do so

Our targets 

  • By 2020 to 2021, more than 50% of the 50 schools that are currently rated by Ofsted as inadequate or requires improvement will improve by at least one Ofsted grade.