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Evidence that federated schools improve outcomes

23 September 2011

Ofsted’s latest survey shows that schools who join together to raise standards, see improvements across teaching and learning, behaviour and pupils’ achievement. The survey found that the main reason for the improvements was effective leadership, underpinned by ‘rigorous procedures for holding staff accountable’ and ‘assessing the quality of teaching and learning’. Greater flexibility of increased resources was also listed as an important factor.

While hard federations are only appropriate for specific circumstances, schools and academies are increasingly looking at various ways to partner and collaborate with each other on a far more formal platform than they may have done in the past. Key reasons for this include ensuring the longevity of relationships and sharing resource and expertise to improve pupil outcomes. New governance arrangements, multi-academy structures, establishing trading companies and entering into formal partnership agreements are just some of the possibilities schools are looking into.

Increased school collaboration is high on the government’s agenda as part of the ‘self-improving school system’, and will undoubtedly be staying there for the foreseeable future.

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