End-to-End Review of School Improvement

End-to-End Review of School Improvement


The current school improvement policy, ‘Every School a Good School’ (ESaGS), has been in place since 2009. As teachers and school leaders will be aware, the ESaGS policy sets out the vision for a high-quality education system with a focus on raising standards across all schools and addressing the attainment gap between the most and least disadvantaged. While many of the principles outlined within the policy remain relevant, there is a recognition that it requires a refresh to consider change since that time including to the diversity and needs of our pupils, to legislation and/or policies across education and in order to align more closely to our Corporate Goal of “Every CHILD and young person is happy, learning and succeeding”.

To address this an End-to-End Review of School Improvement (the Review) was established in Spring 2023.  The end-to-end analysis approach provides a focus on how the current policy is operationalised and whether the policy intent is being realised to ensure that any emerging policy and implementation plan is fully deliverable on the ground.

The Review is being taken forward on a collaborative basis working across teams within the Department of Education (DE) including close engagement with the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI), with key delivery partners within our Arm’s Length Bodies (ALBs), with school leaders and a range of other education partners.  The Review is also taking advice from academics from within NI and from other local jurisdictions and will be engaging with children and young people and parents. A jointly chaired (DE and Education Authority (EA)) Review Board is in place comprising members from DE, EA, CCMS and CCEA. ETI is represented in an advisory capacity.

A number of workstreams have been identified and agreed and a series of working groups will be established to take forward the review in a number of the areas. Work had already progressed on a number of the workstreams. 

The anticipated deliverables from the Review are:

  • A new school improvement policy
  • A suite of readily deliverable actions
  • A longer-term roadmap for change


Overview of Workstreams in End-to-End Review of School Improvement


The identified workstreams are as outlined below along with a high-level description of areas of focus within each workstream:


  1. Narrative to Support the Vision for Education
  • Development of a narrative to outline the purpose and value of education to society as a whole


  1. School Improvement Policy
  • Review of principles and key indicators
  • A new policy for school improvement


  1. Supporting Schools / Operational Delivery
  • Appropriate service delivery models of support for schools
  • Follow-on to inspection processes
  • Formal Intervention Process


  1. School Development Planning / School Development Days
  • Review of the School Development Planning process
  • Review use of School Development Days and Baker Days


  1. Supporting Children and Young People – Removing Barriers
  • To include development of overarching strategic ‘positive behaviour’ framework
  • To include behaviour, nurture, EOTAS, social emotional learning, suspensions and expulsions etc.
  • How do we provide a continuum of support to remove barriers to learning?


  1. Curriculum Development and Professional Learning and Development

Examining three themes to support and bring about school improvement:

  • Curriculum review and development.
  • Curriculum development supported by the continuum of TPL.
  • Wider teacher/leader/staff professional learning and development.


  1. Literacy and Numeracy

Short-term actions to promote the importance of developing literacy and numeracy skills pending the longer-term goal to develop a new strategy.


  1. Inspection
  • Alignment between inspection policy and school improvement policy


  1. Effective use of Data to bring about School Improvement
  • Consider the indicators of an effective school and the required measures and benchmarks for effective self-evaluation at school level and those required at a system level to assess the policy impact.

If you would like to participate in any of the workstreams above please contact the review team.

Review Team

Updates on the review will be posted periodically when significant progress has been made; however, should you have contribution to offer or a question to ask you may contact the review team at DEsit@education-ni.gov.uk.

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