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New Vision participant
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High Impact Portable Coaching: A highly effective tool producing highly effective employees!
St Mary’s School wished to explore a light touch process for reviewing our community and accrediting our practice. We did not want to go down the route of Investors in People which is questionnaire heavy and would not have got to the question of our core purpose. As a Christian school in the Catholic tradition, we were looking for a scheme which would allow us to explore how our ethos impacted positively – or had no impact – on our teachers and support staff. This is how we came to take part in the Excellence Through Employees award programme.
We have extremely good links with St Bede’s Interchurch School, an 11-16 local comprehensive, and their head teacher, Alistair Day. Alistair had taken his staff successfully through the process and we were very keen to be the first all-through girls’ school including an international boarding component as well as the first independent school to gain this award. As an independent school we are inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), which is a peer-review system and consequently we were equally keen for our review of HR to be undertaken via a peer-review scheme. We were aware of the reputation of award founder Kevin Bullock, who achieved three ‘outstanding’ Ofsted inspections as head teacher of Fordham Primary School, and were eager to be involved.
Excellence Through Employees
The school was introduced to the process of the Excellence Through Employees award during our January INSET day. Thereafter, every member of staff was invited to fill in a five question survey which focused on their understanding of the school’s core values and their role in living these out on a daily basis. They were also asked whether they felt there were additional ways in which their contribution could be more widely recognised and utilised. Extensive interviews were carried out by a team of three from Excellence Through Employees who then produced a report, which the Senior Leadership Team will be sharing both with the Governing Body and with staff through our active Staff Forum.
We were commended for consistency of excellent practice across both the senior and junior schools including: open communication, high expectations and trust at all levels of the organisation between senior leaders and all staff and between line managers and those they support; and a generous budget and flexible and imaginative use of funds for CPD.