Special school peer review programme: building capacity for sustainable improvement


In response to requests from senior leaders – particularly those from schools judged already to be ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ and are looking for a developmental approach to complement that taken by Ofsted, this is a structured process for system-led improvement. It gives school leaders the chance to work together and peer review each other’s schools, and plan for further improvement…
Participants attend a launch day where they can sharpen their skills for effective self-evaluation and develop their understanding of the protocols and professional practice of peer review. They are supported in the training and the review process by an experienced secondary school inspector who will act as coach/facilitator.

Schools will work in triads in which each school will host a one-day review and participants from each school will undertake a joint review of the other two.
The programme provides an objective review of current school performance and helps to create sustainable expertise for the ongoing benefit of each school.

The peer review programme will:

Provide quality development for an agreed number (normally 2 or 3) senior leaders so that they are fully conversant with the latest national context.
Support the professional processes of review, evaluation, and making judgements to ensure reliable feedback allow schools to identify the areas they wish their review to focus on.
Support participants to disseminate their learning and build capacity within their own school for sustained self-improvement.
Facilitate a structured review of identified priorities supported by on-site coaching and supervision.

Schools will receive

  • A written summary of the oral feedback provided on the day – highlighting performance strengths and areas of development.
  • Summarised, anonymised feedback from participating schools via a report that highlights key themes to support further collaboration and strategic planning.
  •  A follow-up meeting with the coach/facilitator to discuss progress and future development.


Participants will develop their performance evaluating skills in their own school and will benefit from applying these in the partner school. Schools receive support to help facilitate system-led improvement and will benefit from the strategic analysis of the review outcomes identifying the next steps for their system improvement work.
Although not designed to replicate an Ofsted inspection, the programme will allow schools to assess the robustness of their self-assessment and improvement planning practice in advance of an inspection.

In summary each school will receive the following:

  • 1 day of training in self-evaluation and review for all schools led by SSAT Senior education lead and consultant. Headteacher plus 2 SLT from each school to attend, held in one location
  • Resources and materials to prepare for and to undertake the review supplied
  • Schools working in trios, 1 day review based on each school’s identified priorities facilitated by the consultant with 2 SLT (1 from each of the other 2 schools)
  • Verbal feedback at the end of the review day
  • Formal report and action plan from the consultant for each school
  • Follow up review slot for each school in one location

Please note a regional cohort of schools is required to run the programme so that schools can work effectively together within a reasonable proximity. The launch date will be confirmed with the group of schools once the cohort is in place. For more information please contact accountability@ssatuk.co.uk.

Booking form

Please send booking forms to accountability@ssatuk.co.uk.

Start date
April 2016

A launch day event followed by individual reviews conducted in participating schools

Ideal for
Headteachers and senior leaders of specialist provision

Member model – £2500 +VAT
Non-member model – £3750+VAT

Member ‘premium’ model – £4225 +VAT
Non-member ‘premium’ model – £6337.50
*please ask for specific details about this option

For enquiries please contact: 

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