Together we Exceed

Our Champions

At the forefront of enhancing educational provision…

In 2018, Exceed Academies Trust funded Teacher and Learning Responsibility (TLR) payments to teachers and support staff in order to develop teacher expertise and Trust-wide and school provision in relation to

  • research and evidence-based practice
  • wellbeing and mindfulness, and
  • parental engagement.

This is part of the Trust’s recruitment and retention strategy as well as supporting school improvement.

Evidence-Based Practice Champions

Teaching is a research and evidence-informed profession. Teachers and leaders in Exceed Academies Trust schools and academies draw upon and learn from the latest research and the proven effective practice of other schools within and beyond the Trust. This informs a wide range of the school provision, including curriculum planning, pedagogy, how children learn and subject knowledge. Our Champions facilitate access to research and evidence-based practice and provide a reference point for leaders considering how best to address their school improvement priorities and to evaluate the impact of the actions they’ve taken. They help schools to focus on what makes a difference to pupils learning and stop doing those aspects that don’t.

In 2018-19, our Evidence-Based Practice Champions supported Exceed Academies Trust schools by:

  • producing monthly blogs summarising research and evidence-based practice for an aspect of provision relating to an identified school improvement priority
  • publishing a monthly newsletter for Exceed Academies Trust staff signposting each new blog to consider as part of their professional learning
  • supporting senior leaders to consider research when considering and implementing change
  • developing lesson study as an effective model of continuous professional development (CPD) for teachers
  • initiating reviews of school’s current learning interventions to identify the impact of the support for children and young people
  • disseminating effective practice via Exceed Teaching Schools’ cohorts of National Professional Qualification for Senior Leader (NPQSL) and Middle Leaders (NPQML)
  • supporting Exceed SCITT trainee teachers and their mentors to engage with research and evidence-based practice including the use of IRIS Connect to video record and review teaching and learning
  • introducing evidence-informed approaches for evaluating the impact of CPD
  • establishing partnership working with other organisations, including Bradford Research School and National Association for Able Children in Education (NACE)

Our Evidence-Based Practice Champions’ priorities for 2019-20 include:

  • Add leadership capacity by embedding school engagement with research and evidence-based practice. Support leaders and teachers to apply the principles of specific research and evidence-based practice to their school’s context to inform teaching, learning and leadership
  • Develop approaches to evaluation to help identify effective and less effective provision
  • Capture and disseminate the school’s improvement journey within the Trust
  • Build strong partnerships with external partners including Research Schools(Trust Evidence-Based Practice Champion)
  • Support the Head of Professional Learning to evaluate the impact of all Exceed Academies Trust’s CPD provision (Trust Evidence-Based Practice Champion)

Wellbeing Champions

These Champions play a crucial role in Exceed Academies Trust’s recruitment and retention strategy. Our staff are our greatest resource. By considered how we reduce unnecessary teacher and leader workload whilst supporting staff to maintain an appropriate balance between work and home life, we seek to attract and recruit the very best leaders, teachers and support staff. Once they’ve joined us, we work hard to retain them, including through supporting their wellbeing. Through this strategy we ensure the children and young people in our schools and academies have access to the very best educational experience and some of the challenges of social mobility are addressed.

In 2018-19, our Wellbeing Champions supported Exceed Academies Trust schools by:

  • training staff in the Paws b Mindfulness in School programme
  • implementing a wellbeing strategy and policy for staff with Exceed Academies Trust’s HR team, including introducing an Employee Assistance Helpline funded by the Trust
  • increased the profile of wellbeing in each school and academy including via activities such as Tea and Talking events, random acts of kindness and inter-school sporting events
  • introduced mental health lessons and interventions in each Trust school linked to positive mental health for staff and children, including Lego therapy
  • delivered high-quality staff training on mental health, wellbeing and mindfulness, including trainee teachers and staff undertaking Mental Health First Aiders training
  • ensured new and trainee teachers are equipped with the knowledge and support for their own wellbeing

Our Wellbeing Champions’ priorities for 2019-20 include:

  • Embed support for wellbeing for children and staff as part of the Trust’s recruitment and retention strategy
  • Support each school and academy to further develop wellbeing and reduce unnecessary workload for staff within the Trust’s recruitment and retention strategy
  • Develop consistently excellent practice across all Exceed Academies Trust schools and academies (Trust Wellbeing and Mindfulness Champion)

Parental Engagement Champion

Our Parental Engagement Champion supported Exceed Academies Trust schools and academies to develop high-quality engagement with each school’s and academy’s community of parents and carers. As the principle provider of care and support for our children, our parents and carers are a key partner in helping to ensure we meet the needs of each and every child and young person in our care. Our Champion works with school staff, parents and partner organisations to develop consistently high-quality provision for parents and carers across all our settings.

In 2018-19, our Parental Engagement Champion supported Exceed Academies Trust schools by:

  • reviewing each school’s and academy’s existing parental engagement provision to identify opportunities to develop new provision that impacts positively on attendance and, ultimately, pupil outcomes
  • supporting each school to prepare an action plan for developing parental engagement further
  • working with Parent Support Workers and leaders in each Trust school and academy to review and further develop provision to support parents and their children
  • facilitating Exceed Academies Trust network meetings for Parent Support Workers
  • initiating work to develop and implement a Trust-wide strategy for communicating with parents and communities
  • supporting other local Trusts to develop their parental engagement strategy
  • worked with Exceed Teaching Schools to successfully apply to DfE Bradford Opportunity Area for funding to lead a 160-school parental engagement survey

Our Parental Engagement Champion’s priorities for 2019-20 include:

  • Further develop the role of Parent Support Workers in each setting and as a team across the Trust
  • Establish high-quality provision for parents and their children in all Trust schools and academies that builds upon research and existing best practice within Trust schools
  • Implement an effective Trust-wide communication strategy for all parents, carers and the wider community in partnership with each school and academy
Children playing at one of our Exceed schools

“We believe that successful schools develop their own identity and individuality and are best placed to meet their own community’s needs.”