Noel Baker Community School

The brief

In order to move towards its vision for the school, the senior management team at Noel Baker School saw it as an implicit requirement that everyone in the school be involved in their own learning and development. For the role of teacher, this meant that teachers were required to be co-learners rather than the more traditional construct of purveyors of knowledge.

Noel Baker approached the University of Derby Corporate to help them change the culture of the school so that teachers and all those involved in learning were both empowered and responsible for teaching and learning. Leadership and management were required to be more distributed. This would support the vision of the school as a community where:

The solution

We worked with Noel Baker School to frame and contextualise their CPD work within the school. This allowed the school to take charge of core processes essential for changing attitudes. The programme has enabled the staff to become more skilled as researchers and less reliant on "common-sense" or anecdotal information.

The results

Since we have been working together to provide CPD opportunities in the school:

"Our work with the University traces the journey that the school is making in terms of changing the way it works as a means to redefine the core processes in the school. The school has a long history of underperformance in terms of the outcomes for students and the work has taken place against the national backdrop of re-structuring and remodelling as well as the introduction of new professional standards for teachers. The historical responses to everyday experience to performance data has tended to compound existing socially disadvantaging trends in terms of the expectations of students. However, the standardised data for the school presents a much more optimistic view of the potential of our students."

Roger Brookes, Headteacher, Noel Baker School