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From adviser to challenging partner

Over the next couple of years, the job of school improvement adviser will be modified slightly as a new post, the school improvement partner is developed.

By 2007 all local education authorities are expected to have school improvement partners, mostly serving headteachers, to cover all their schools. Their job will be to provide more challenge than support, although they will still be able to call in help from the authority where necessary.

Existing school improvement advisers who go through the tough accreditation process to become partners are expected to take on the more difficult schools, probably dealing with a dozen or so each.

"The idea is for all support and guidance to be channelled through the school improvement partner in what the DfES is calling 'the single conversation' instead of heads having to deal with lots of different people bouncing in and out of schools," says Simon Molony, a primary school adviser in Kent.

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