Notes theories

The Government wants every child to be safe, stay healthy, enjoy and achieve, participate in society and enjoy economic well-being. But how can schools help pupils to achieve these five outcomes while remaining focused on raising academic attainment?

That question was raised by the leaders of 500 high-performing primary schools and 50 early-years settings that have embarked on a new leadership programme.

"Some heads are saying that if you are spending a lot of time thinking, for instance, about how economic well- being is going to be developed, that might take your eye off the ball of ensuring that standards are maintained," said Janet Wallace, a lead consultant for the National College for School Leadership on the Sustaining Success scheme.

Run jointly by the national primary strategy and the NCSL, the programme aims to help participating schools and early-years settings to work out why they are successful and how to keep things that way in a milieu transformed by the new children's agenda.

A series of residential workshops which recently launched the programme gave leadership teams a chance to come up with some "big ideas" to pursue in the next year. Some opted to develop staff capacity to take on the Every Child Matters outcomes. Others plan to redesign teaching and learning policies to realign them with these outcomes or look at ways of working more closely with outside agencies. Schools and settings chosen by their local authorities to take part in Sustaining Success have agreed to record and share what they learn.

"We hope that in 12 months' time we will have some really good examples of how schools have made progress," said Tim Coulson, a director of the primary strategy. "We will then be able to make those examples more available to primary schools to encourage them as they think about achieving the five outcomes."

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