School Improvement

At IPAT, our ambition for our schools and pupils knows no bounds. Each leader, teacher, and support staff member is dedicated to delivering an exceptional and transformative educational journey to every pupil through effective collaboration. Our commitment to School Improvement is deeply ingrained in the unwavering belief that continuous improvement is attainable for every school. By doing so, we not only better serve our communities but also cultivate an environment where profound transformation takes root.

As we aim to support schools both within the Trust and beyond, we echo the vision of The Church of England for church schools “to serve for the common good of the whole community.” IPAT embodies an outward-facing philosophy, characterised by a genuine willingness to humbly serve other schools and groups of schools. Our overarching vision is that all schools within the Trust collaborate effectively to enhance the overall quality of education for every pupil under our care. Moreover, we are committed to ensuring that this educational uplift extends its influence far beyond our immediate circle of schools. IPAT stands as an integral component of a broader system, driving school improvement and effecting transformative changes in education throughout the East Midlands and beyond.

Our strategy for school improvement is deeply rooted in evidence-based practices. This commitment ensures that we wisely invest our valuable time and resources in initiatives that will have the greatest positive influence on our pupils, especially those who may be considered vulnerable. The Trust’s approach to school improvement is designed to empower school leaders to embed evidence-based pedagogy. Each trust school is unique, which will necessitate tailored approaches. By providing the right balance of challenge and support, and by adapting systems to align with the specific context of each academy, we are committed to fostering success and growth across all our schools.

Tiered approach

For schools within the Trust, IPAT applies a tiered approach to school improvement, ensuring that schools get the precise support they need at the right time to improve the experience for pupils. The growing central School Improvement team works alongside school leaders to identify strengths and weaknesses and determine what tier of support is required to ensure every pupil can attend a great school.

Tier 1 – Sustain

The support required to enable good schools to consolidate their strengths and strive to become great.

Tier 2 – Improve

Additional support for schools to help address specific challenges that may arise.

Tier 3 – Repair

Regular support for schools at risk to bring about rapid improvements.

Tier 4 – Stabilise

Intensive support for vulnerable schools to secure the rapid improvement required.

Cycle of School Improvement


Each school within the Trust actively engages in an annual review cycle aimed at pinpointing strengths and areas for improvement. Reviews concentrate on crucial aspects that directly impact pupils, with special attention given to vulnerable groups. The review teams invariably comprise school leaders as well as external experts, ensuring an accurate and perceptive evaluation.

Support and development visits

After the successful identification of priorities through comprehensive reviews and the school’s self-evaluation process, the School Improvement team will collaborate closely with school leaders to craft and formulate a bespoke programme of support and development visits. These support and development visits serve as a vital resource, bolstering the school’s capacity to improve specific aspects of the provision. These visits harness expertise from within the Trust and, when deemed necessary, tap into the knowledge, skills, and wisdom of our external partners. Regardless of where a school stands in its journey, the belief is that every school has room for improvement; therefore, each school will have access to a range of support and development visits.

Monitor, review and ongoing support

After addressing improvement priorities through support and development visits, followed by subsequent follow-ups, it is crucial to monitor progress to ensure that the improvements are maintained. The school improvement team plays a pivotal role in assisting school leaders in effectively measuring progress and integrating best practices, thereby ensuring the long-term sustainability of school improvement efforts.

Network groups

Our aspiration is to ensure that every school is part of a collaborative network. Together, we are more robust, and thus, we strategically establish a program of network groups dedicated to specific curriculum domains and essential areas of provision. This includes a network of Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENDCOs). These network groups play a crucial role in our efforts to enhance our schools as they offer a platform for comparing student progress, allow leaders to concentrate on improving learning effectiveness, and foster collaborative problem-solving