Aspire was developed between NAHT and EdisonLearning and a three year partnership created to build capacity within participating schools and bring about sustainable improvement. At the centre of the partnership is the 5 Strand Design and the 30 Features of Highly Effective Schools. Developed from international research the 5 Strands encompass Leadership, Pedagogy and Curriculum, Learning Environment, Assessment for Learning and Student and Family Support. Typically, schools work in networks of four to six schools with Headteachers and designated middle leaders sharing some days together each term (Network Days) which are followed up in the schools (Development Days).
All Aspire programmes begin with the Collaborative Quality Analysis, (CQA) a peer led, self-review process, it provides a comprehensive baseline of strengths and weaknesses that are mapped against the 5 Strand Design from where development priorities are identified and refined, and against which progress is monitored.
Schools are supported through the programme by a team of Advisers, who all offer extensive and highly credible experience from across the education spectrum. Advisers develop a deep understanding of their school partners and ensure that each school’s implementation plan is relevant, focused and monitored through a robust termly review cycle involving leaders, advisers and governors. This cyclical approach ensures that short-term goals are effectively driven, that implementation plans are adapted to meet changing priorities, and that the school’s long-term vision is retained as the ultimate aim of the school improvement work.