Brookfields School Achieves GOLD Investors in People!

Posted: Wednesday 10th February 2016

Since 1991 Investors in People has set the standard for better people management. Our internationally recognised accreditation is held by 14,000 organisations across the world. The Standard defines what it takes to lead, support and manage people well for sustainable results.

Based on 25 years of leading practice, the Investors in People Standard is underpinned by a rigorous assessment methodology and a framework which reflects the very latest workplace trends, essential skills and effective structures required to outperform in any industry.

Brookfields School has constantly met the Investors in People Standards since we joined the scheme. In 2013, we achieved the Bronze Standard.

In January this year, we were re-assessed against the Investors in People standards but rather than going for Silver, we decided that we would go for Gold, the highest standard which Investors in People is able to offer.

We are delighted to say that we have achieved the Gold standard!Investors in People - Gold

The Gold standard is only achieved by 7% of Investors in People accredited organisations. By achieving this standard, we have been able to demonstrate that we and our staff are going above and beyond to ensure the success of the school.

Here is some of the feedback which was given by our IiP Assessor:

  • The leadership at Brookfields School is strong, and felt throughout the school. This has been made even more effective by the new management structure which had enabled all senior staff to be more focused.   They are both visionary and clear thinkers. They have all undertaken leadership and management training, including those new to senior roles. Brookfields staff see them all as inspirational.
  • Governors take a strong personal interest in the school, and are both supportive and challenging, holding Senior Leaders to account in ways that encourage improvement, development and good practice.
  • Brookfields School is seen by staff as a friendly place which they enjoy working in: they love coming to work. They feel supported and looked after and are ready to help each other. They are very passionate about and dedicated to their work and totally committed to the children they work with.
  • Senior staff are seen as people who really care about their staff, who see their staff’s work as a great deal more than ‘just doing their job’, and that they have a genuine interest in them and their achievements. Staff believe senior leaders appreciate their commitment and hard work. As a result staff said that they also feel inspired to do their work with commitment.
  • The School Development Plan is a very focused document, and because the targets are deliberately limited to three staff are clear about all of them and consciously put them all into practice, and so progress on them all is apparent to everyone.
  • The School Development Plan is evaluated at regular in intervals so that progress can be seen. This evaluation leads to new ideas for further focus or development.
  • The TAs are regarded as an absolutely integral part of the teaching teams; the appointment of team leaders and the introduction of regular TA meetings has raised their status in the school and given them more voice, and they are fully used by their teachers and given plenty of responsibility.
  • Brookfields is a learning school at all levels – from senior leaders acting on ideas from external evaluations such as Ofsted and Investors in people reports, to all staff sharing ideas. Staff help and learn from each other to the extent that learning and development is an everyday activity and totally embedded in the school culture. This includes TAs, who have learning (such as at twilight sessions) as part of their contract.
  • There is also an enormous amount of formal training, ranging from external courses (more than one member of staff goes on these so that they can bounce ideas off each other on their return) to a highly organised internal training programme that aligns closely with the School Development Plan. As a result, all staff are focused on the same objectives and enabled to work together to achieve them with common understanding.
  • Senior staff ensure that everybody’s safeguarding training is up to date, and the training provided on this topic is robust.
  • There is a great feeling of trust amongst the staff.   People collaborate well. Mistakes are not blamed, but are regarded as a learning opportunity, so staff are not afraid to say when they have made a mistake: this willingness to bring things into the open results in more learning than if they were covered up.
  • Mentoring and coaching have developed well in the last two or three years, with all staff being aware of the differences. Leaders at all levels instinctively coach their staff;   their staff appreciate the outcomes of this, saying that coaching in particular makes them think things through better for themselves.
  • Staff are given plenty of opportunities to grow and develop, and to have it acknowledged that they sometimes like to change their role, and they are given the skills and empowerment to do this. Many staff have had promotions, and say they have been helped with interviews, training and encouragement to seek promotion.

The areas to strengthen

  • Develop a ‘Managers Competency Framework’.
  • Ensure communication is not too reliant on email.
  • Using 360° feedback through the appraisal system.
  • Ensure all staff receive breaks throughout the day away from their class group.
  • Give new teachers the opportunity for an informal performance review after the first term.

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