John Dunford, Chair of Whole Education and former general secretary head of ASCL, identified in his blog this week the need for a school improvement ‘middle tier.’ For many schools, the middle tier of support has effectively disappeared. It is difficult to see how local authorities can now be expected to play a leading role in school improvement and the hugely successful London Challenge and City Challenge initiatives do not seem to fit with current government ideology.
The role of Teaching Schools will undoubtedly play a key role in school improvement. However, without an effective middle tier (the McKinsey research identified that the most successful schools systems all have an effective middle tier between central government and the school), who will signpost vulnerable schools to the appropriate support? Moreover, who will be helping these schools to identify their priorities? Leaving it until the Ofsted visit is simply too late.
The lack of a clear vision for the middle tier means that for Teaching Schools, deployment can be a real challenge. These outstanding schools are finding that it is increasingly important to have a clear and effective marketing strategy, in order to ensure that their ‘offer’ is communicated effectively.
I was recently asked to design a poster for an upcoming event for the London Leadership Strategy and I thought it would be a nice idea to share the process from beginning to end with a short video…
Talking through the process
Upon reading the brief it was evident that the challenge here was the amount of textual content to fit while making the keynote speakers stand out without making it look too busy!
We had already established a strong brand recognition with the London Leadership Strategy and using their primary font (Franchise Bold) and their established colour palette (red’s and greens) I set about sketching a few ideas on my notepad before loading up Adobe Illustrator to begin the layout process.
Sir Michael Wilshaw HMCI recently stated that inspection teams would use the school website as a means of collecting important information about the school prior to inspectors arriving. Quite simply, if schools want Ofsted to know what they do, it will have to be on the website.
Inspectors will expect websites to offer information on a variety of areas including:
· School development plan
· SEF or some form of evaluation document
· School timetable
· Detailed calendar of school events
It is evident from the new Ofsted inspection framework, that the school website will now play a crucial role in ensuring inspectors receive the necessary information to support their judgements. The school website is now the first port of call for all inspection teams, so it is essential that the website makes an outstanding first impression and fully reflects the life of the school.
The Panda Media team arrived at Brunswick Park as they spent the week shooting video and photography of the school.
The style I like to shoot when visiting schools is reportage. You know the style, basically where I tell the classes to pretend I’m not here as I move quietly around the room. This works on many levels, it’s minimum disruption for the class and it’s pupils but it’s the most natural way of capturing the essence of the school.
“These look really brilliant, so clean many thanks ” - Peter White, Head teacher at Brunswick Park
But not only that I get to spend a fair bit of time observing the teachers and their pupils ‘at work’ and I’m so impressed with the dedication shown by teachers and the great respect back they receive from their pupils. That was never more evident then when I visited Brunswick Park Primary for the week, an inner city school boasting 32 ethnic groups and I was simply overwhelmed by the manner in which the kids embraced their schooling life.
Where as the videoing is very much reportage, the photography shoot was anything but. There is something really simplistic and beautiful about photographing the pupils on a white background. The emphasis is to really show of the vibrancy of the schools and it’s skills, and in the process the kids have great fun posing. The results speak for themselves.
On 3rd November, the London Leadership Strategy launched its first cross-phase event to outline its strategy for 2011/2012.
Over one hundred headteachers attended a central London venue, sharing their recent experiences and contributing to the future work and planning of the LLS.
The Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, spoke highly of the work of London Schools and particularly the work of London Challenge and the LLS. He also complimented the Panda Media video, describing it as ‘excellent.’
The LLS commissioned Panda Media to take photographs of the day. It was the first opportunity to see the full impact of the LLS branding which included video, business cards, powerpoint template and flyers.
Here are a collection of images from the day: