What is the Strategic School Improvement Fund?
The Strategic School Improvement Fund is a £140 million grant from the DfE to support first, infant, primary, secondary, middle, all-through, maintained nursery schools, alternative provision, special academies, maintained schools, post-16 academies, and pupil referral units. It is intended to further build a school-led system, and aims to target resources at the schools most in need to improve school performance and pupil attainment; to help them use their resources most effectively, and to deliver more good school places.
BEP, supported by the Teaching Schools, successfully secured £550,000 additional money from the DfE Strategic School Improvement Fund (SSIF) to provide bespoke Teaching School support for 20 schools, both academy and maintained. This work was monitored termly by the DfE and was one of the very few nationally that has been RAG rated green in each of the five terms. Of the 12 SSIF 1 schools inspected, 92% (11) were found to be good or taking effective action.
BEP, supported by the Teaching Schools, successfully secured a second bid for £750,000 from the DfE to raise standards in reading in KS2. This project ran over 4 terms, again being RAG rated green each term by the DfE. The following commentary was provided by the DfE on both SSIF projects:
- The DfE is “confident and assured” that Birmingham SSIF (1) and (2) action plans are on target to achieve planned outcomes.
- Both Birmingham SSIF (1) and (2) projects again RAG rated “very positively green” with “no points of clarification needed”.
- The “richness of information and evidence provided on Termly Monitoring Reports is excellent”.
- “Your project is wonderfully on target. Your Headteacher testimonials are very positive about the partnerships that this project has brought about and that’s a clear strength of the work”.
- Birmingham is one of only a handful of SSIF projects that was not required to submit additional mitigation or evidence.
- The inclusion of indicative SATs data/ outcomes within the Birmingham Termly Monitoring Reports is of a particularly high standard and extremely useful for onward reporting.
“There is now a greater degree of consistency in the delivery of reading across the whole school (not just in KS2). Additionally, our children appear to be enjoying their reading more and talking about different texts in a more animated manner. “
“We are really pleased to be part of the Birmingham SSIF (2) project and it is working very well. It is already making a huge impact across the school. We have established a strong working relationship with our partner support school. Our Governing Body is fully supportive of SSIF (2) and along with writing, reading features prominently in our School Development Plan.”