Podcast: What do ‘peer review’ and ‘collaboration’ look like in reality and in action? Marie-Claire Bretherton and Matt Davis talk collaboration.

At Education Development Trust, peer review and school-to-school collaboration are the tenets of school improvement. Here, superhead Marie-Claire Bretherton – headteacher of Mount Street Academy, Regional Director for CfBT Schools Trust and leader of the Kyra Teaching School Alliance – talks collaboration with UK Director Matt Davis.

What do ‘peer review’ and ‘collaboration’ look like in reality and in action? What does it take to make them work? In this podcast, Matt examines the success that Marie-Claire has engineered, along with her colleagues, in more than 50 schools in Lincolnshire. By working together, they are achieving their aim of making a difference for children.

‘Peer review allows you to open up, show everything and not be fearful of any repercussions.’
‘The importance of the open classroom when it comes to collaboration.’
‘How the Schools Partnership Programme’s peer review framework legitimises those sometimes tough conversations.’
‘The secret to success? Strategically and systematically building trust and building reciprocity between schools. Invitational leadership. Being intentional about creating opportunities for relationships.’
‘The system is quite fragmented – academies, maintained schools, church schools, small schools, primaries, secondaries…: collaboration is the glue that holds all of those schools and all of those individuals together.’

Want to find out more? Matt and Marie-Claire will be joined by Maggie Farrar at Inspiring Leadership this year as they host a workshop on 15 June: Moving on from ‘why?’ 5 practical things every leader should know about making collaboration work.

The session – intended for everyone from middle leaders through to MAT CEOs and Regional Schools Commissioners – will share five insights about the ‘how’ of collaboration at school, network and system level. Drawn from Education Development Trust’s own research, the global literature and three years’ experience working on collaboration projects with schools and local systems in England and around the world, this set of highly practical actions will provide a toolkit for putting in place the kind of collaboration which has the potential to improve pupil outcomes.

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