Improve your GCSE results by 10%*

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*The previous GAP Project during 2007 and 2008 involved six secondary schools who improved 5A*-C by an average of 17% and 5A*-C (including English and maths) by an average of 12%.

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GAP Project

Frequently asked questions about the GAP Project..

1. What is the aim of the GAP project?

The aim is to significantly raise GCSE achievement in the project schools and to build capacity for sustained improvement in future years.

2. Which schools can take part?

8 London and Eastern Region secondary schools can join Cohort 2 of the Project.

3. When does the GAP Project begin?

The Project begins immediately agreement is reached with the 8 Cohort 2 schools. Initial visits take place before the end of the summer term.

4. How much does the GAP project cost?

The project fee per school is £2,995 (plus VAT). This includes the 4 project conferences and 4 school visits by the GAP Project Leader or an Oak House Senior Consultant. The fee is paid in advance.

5. Who is the Project leader?

Russell Moon is the GAP Project Leader. He led the first GAP Project. He is an experienced School Improvement Partner and former headteacher. He also works as a consultant headteacher in London and the Eastern Region.

6. What does the programme include?

The programme includes:

  • a ‘sandwich-style’ structure;
  • 4 half-day conferences for senior leaders;
  • 4 individually negotiated and tailored school visits by the GAP Project Leader;
  • feedback reports provided on the day of the visit for senior leaders;
  • sharing of best practice from cohort 1 including:
  • the 16 initiatives that had the most impact in the six schools
    leadership and management;
    classroom strategies; and
    care, guidance and support.

7. How was the project programme agreed?

The programme for each school will be carefully negotiated with the headteacher of the Project school.

8. What are GAP Project schools expected to do?

Each school will be expected to commit to the following:

  • raising GCSE achievement by at least 10% (agreed by governors and a key priority in the school improvement plan);
  • the headteacher and member of the senior team (who is the nominated GAP Project Leader in the school) to attend all the Cohort 2 conferences;
  • by the GAP Project Launch Conference prepare a report on the progress of current year 11 towards their targets;
  • the headteacher to agree a programme of support with the GAP Project Leader;
  • the headteacher and member of the senior team (who is the nominated GAP Project Leader in the school) to be present during the GAP Project Leader or Senior Consultant visits for the morning review and afternoon feedback;
  • write a GAP Project Raising Achievement Plan (including monitoring and evaluation) with the aim of raising GCSE achievement by at least 10%;
  • the GAP Project Raising Achievement Plan to be formally agreed by Governors;
  • share experiences with the other GAP Project Cohort 2 schools.

9. Did GCSE results improve in Cohort 1 GAP Project schools?

Overall GCSE results improved significantly between 2007 and 2009. On average, each school improved 5A*-C including English and maths by 12% and 5A*-C by 17%. At the end of the first year 5A*-C had improved by an average of 12%. 5A*-C including English and maths had also improved, by an average of 8%. Table 1 shows the results in the six project schools.

Table 1 GAP project schools GCSE results change 2007-2009

5 A*- C inc En and maths 5 A*-C
School 2007 2008 2009 Change 2007-9 2007 2008 2009 Change 2007-9
A 46 46 47 +1 51 55 64 +13
B 51 60 67 +16 62 70 82 +20
C 23 40 37 +17 32 49 49 +17
D 52 50 65 +13 70 69 77 +7
E 33 42 43 +10 46 69 69 +23
F 37 50 51 +14 48 68 68 +20
Average 40 48 52 +12% 52 62 +17%

10. Why did results improve?

The keys to success were:

  • tailored school visits and sharply focused reports on the day from the GAP Project Leader;
  • the GAP conferences for school leaders;
  • strong and focused leadership;
  • collaboration and teamwork;
  • significantly improved classroom strategies;
  • very well led intervention programmes;
  • well targeted use of data; and
  • individualised care, guidance and support.

11. How were the 6 schools chosen for Cohort 1?

The schools were selected because, to varying degrees, they each had issues with underperformance at GCSE. They were committed to securing improvements. The Cohort 1 group was selected to include schools of different types in a range of contexts.

12. What was the approach taken to working with Cohort 1 schools?

The approach was based on the following principles:

  • individualised support visit programme negotiated with the headteacher;
  • focus on pupil progress and attainment at GCSE across the ability range;
  • sharply focused reports provided on the day of the visit linked to student and staff voice; and
  • agreement to share best practice on the conference days.

To ensure that expectations were clear and agreed, the Project had a clear and measurable target (to significantly raise achievement at GCSE in project schools in summer 2008) and a well-defined and individually negotiated programme of support.

13. What did the cohort 1 schools say about the project?

“It worked. What more can I say?” (Headteacher)

“The visits by the Project Leader always seemed to come at the right time. They helped us move forward.” (Headteacher)

“As a new head I was given objective input. Someone from outside, asking questions, results in action.” (Headteacher)

“A thought provoking and useful school improvement initiative. The most useful intervention by far to date.” (Headteacher)

“Good to share ideas and learn from others. Open and collaborative atmosphere.” (Deputy Headteacher)

“Very positive experience. Provided a real focus for raising attainment. Thoroughly enjoyed sharing practice and learning from colleagues.” (Headteacher)

“Increased sense of urgency for Year 11; got firm foundations for Year 10.” (Assistant Headteacher)

14. May I speak to a Cohort 1 school about the Project?

Our Cohort 1 schools are looking forward to speaking to you about their experiences. If you would like to speak to a Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher from a Cohort 1 school contact us and we will put you in touch.

15. What is the GAP Project timeline?

Note that dates for school visits may be negotiated depending on the needs of individual schools.

June – July
Introductory visit by project leader.

Autumn term 2010

September
School visit 1. Review of progress of year 11 by Project Leader. Report for headteacher and senior manager – on the day.
October
GAP Project Launch conference for headteachers and senior managers. Agenda includes: raising achievement at GCSE: lessons from the Cohort 1 schools; leadership and management; teaching and learning strategies; personalisation and curriculum; tracking; care, guidance and support; student voice, monitoring and self evaluation.
November
School visit 2. Review of progress of year 11 by Project Leader. Report for headteacher and senior manager – on the day.

Spring term 2011

January-March
Spring Progress Conference for headteachers and senior managers. Agenda includes: raising achievement at GCSE: lessons form the Cohort 1 schools; leadership and management; teaching and learning strategies; personalisation and curriculum; tracking; care, guidance and support; student voice, monitoring and self-evaluation.
School visit 3. Review of progress of year 11 by Project Leader. Report for headteacher and senior manager – on the day.

Summer term 2011

May/June
Summer Progress Conference for headteachers and senior managers. Agenda includes: raising achievement at GCSE: lessons from the Cohort 1 schools; leadership and management; teaching and learning strategies; personalisation and curriculum; tracking; care, guidance and support; student voice, monitoring and self-evaluation.

Autumn term 2011

October
Project Evaluation Conference. planning for 2012.

GAP Project Enquiry Form

Thank you for your interest in the GAP Project. Please complete the form and we will contact you to discuss next steps.

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