Raising standards through transformational workforce leadership

Why this is leading practice

The school has concentrated its energies on initiating innovative ways of working and tackling workload to free teachers to teach & raise standards. The appointment of two teaching administrators has meant that teachers do not chase up absences, collect money for trips, organise educational visits or put up displays.  Support staff have been trained in putting up displays, conduct low-level marking. The impact of reforms has meant that teachers  spend more time focusing on teaching & attainment at the end of KS1 & 2 has been in the top 2% for  the last 8 years. The school was the top performing primary in the UK in 2012 and 2014.

Impact to date

 • The appointment of additional administrative staff to undertake important but low level administrative tasks has provided teachers with freedom to concentrate on teaching and learning. This has had a significant impact on raising pupil’s attainment at all levels. In the Nursery the majority of pupils enter the school with skills below those that are usually expected but by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage almost three quarters of pupils have reached expected or exceeded levels in each of the seven key areas.
In Year 1 100% of pupils in 2013 and 2014 achieved the required standard in the Phonics Check. By the end of Key Stage1, 100% of children achieve Level 2+ in all core areas and almost half of children achieved Level 3.
In Key Stage 2, 100% of pupils achieved Level 4+ in all core areas with a significant number of pupils achieving Level 5 and Level 6.
The progress of pupils in all core areas is significantly higher when compared to national levels.
• The initiative has enabled staff to plan a wide and varied programme of additional experiences such as school trips to support the children’s learning and enhance the creative curriculum
• The initiative has supported the development of strong teams in each phase working closely with and supporting each other. Within the teams the role of learning assistants is pivotal as they provide highly effective support for children. 
• The school has developed a curriculum that is broad and balanced and rich with opportunities that excite and motivate pupils. The school provides an environment that is vibrant and inspiring and one that reflects the range of opportunities offered to the children.

Rationale / Start Point

The aspect of workload reform has been chosen because we feel that it is essential for teachers to be freed from time-consuming administrative duties in order to teach and spend time with the pupils on teaching and learning. Work-life balance of all staff is a crucial factor for ensuing that we retain and develop our staff so that we focus directly on raising pupil achievement. Indeed pupil attainment at the end of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 has continued to improve over the last eight years.

Key Strategies

• During theWorkforce Reforms in 2003 the school became a path finder school. Working closely with the University of Birmingham it undertook a review of the current practice at the school and identified what its strengths were.  From this analysis a number of key areas within the work force including flexibility and fluidity where staff were prepared to take on additional responsibilities were identified however teams worked very independently of each other and the need to work more closely together was identified as a priority. 
• Key senior leaders including a new Deputy Headteacher were appointed and additional funding was applied for to appoint support staff to release teachers to concentrate on the core aspects of teaching and learning. 
• The school administrator acquired the Certificate in School Business Manager and then the Diploma in Business Management. Her role then evolved to that of School Bursar becoming a member of the senior leadership team with line management responsibility for all administrative staff.
• Increased funding allowed the school to invest in ICT equipment which was used to support learning
• In 2011 the school became a pilot National Teaching School and is now a National Support School. 
• The Head teacher became a National and Local Leader in Education and supports newly appointed Head teachers.
• Two teaching administrators have been appointed to manage a range of administrative tasks. Training for other support staff, such as putting up displays, gaining first aid qualifications and undertaking low level marking activities is provided in house or cascaded down from key personnel. 


Sustainability and Further Development

 The school has identified a range of activities that are now undertaken by support staff and learning assistants. This has been a significant factor in allowing teachers to concentrate on key teaching and learning skills that have had a significant impact in raising standards across all phases.
The additional funding generated by being a National Support School allows the school to continue to develop the roles of support staff to provide greater support to teachers.
As part of future development the school is increasing in size and this will provide greater capacity to support other schools in challenging circumstances.

Lead Establishment

Newton Farm Nursery, Infant & Junior School
Ravenswood Crescent
South Harrow
Headteacher / Manager
Mrs Rekha Bhakoo CBE
DCSF Number
Phase of Education
Type and Status of Provider
Awards and Initiatives
- 360 Degree E-Safety Quality Mark Award - 2014 - Religious Education Quality Mark Award GOLD 2014 - SSAT Parental Engagement Award GOLD – 2014 - London Schools GOLD Club member 2013-2014 - Continuous Professional Development Award – GOLD with the Institute of Education 2013 - Fair Trade Award 2012. - Fair Trade Achiever Award 2013. - Sustainable Travel Silver Award 2013, Bronze in 2009 - SAPRE Philosophy for Children Bronze Award 2013 - Cultural Diversity Quality Mark Award –GOLD – SSAT - 2013 - Anti-Bullying Quality Mark Award – Bronze – 2013 - TES Award-shortlisted for outstanding provision in Geography -2013 - Geography Quality Mark Award – GOLD Award – 2012 re-validated in July 2013 - Investors in Pupils Award 2010 and re-accredited in 2013 - Leading Parent Partnership Award 2010 and re-accredited in 2013 - Basic Quality Mark Award 2001 and re-accreditation in 2004, 2007, 2010,2013 - Effective Early Learning Accreditation 2005 and re-accredited in 2009, 2011, 2013 - British Council International Schools Award 2004 & re-accreditation in 2007, 2010,2013 - Inclusion Quality Mark Award 2006 and re-accreditation in 2009 and in 2012 - NACCE Challenge Award for Able, Gifted and Talented 2007 & re-accredited in 2012 - UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award Level 1 – 2011 and Level 2 - 2012 - Leading Aspect award 2005 and re-accredited in 2008, 2012 - Artsmark Gold 2004 & re-accreditation in 2007, 2010,2013 - Investors in People 2000 and re-accreditation in 2003, 2008, 2011, 2013 - Primary Science Quality Mark GOLD 2011, re-accredited in 2014 - Healthy Schools Award 2001 and re-accreditation in 2006, 2011 - ICT Activemark Award 2006, 2010, 2014 - ICT Champion School 2012 - Designated Geography Champion School by Geography Association-2013 - Eco School Green Flag Award 2010 & reaccredited in 2014 - Sport England Activemark Gold – 2003 & reaccredited in 2009 - Evening Standard – London Schools Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence 2006 and 2009 - SING-UP Award 2009 (Silver) - London Schools GOLD Club member 2013-2014

Published: 23 March 2015
Expires: 23 March 2018

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