Buckinghamshire Traded Services

BESST School Improvement Service Offer

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School Improvement & Development Days

A School Improvement & Development day provides bespoke support to meet your individual school needs. A School Improvement Advisor can support school leadership to evaluate performance, identify priorities for improvement, and help you to plan for effective change.

This support is bookable by the day so that it is flexible to meet the needs of your school. A written summary report will be included as part of the day if required.

If you are a school leader and wish to discuss potential bespoke support, please contact BESST@buckinghamshire.gov.uk for an informal discussion and more information. 

Customer Type:
Schools, Academies, and MATs

£550 per day

School Improvement Reviews

BESST reviews will provide challenges and insight for headteachers and senior leaders, ensuring that the focus will be on supporting your school to achieve your goals. A review can provide an objective view of the school, quality assure your own evaluation and help identify areas for further development.

Our School Improvement Advisers will provide an objective perspective of your school, in partnership with your senior leadership team. The focus of the review is negotiated with school leaders to best meet the school’s needs.

A review will include:

  • pre-review meeting/conversation to agree on focus
  • joint observations of lessons (depending on the review)
  • feedback with senior leaders
  • a written report

Customer Type:
Schools, Academies, and MATs

Online safety review - £475
Safeguarding review - £1,350
All of other reviews offered - £675

Coaching for Headteachers

We are offering bespoke, virtual coaching sessions for headteachers to discuss personal and professional challenges with an experienced and trained advisor, who will be able to support you to find workable solutions.

1:1 coaching sessions can either be booked individually or in a block of three sessions, each session will last up to one hour. 

The Coach and the Headteachers agree to uphold their respectful obligations toward each other during and after the sessions.

Customer Type:
Schools, Academies, and MATs

One hour virtual sessions - £100
Three, one hour virtual sessions - £250

Headteacher Performance Management

Performance Management is one part of the continuous year-round staff performance management or development process. It is a key part of the annual cycle by which the performance of the staff of the school is assessed and developed.

Headteacher Performance Management plays a vital role in the governing board’s core function of holding the school to account for the educational performance of the school and for the performance management of its staff. It is a statutory process in maintained schools and is best practice for other schools. Headteacher Performance Management allows the governing body to target the areas for improvement identified within the school’s improvement plan and to ensure that their Headteacher focuses on these areas throughout the school year. See Appendix 1 for governing body responsibilities.

The governing body’s Performance Management/Appraisal policy will set out the arrangements for the Headteacher Performance Management process which are usually undertaken by the Headteacher Performance Review Committee, a group of two or three governors appointed by the board. This group must be supported by a suitably skilled and/or experienced External Adviser.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. The Governing Body

Maintained schools are required to have a Performance Management/Appraisal policy and it is good practice for academies to do so.  The governing body needs to determine the process by which the Headteacher’s performance will be assessed. The National Governance Association (NGA) recommends that this should include:

  • the dates of the annual cycle (i.e. beginning and end),
  • by what date the annual appraisal will be carried out after the end of the cycle,
  • who will conduct the performance management (ie. the Headteacher Performance Review Committee),
  • what rights of appeal there will be against any objectives set and the appraisal outcomes
  • how many, if any, interim reviews there will be. NGA recommends that at least one formal interim review is held halfway through the school year.
  1. The Headteacher Performance Review Committee

A critical issue for the governing body is to determine which governors should carry out the Headteacher Performance Management process. Regulations for maintained schools do not specify how many governors should carry out the appraisal but in general, this will be three members of the governing body, to ensure a fair balance of views.

The NGA recommends that the Headteacher Performance Review Committee:

  • includes the chair of the governing board.
  • in addition to the chair, the appointed governors should include either those governors who have knowledge and experience of performance management or the chairs of the key committees who will have a thorough knowledge of the key aspects of school performance and who have worked frequently with the Headteacher.
  • all those undertaking the appraisal have received appropriate training but, for those who have professional experience in appraisal, this may take the form of coaching from the external adviser to introduce any aspects that may be particular to schools.
  • the Review Committee undergoes regular renewal and change so that one member of the committee changes each year

In maintained schools staff governors are explicitly prohibited from being involved in discussions about the performance of any other member of staff.

The Role of the Headteacher Performance Review Committee

  • Agree on an appraisal process with advice from the external adviser
  • Ensure rigour when objectives are set
  • Keep a focus on priorities
  • Ensure objectives are challenging, achievable, and time-bound, reflecting a satisfactory work-life balance
  • Appoint a Headteacher Performance Review Committee Chair to contact the external adviser and agree on a mutually convenient appraisal meeting date for all parties (Headteacher, appraisal governors, and external adviser)
  • Have clearly defined success criteria and quality assure the service.
  1. The External Advisor

The role of the External Advisor is to advise the governing body on the legal process, help interpret data and other performance information, and advise on how to frame objectives for the coming year.  They are not a reviewer; the role is to advise those who are. The External Advisor should:

  • Focus on pupils’ standards and progress
  • Respect the school’s authority
  • Offer professional challenge and support
  • Use evidence-based assessment
  • Provide a suggested appraisal form template
  • Agree on arrangements and dates with the Review Committee chair and quality assure the service.
  1. Using 2022 data for Performance Management

As set out in DfE guidance, school and trust leaders should not make pay progression for teachers dependent on the assessment data for a single group of pupils. Performance management targets relating to pupil performance should not be used in isolation and other factors, in this case, the uneven impact of the pandemic on pupils and schools and the considerable caution needed when using the 2021/22 performance data, should also be taken into account.

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), The National Association of Headteachers (NAHT), and The National Governance Association (NGA) have produced joint advice on using data from 2022 assessments and examinations for performance management or decisions about pay progression

  1. Timing

Headteacher Performance Management must be completed before 31 December 2023 to ensure pay recommendations can be made. However,

  • The NGA recommends that the Headteacher’s Performance Management takes place at the earliest opportunity after the start of the academic year as this allows the Headteacher to set targets for teachers based upon their own objectives. Teacher appraisal must be completed by 31 October 2022.
  • The Authority recommends that schools should start the Headteacher Performance Management review process as soon as the school can review the previous year’s results.

BESST allocates experienced School Improvement Advisors as external advisers to provide professional guidance through the Headteacher Performance Management process, ensuring that you have the appropriate support to make this a useful process for all involved.

If you are a governing body and wish to discuss potential Headteacher Performance Management support, please contact BESST@buckinghamshire.gov.uk for an informal discussion and more information.

6. Cost

The cost for a Local Authority External Advisor will be at a fixed rate of £650.   

Governors may wish to use the external adviser to provide a mid-year review of progress and should discuss this additional service with their external adviser. An additional charge will be made for this:

  • An additional £350 for a mid-year review (half day)
  • An additional £550 for a mid-year review (one day) 

If you are a governing body and wish to discuss potential Headteacher Performance Management support, please contact BESST@buckinghamshire.gov.uk for an informal discussion and more information.   

BESST School Improvement Conferences

BESST School Improvement Services will offer conferences and workshops throughout the academic year. These will be publicised through Schools Bulletin, Liaison Groups, BESST newsletter, and the School Improvement Service Newsletter. Although designed specifically for Senior Leadership Teams (SLT) any school personnel can book on, they must seek financial permission from the Headteacher and Business Manager/Bursar and adhere to terms and conditions in relation to the conference/workshop in question. This may include preparing evidence, casework, or statistics in advance.

Responsibilities to undertake successful participation in virtual sessions as part of the terms and conditions of your conference/workshop booking:

  • Read the information below as this has been included to help with the smooth running of the BESST courses. If there are any errors with your booking or you have a query please contact us immediately at BESST@buckinghamshire.gov.uk
  • We recommend you save the email message with the link to the virtual conference/workshop in an accessible folder and/or your electronic diary. You can copy the ‘Click here to join the meeting’ message and paste it into your calendar.
  • It is advisable to check your device is compatible with MS Teams and that you have access to the chat. We cannot accept responsibility for the quality or accessibility of the device you have chosen to use.
  • Ensure your screen ID is your own name or school name. If you are not sure please add your name and school to the chat bar.  If we are unable to confirm attendance you may not be sent further information, presentations, or documentation.
  • You are advised to log onto the training at least 5 minutes beforehand to ensure the presenter can start the session on time. Failure to do so may result in missing out on important information.
  • The majority of our online training requires delegates to be muted and cameras to be turned off. It is your responsibility that this is done before joining the training. Please respect this request as failure to do so can affect the quality of the presentation and also the experience of other delegates.
  • If you join the meeting and have no sound, picture, or access to the chat, please leave and re-join as this may rectify the problem.  If this doesn't work, the problem may be with the device you are using.  We cannot accept responsibility for the quality or accessibility of the device you have chosen to use.
  • We will send out presentations and documentation where possible. This may take up to 14 working days to arrange and approve.
  • Certificates of attendance are not provided for all courses. If the training you attended does produce a certificate of attendance these can take up to 14 working days to produce. They will be emailed directly to you.
  • Cancellations are to be made in writing to BESST@buckinghamshire.gov.uk at least 2 days prior to the training session. Cancellations after this time will still incur the charge and we suggest finding an alternative member of staff to attend.
  • If you have a query with your booking please contact us immediately at BESST@buckinghamshire.gov.uk during office hours. This inbox is not routinely monitored past 5.30pm each day.

Customer Type:
Schools, Academies, and MATs

Virtual, half day delegate rate - £50

School Improvement Support Packages

The following packages of support are offered to all schools, academies, and MATs

Bronze Package

  • Performance Management 
  • One bespoke focused review 
  • One place at each of the Autumn, Spring, and Summer School Improvement conferences  

Price: £1,225 (saving of £250)

Silver Package

  • Three School Improvement & Development Days 
  • Two places at each of the Autumn, Spring, and Summer School Improvement conferences  

Price:£1,575 (saving of £375)

Gold Package

  • One bespoke focused review 
  • Three School Improvement & Development Days 
  • Three places at each of the Autumn, Spring, and School Improvement conferences 

Price: £2,225 (saving of £550)


CLEAPSS works in the field of school and college science, D&T, and art, from foundation stage through to A-level or equivalent. It provides general support and advice for all aspects of practical work.  This includes information, advice, and training about laboratory and workshop design and working practices, technicians and their jobs, equipment, tools, materials, living organisms, and practical activities for students, with an over-arching focus on health and safety. CLEAPSS advice and guidance form the basis of model risk assessments for practical activities carried out in educational settings in science, D&T, and art.

Buckinghamshire Council can provide CLEAPSS membership for academies and free schools at a reduced price compared to direct membership.  The cost for 2022 to 2023 will be confirmed at the beginning of the academic year 2022/23

Annual membership will run from 1st October 2022 to 31st September 2023.

Buckinghamshire Council are acting as a facilitator/broker in the arrangement between your school and CLEAPPS and schools should refer to the CLEAPSS terms and conditions before purchasing this service.  Buckinghamshire Council cannot be held responsible for the advice and guidance are given by CLEAPPS.  All questions, queries, or complaints regarding the advice given must be directed to CLEAPSS and the school must undertake all necessary due diligence on the advice and guidance given by CLEAPPS. Visit CLEAPPS Contact us

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