The requirement for schools to have a SIP will be ended with the new education bill. The quality of SIP work has been very variable. Some schools have found the support invaluable and will continue to employ the services of their SIPs after the requirement for that ends. As Local Authorities begin to struggle to meet the needs for support from schools, QA South-West will find itself well-positioned to supply schools with a critical friend.

QA South-West is working with schools doing exactly that. Few SIPs can provide the specialist support that Paul and colleagues can give and as a result of that support, some schools have found an alternative to the SIP system. The support can be very flexible through the year and can be tailored exactly to an individual school’s needs, rather than being directed by the expectations of a SIP manager. The support can be provided either by Paul, or by skilled inspection practitioners, many of whom have been recent primary and secondary headteachers. All will come with QA South-West’s guarantee of their work being known personally to Paul.

SIP work is best tied in with the monitoring of headteacher targets. Two SIP visits a year, as a part of which Paul will support governors in monitoring progress towards the HT achieving their targets, would be best.