Support and advice aimed at
improving your schoolQA South West

School reviews for any reason – Talk for teaching – External support for HT appraisal – Headteacher mentoring – pupil premium reviews  – MAT reviews of potential new schools – SIP support – Consultant support to aid school improvement – Timetabling services – Quality assurance for all educational settings.

QA South-West can help pre-schools, nursery schools, primary schools, secondary schools, all-through schools and sixth form colleges to improve. Paul Garvey and his consultant team have a wealth of experience and will provide excellent value for money during any support by always extending advice and support beyond the initial remit.


#nobestwayoverall After being in hundreds of schools and thousands and thousands of lessons, my experience would lend my support to the hashtag #nobestwayoverall. However, experience is nothing like enough. I have only been in a very small proportion of all the...

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When does learning occur?

I'm prompted to write this after some recent tweets and blog posts extolling Prof Coe's position that: 'Learning occurs when we think hard' Is this true? And if it is, what exactly are the implications of this for teachers? If it is true, then can pupils only learn,...

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Is there a ‘best way’ to teach?

I wrote this as a result of reading two excellent posts from @Sue_Cowley and @debrakidd, both of which were written in response to other posts saying we should never use such things as 'Pokémon Go' in the classroom, as they are 'gimmicks'. The blog posts are here: ...

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Talk for Teaching leads to improved quality of teaching.

QA South-West has helped many schools to improve the quality of their teaching. It's a notoriously difficult thing to do, but through teachers and TAs reflecting together and pooling their collective intelligence, it can be done. 'Talk for Teaching' involves staff watching other teacher's lessons together with colleagues.

We can be there at the start to demonstrate prompts, advise on positive language and to set school protocols, but the process is easily sustainable. Staff soon begin to take ownership of both the process and their own Professional Development. Teachers improve their own teaching and TAs improve their own work. In Dylan William's words; 'they get 'better' at what they do by seeing the work of others and talking about it, as it happens'. The improvements over a year are clearly measurable and the comments from schools and teachers who have participated in this process are just terrific. The impact of the process can be measured by hard edged outcomes: the quality of teaching, learning and assessment being judged to be good, or outstanding, in the school.

QA South-West works with MATS, academy chains, co-operative trusts, learning communities and over 100 individual schools, colleges and Academies. There have been some notable successes for those schools during their inspections and Principals and headteachers, together with staff in the school, felt an awful lot more comfortable about the process!

This was even recognised by Ofsted in one report from Barnsole Primary , a large 3-form entry primary in Gillingham where the team found this, as the school improved rapidly from RI to Outstanding, with Talk for Teaching at the heart of its improvement process:

"Together with the deputy headteacher, the headteacher has led the ‘Talk for Teaching’ programme that has been an instrumental part of transforming the quality of teaching over time. The high-quality teaching in this school now leads to outstanding outcomes for pupils. The school has used this professional development programme to involve leaders, teachers, teaching assistants, governors and other members of the school staff in observing teaching together. They have detailed conversations about the effectiveness of what is seen and how it can be improved. Staff discuss the quality of teaching regularly and freely share ideas about what works well with colleagues."

It was a tremendous pleasure and privilege to work with all the staff and leaders at Barnsole and QA South-West congratulates Sean McKeown and his excellent team on a remarkably rapid transformation of the quality teaching in the school to outstanding.

Do get in touch; call any time. 07808 793673

Paul and QA South-West help schools across England to improve. Distance help is quite possible, especially with SEF support, though face-to-face help is much better, for staff, SLT and headteacher CPD.

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