PH Bubble2About Plymouth Place-based School Improvement

A place-based approach to school improvement coheres a plan which identifies the capacity and expertise required to address the needs of schools in a defined area.

Plymouth is one of four national pilots to undertake this approach to school improvement work and has been operational in the city since the latter part of the 2018 / 2019 academic year. Over the last two years, the city’s nineteen secondary schools have committed to working together to improve outcomes at KS4. Together they have co-constructed a plan making best use of local, regional and national expertise and by centralising resources for the benefit of Plymouth’s children.

In May 2021, the Government reinforced its commitment to levelling up education across the country with the announcement of other locally targeted initiatives based on the Plymouth place-based model, to make sure as many pupils as possible can benefit from being in a great school.

However, as the City enters the third year of this Place-Based Approach to school improvement, it is recognised that for true sustainable improvement to occur, school improvement work must span the phases so this year, 2022-23, the city transitions into one inclusive improvement plan for Plymouth called ‘One Plan for Plymouth Schools’ which coheres EYFS, primary, secondary and special phases.

Core principles that underpin the commission:

Evidence informed and needs led, being ‘For schools by schools’ so it is both relevant and credible.

Be founded on what has already worked in schools, bringing together the best in school improvement work.

Realistic and flexible recognising the need for agility in responding to collective and individual school needs during this time.

The infographic below is an overlay of two models described by Toby Greany (2018) and Christine Gilbert’s (2017) which describe in its simplest form what we articulate as our model of school improvement here in Plymouth.

School Improvement Model

Chief Executive of Plymouth City Council, Tracey Lee, said:

‘I am delighted that Plymouth is one of the first few areas to have been selected to take part in this significant national initiative.

I am sure all education providers in the city share the excitement that Plymouth is recognised by the Government as an area that has good foundations with a place-based collaboration and is most likely to achieve success as a trailblazer of this national initiative.

There are many challenges in improving the educational achievements for all children and young people in Plymouth, and we do not underestimate these. This initiative will support us in facing these head on and achieving our vision that all children and young people in the city are able to aspire and achieve and have a bright future.’

Strategic Contacts

Anna Mills (Plymouth Place-based Co-ordinator))