Hastings Education Improvement Partnership
Education Improvement Partnerships (EIPs) are groups of schools and academies working together across an area to improve outcomes for all pupils. Ark Castledown Primary Academy is part of this group. EIPs include primary and secondary schools and academies. In some areas they also include post-16 colleges and early year providers. In East Sussex there are seven area-based EIPs, and one EIP for the Special Schools; all schools are in an EIP.
All schools in Hastings, including the academies and Sussex Coast College, are now part of the Hastings Education Improvement Partnership.
Why do we need EIPs?
The national agenda within education has changed significantly over the last five years with an increased focus on autonomy for school leaders, the development of partnerships between schools and a changing role for local authorities. Central to this new agenda is the creation of a ‘self improving school system’ where good and outstanding schools share their good practice and all schools work together to improve outcomes for pupils.
The establishment of the EIP is one way that the Hastings schools will be able to work more closely together by sharing best practice and organising centrally held training and development opportunities funded by the local authority. The EIP is also working with the local authority to provide, or jointly commission, support to specific schools in our area.
What is the Hastings EIP doing?
The EIP has planned and is currently running two major projects which are meeting the needs of the schools and academies as identified through discussion. These two areas of work are currently centred on the need to improve literacy and English from as soon as a child starts school. Poor literacy skills are a major barrier to a child’s chances of completing education successfully. The two pieces of work are:
- Providing training for a teacher from every school and academy in Hastings to become an expert in the teaching of reading. This training is being led by expert teachers from Hollington School. As part of this training senior leaders are expected to support the teachers in ensuring that the strategies they learn are used widely throughout the school.
- A research and development project that seeks to involve parents and carers more in their children’s education. This project is being led by Christchurch school and is being supported by the University of Brighton. The findings from this work will be shared more widely throughout the Hastings area.
Plans for the future
Over the coming year the EIP will work to ensure that any improvements in the teaching of reading are embedded in schools and that more and more children will reach expected standards in reading at the end of each Key Stage.
The EIP is currently looking at ways in which it can build capacity in the EIP for schools and academies supporting each other. The pieces of work currently underway are designed to do this but other avenues will also be explored.