Achieve Together - Bournemouth
The Achieve Together Bournemouth Partnership was a pilot collaboration between Teach First, Teaching Leaders and The Future Leaders Trust and funded by J.P. Morgan and the EEF. It was a new initiative that aimed to work with primary and secondary schools in two socially deprived areas of Bournemouth to test the feasibility of improving the educational outcomes of children by placing and developing high quality teachers in participating schools; delivering leadership development programmes in a coordinated way; and uniting a broad community of stakeholders outside the schools to collaborate to achieve area-based change.
A whole-school approach to attract, retain and develop excellent teachers.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies
Staff deployment & development
Organising your school
The Achieve Together Bournemouth Partnership was a new initiative that worked with 3 primary and 6 secondary schools in two socially deprived areas of Bournemouth from 2013 to 2016. Bournemouth was an area of interest to the funders and providers due to its diversity in student outcomes. It has a selective system, but had a relatively high proportion of schools performing around the Government’s “floor standard”.
EEF funded the development of the initiative, which was the first time that the charities had worked in the area or had formally worked in schools in such an aligned way. The partnership placed 17 Teach First participants in the schools over the 3 years, and a further 26 staff participated on programmes from Teaching Leaders and the Future Leaders Trust.
Schools struggled to engage fully with the partnership. They had difficulties in funding the individual programmes and identifying suitable participants, and then in aligning participants’ activities. Beyond the in-school elements, the project also aimed to work with the broader community, but it proved challenging to link the wider community work with the school-based initiatives. The findings yield useful lessons for other area-based partnerships, about schools’ capacity to engage with such programmes and the time that it takes for such initiatives to embed.
At its current stage of development the Achieve Together Bournemouth Partnership is not ready for trial. EEF undertook a separate efficacy trial of the school-based elements of Achieve Together.
The Achieve Together Bournemouth Partnership model is not suitable for trial because of difficulties in engaging sufficient schools with all elements of the model.
Aligning projects undertaken by participants of the different leadership programmes was challenging, despite being a key aim of the model. Of the four school-led projects taken forward, none involved participants on all three of the individual programmes.
Stakeholders thought a longer timescale was needed to embed area-based change and questions were raised over whether schools have the capacity and are best placed to take the lead on area-based change.
Average attainment in participating schools has not changed dramatically since involvement with the pilot. However, given the small-scale and area-based nature of the project, it would have been difficult to identify impact with confidence.
The programme changed and developed over the course of the three-year pilot. Initiatives of this type are likely to need to continuously adapt, making it difficult to specify the core components for future evaluations.
Full project description
The Achieve Together Bournemouth Partnership (‘the Partnership’) was a pilot collaboration between Teach First, Teaching Leaders, and The Future Leaders Trust. It was a new initiative that aimed to work with primary and secondary schools and the wider community in two socially deprived areas of Bournemouth (Boscombe and West Howe) to improve educational outcomes of children by:
- placing and developing high quality teachers in participating schools;
- delivering individual leadership development programmes(Teach First, Future Leaders, Teaching Leaders Fellows, NPQML and NPQSL) in a co-ordinated way and aligning ‘impact initiatives’—leadership projects required of programme participants—within and between schools; and
- uniting a broad community of stakeholders outside the schools to identify common goals and work towards area-based change and improved educational outcomes.
The Partnership was funded by J. P. Morgan and the Education Endowment Foundation and was a three-year programme which commenced in schools in September 2013 and finished in August 2016, following a nine-month set up period.
This pilot involved six secondary and three primary schools that met the providers’ eligibility criteria relating to high levels of pupils living in deprivation. Schools had to contribute to the programme costs, but at a subsidised rate. This is a mostly qualitative pilot evaluation designed to explore the feasibility and perceived impacts of the model, and identify barriers and facilitators to its implementation. In addition, it aimed to track attainment in participating schools over time relative to schools in similar areas.