The Power of Peer Review
St Thomas' CE Primary Academy had its Trust Peer Review yesterday and it got me thinking.
As a Trust we are proud that our schools have the opportunity to regularly engage in Peer Review. The power of this reciprocal activity cannot be underestimated. Each school in our Trust receives a visit from two other Infinity Heads at least once per year. The reviews can focus on a particular aspect of the curriculum that the school has been developing, confirming the school's own self-evaluation or evaluating a specific strength. The reviews are developmental and supportive but come with a degree of challenge that means receiving Heads find them really helpful in informing next steps and validating their judgements. This is nothing new or revolutionary- lots of schools do this. However, doing it in a Multi-Academy trust feels different because people don't leave at the end of the day and not look back. The support continues...
The happy by-product of these reviews is the growing culture within Infinity that sees Heads and Senior leaders regularly reaching out to one another for support and guidance way beyond the original peer review, the willingness of staff to share resources and ideas and the new ways of working that the visiting Heads take back to their own schools.
As CEO I'm so proud of the growing culture of collaboration we have within our Trust, the increasing amount of informal networking and the Trust-wide ambition to be better for all our students and staff not just those within an individual school. It's this quiet, "behind the scenes" collective approach that sometimes those that are not part of a MAT can't see or always appreciate. It is incredibly powerful to know that there are people beyond your school gates working hard to make sure all our children succeed and who are prepared to share all they have so that we all flourish together.