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School Improvement Partners

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 1 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) who is responsible for (a) employing and (b) setting the salary of school improvement partners; (197089)

(2) what advice he has given to (a) schools and (b) local education authorities on the starting salaries for school improvement partners;

(3) what estimate he has made of the number of hours worked by school improvement partners in each local education authority in the last 12 months;

(4) what advice he has given to schools on the employment, recruitment and retention of school improvement partners;

(5) what the total cost was to each local education authority of school improvement partners in the last 12 months;

(6) how many school improvement partners were employed in each local education authority at the latest date for which figures are available; and what the cost was in the latest period for which figures are available;

(7) what estimate he has made of the average salaries of school improvement partners in each local education authority in the latest period for which figures are available.

The information is as follows.

197089 and 197090

A nationally accredited school improvement partner (SIP) programme has been introduced into every school in phases, the final phase being in April 2008. The programme was made a statutory requirement in the 2006 Education and Inspections Act. The SIP works for, and on behalf of, the local authority (LA) and is the channel for LAs’ engagement with schools on school improvement. LAs both employ and set salary levels for SIPs. Pay levels are not determined centrally, because SIPs work under contract to the maintaining authorities of the schools with which they work. In each case it is for the individual authority to negotiate pay levels with their SIPs.

197091

We do not collect this information centrally. However, on average, we expect a SIP to devote five days to a school every year. Generally around three days of this support takes place in school, while preparation and data analysis occurs out of school and accounts for the balance of the time. In addition, every SIP is expected to set aside a total of four additional days a year for professional development and for attending national, regional and local events.

197092

The Department provides information, advice and guidance to local authorities about deploying, managing, developing and supporting the performance of their SIPs through “School Improvement Partner programme, Advice and guidance for local authorities (3rd edition, ref: 00633-2007BKT-EN)”; the guidance is regularly updated and circulated to local authorities. It fully recognises the unique circumstances and contexts in which each local authority operates, and builds on good practice found in LAs during the first two full years of the SIP programme.

197093

We do not collect this information centrally.

197094

Since September 2006 all secondary schools have had a SIP. Primary SIPs have been introduced in phases with the first phase being completed in April 2008. On 26 March 2008, there were 1,670 primary SIPs working in 114 LAs and 1,172 secondary SIPs working in 150 LAs. Decisions on the deployment of SIPs are determined by LAs. Information on the cost of employing SIPs is not collected centrally and is a matter for the LA that employs the SIP.

197145

We do not collect this information centrally.