Case study

The East Coast Hub story

The East Coast Hub, led by Senior Partner, Sally Garrett, headteacher at The Ashley School Academy Trust, currently includes seven schools spread across Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, that are committed to raising outcomes for all pupils and with particular focus on pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and for pupils with low starting points.

Our structured meetings ensure that there is an opportunity for each partner to share their ‘areas of excellence’, share other effective practice and to look strategically at how we can support each other to further improve outcomes.

This has been challenging, at times, as over the last three years membership has ebbed and flowed and we are a relatively small hub. However, we strive to put pupil outcomes at the forefront of our strategic planning and look to evidence based practice as core to our plans. Despite these challenges, our hub operates on openness and trust and as a result, collectively we have improved outcomes for pupils.

Key activities that have supported us have included a maths focus; improving teaching through Olevi programmes and strengthening middle leadership through working in partnership with Ambition School Leadership. The latter being a bespoke commissioned programme that all hub schools have been able to access, locally and with a subsidy through our membership funds. The programme aims to develop middle leaders’ leadership competencies and ensure that they have the knowledge, skills, abilities and attributes needed to be highly effective in their roles.

The ongoing work, which stemmed from our initial maths focus, includes a highly effective maths leaders group who have improved the confidence and competence of primary school non-subject specialists, improved maths teaching and learning through a structured curriculum model focussing on concrete, visual and abstract concepts, developed maths mastery and ensured that, where possible, maths is taught in context. By working collaboratively, leaders and their schools have shared their successful practice; moderated attainment, despite differing assessment systems; and improved maths outcomes.

Sally Garrett, Senior Partner