For many schools, maximising student achievement is the be-all-and-end-all of their operations. The whole point of what they do is to ensure that kids get the best grades possible and achieve great things.
But making that happen at the leadership level is hard. Britain’s schools are currently crumbling, and while exam results are improving, real-world attainment is falling.
So what can be done about it? That’s the topic of this post. We take a look at some of the tactics leadership can use to improve student achievement and catapult their institutions into the top rungs.
Make Decisions Based On Data
One of the best strategies is to stop making decisions by committee or group opinion and instead, focus on the data. Data-driven decision-making is more likely to result in the type of favourable outcomes that school chiefs want.
For example, you might discover that children learn maths best first thing in the morning but benefit most from sports immediately after luncheon. Likewise, you might find that attainment goes up when students are freer to explore ideas in a classroom environment instead of taking constant mock exam papers.
Keep Traditions Alive
Another important principle is to keep traditions alive, or at least balance them with new approaches. School leaders should continue to view education as a kind of rite of passage, with exams being a test that prepares individuals for the adult world.
This might explain why photography companies for schools remain so popular. A photograph of a child at completion of all their courses is a sign that he or she is moving to the next stage in life.
Build Continuous Improvement Frameworks
Another strategy borrowed from business is to implement continuous improvement frameworks. Here, schools constantly look for ways to maximise achievement to avoid backsliding and offer students the best life chances possible.
Critically, this process is for the leadership team itself, not pupils. Senior figures in the school should act like commercial managers, looking for ways to make operations leaner and more efficient for the benefit of all.
Overcome Common Challenges
Schools looking to maximise student achievement should also look for ways to overcome common challenges. Leaders should have practical tools in their toolkit that they can use to deal with challenges to authority and insubordination by students. Teachers should also receive the best pedagogic techniques to help them educate their classes in an optimal way and avoid sticking points that could derail student understanding.
Learn From Real-Life Success Stories
School leadership should also take lessons from real-life success stories in similar schools. Figuring out what works in a specific context is more likely to enhance student achievement at examinations.
Schools shouldn’t try to emulate the top colleges and universities. That’s because the quality of their students lets them operate under a different set of rules. School leadership must be mindful of ecology and what will work given the local economic and social circumstances.
So, there you have it: some of the ways school leadership can help students maximise achievement.